I first read Parker Palmer's The Courage to Teach a few years ago at a conference--the conference was boring but they had a nice bookstore, so I made good use of my time. I'm teaching Studies in Education next month and this is one of the required texts. It has received mixed reviews from the student in the past for being too "touchy-feely". I can appreciate those comments, as sometimes Palmer gets a little too sensitive for me, too, but I really appreciate his passion for having authenticity in your teaching. When I was in the classroom I felt very fractured--there was a disconnect between what I loved doing and what I was having to do in the classroom to meet state standards. Palmer has the guts to come out and say that it damages our students, but it's just as damaging to our teachers.
I believe I will open my first class in a few weeks with this Palmer quotation:
"When I do not know myself, I cannot know who my students are. I will see them through a glass darkly, in the shadows of my own unexamined life—and when I cannot see them clearly, I cannot teach them well."