Waterloo, ON: May 12, 2014
Fiora Books announced today the long-awaited release of the 2014 edition of A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching by award-winning author, John Fioravanti.
Published by Waterloo-based Fiora Books, Journey is Fioravanti’s second non-fiction book pertaining to education. It provides an inside view as to what it’s like to shoulder the responsibilities of a teacher. With over thirty years experience, he furnishes a moving and honest assessment of his struggles to master his chosen craft. He candidly focuses on the lessons he learned from his students, which were often painful or embarrassing – or both.
Fioravanti’s first book in the realm of education was Getting It Right in History Class. Originally published by Data Based Directions in 2002, it is now distributed by Wintertickle PRESS. This book was written for students to guide their preparation of history assignments – from simple paragraphs to formal essays. He discusses the evolution of Getting It Right as part of his professional growth in Journey.
After Journey’s first release in 2007, a colleague and friend who had attended the launch and read the book, commented that the book was a very personal account. He marveled as well, that the author could recall so much detail from his childhood and early years.
Fioravanti chuckles at that reaction. “The book became increasingly personal with each new draft. My editorial team at Iceberg Publishing repeatedly asked for more details, and quite frankly, I found that a challenge. Not only was I searching through the cobwebs of my memory, but I was exposing very personal things – some of which I was not proud. This is the reason we put the word personal in the book’s title.”
The original vision for Journey was an inspirational work to help young teachers in the field, student teachers, and those contemplating a career in teaching. This is a journey that begins when the author was a child growing up in Dundas, ON. It traces his earliest clues about a career that would eventually span thirty-five years, through his high school and university years when the clues crystallized into a career plan.
“During my career at St. Benedict in Cambridge, ON, and St. David in Waterloo, ON, I worked with many fine young colleagues and student teachers,” Fioravanti explains. “Very often I perceived they were doing battle with demons within – much like I did. Often these struggles manifested themselves in self-doubt; and these questions logically led to concerns about their suitability as classroom teachers. I knew their pain and wished I could do something concrete to help them.”
He reminisces about the day in 2006 when Kenneth Tam, a former student, author and Partner at Iceberg Publishing, approached him to write a book about his philosophy of teaching. Although taken by surprise, he realized that his story might be helpful to others facing the challenges of the classroom.
“It occurs to me now,” he says pensively, “that this story isn’t just for educators and those aspiring to careers in the classroom. Everyone wrestles with self-doubt, insecurities, and fear of failure. Some of us hide it better than others. I’m hopeful that people outside of educational circles will read this book and gain some useful insights into the men and women who teach the next generation. I hope my willingness to admit faults, mistakes, and struggles with inner demons, will encourage others. It isn’t easy to open up and talk about the things that make life difficult.”
In December of last year, John and his wife Anne traded their previous career hats of educator and insurance professional, to don the hat of publisher. “Maybe,” he chuckles, “there’s another book in that journey!” For now his priority is to get his first novel ready for publication in the fall of this year. His new series is called The Genesis Saga.