Marilyn Rhames


Marilyn Anderson Rhames started her career as an Ivy League-trained journalist and a promising New York City reporter at PEOPLE and TIMEmagazines. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 compelled her to quit her job as a newspaper reporter to follow her secret passion: teaching children. She returned to her native Chicago, and enrolled in a graduate program for education, and began her journey as a public school teacher. In 2011, after nearly ten years of teaching grades 3 through 8, Marilyn started to write again.

Marilyn was named 2013 Commentator/Blogger of the Year by the Bammy Awards, and she has gone on to author more than 300 education op-eds and blogs published in The New York Times, Education Week, Huffngton Post, Education Post, RealClearEducation, and Black Enterprise, among others. She has served as a conference speaker and thought partner at numerous universities, including Harvard and Yale. Marilyn has delivered two TEDx talks –“Finding the Courage to Voice the Taboo” and “Why Faith Will Fix Education.” She has served as a regular education commentator on Moody Radio Chicago and edited a math curriculum, a children’s book, and a teacher prayer guide. A nonpartisan bridge builder, Marilyn’s voice has advised two U.S. Secretaries of Education in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Armed with a strong Christian faith, Marilyn founded the nonproft Teachers Who Pray in 2011. TWP has more than 100 chapters nationally and is helping teachers ground their work in faith, prayer, and spiritual practices. Her 15 years in public education and the school reform debate has convinced her that the changes parents, educators, and policymakers so vigorously demand won’t come through increased funding and better policy alone. No, education is as much of a spiritual pursuit as it is a social, legal, or intellectual one. Yet very few leaders in the profession are willing to acknowledge the spiritual dimension of the work, let alone offer up spiritual solutions.

In The Master Teacher, Marilyn boldly addresses the divine nature of education while honoring the humanity of the teachers who deliver it. Marilyn is not afraid to address the taboo issues that go unspoken in education yet cause so much harm: racism, classism, hypocrisy, political corruption and empty piety—particularly in the Christian community.

Marilyn is challenging educators of faith to do what the Master Teacher did, not just quote what He said. This wife and mother of three became an educator because of a spiritual calling, and she believes, without apology, that faith in action is the only way to rescue the public school system from itself.

Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on education reform, with meager results. What if the solution to fxing our failing schools is actually free? What if teachers, school and district administrators, and policymakers of faith applied spiritual principles to their everyday work? This book examines the ideas of Jesus Christ—the Master Teacher—and suggests how we could bring education equity and excellence into every school in America with less money and time than we’d think.

Learn how…
The Master Teacher will instruct you in vital spiritual theories and practices that most teachers never learned in education school. You will quickly learn to embrace the brokenness of the public education system so that you can appropriately apply your God-given gifts and talents to fx those problems. If you apply the principles in this book, you will fnd yourself stepping into the deep waters of faith and innovation, blazing a unique path toward improved educational opportunities for students that the current school system is leaving behind.

In these pages you will uncover…

  • The pedagogy of Jesus Christ and what makes him “The Master Teacher.”
  • Learn time-tested solutions for school transformations.
  • Mentorship as the new discipleship.
  • How understanding the image of God can fuel lasting, nonpartisan education reform.
  • Why a knowledge-rich curriculum is a biblical concept.
  • Why man being created in the image of God is the essential tenant to school transformation.
  • Why addressing race and class equity in education is a spiritual mandate.
  • The ultimate example of personalized learning.
  • Why school funding formulas don’t need to be so complicated.
  • Community engagement advice for school leaders.
  • Restorative discipline practices: wise, weak, or a waste of time?
  • The ultimate teacher evaluation metric that no one can argue against.
  • Learning how to love is teacher professional development.
  • Why serving others is the best character development program.
  • Teacher prayer as the highest form of education advocacy!

“In our effort to raise test scores and graduation rates, we inadvertently diminished the greatest teaching tool a school could ever have: LOVE.”
– Marilyn Rhames