About the Author

 I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.

Anne Frank

Jane Guttman’s steadfast symphony with kids began in 1967 as a student teacher stumbling in a setting with infinitely high stakes for youth.  Her fervent journey with reluctant learners, and her persistent passion for educating troubled children have followed her as she continues to champion marginalized kids with a fierce and bold spirit, working for system transformation and justice.

Jane has taught humanistic education and communication skills training to parents, counselors, educators, and students, and has been an adjunct professor at California State University.  She has been a keynote speaker in various venues, and a workshop facilitator for the American Adoption Congress and California School Library Association. As an instructional leader, she actively advocates for pioneering practices to provide all incarcerated learners with access to literacy. 

Jane advocates for imprisoned learners and promotes social emotional learning in a setting that endorses and delivers retribution.  Her influence and rapport with kids in custody, her comprehensive experience with esteem development, and her devotion to multiculturalism contribute to Jane’s effective teaching practice and her gift for redirecting, motivating, and inspiring our troubled urban youth. Her innate belief in the virtue and potential of all human beings inspires staff and youth.  Jane’s work with jailed children has blazed a trail for best practices in the realm of educational and social justice.

Jane contributed to a textbook for a correctional education advanced degree program, In the Borderlands, 2006. She has authored Books Behind Bars, Last Bell in a 2006 issue for NEA Today, and Reading to Freedom, California School Library Journal, 2008. She has penned poems for Digital Inclusion 2008, a book that promotes literacy services for marginalized youth.  Jane has authored The Gift Wrapped in Sorrow, 1999, and as a poet-writer-author has been in love with words for over a half century. Jane lives in a rural California community.



It goes like this. Teaching is touching life.

Jaime Escalante.

"We must remember that school is for all children, including those we find unattractive, those who misbehave, and those who don't give it their best. It is our professional duty to welcome and teach them with enthusiasm, care, and courage. To do less diminishes ourselves and all of society."
Curwin and Mendler