School is back in session. Reignite your focus, spend time refreshing your own ideas and approaches to teaching and learning with these five books.
They are sitting there filed neatly on the bookshelf, staring patiently, waiting to be engaged with. We all have a long shelf, or a box filled with books patiently waiting to be opened. Each is full of ideas that lead to incredible possibility. As educators we often end up focusing on the most pressing pieces of our teaching, spending time on the job of teaching our students and forget (especially at the beginning of each school year) about feeding our own inspiration for how and why we teach.
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
One of the most compelling books that will help lead the revolution in teaching and learning, changing the way we look at learning, writing, reading and working. Ask yourself, "Is Google making you stupid?" This book offers a compelling case for why the internet has already, and continues to drastically change how we interact with knowledge and material (written word, video, etc.,) on our intellectual, psychological and physical beings. The stark realities of the pace of progress show itself through Nicholas Carr's incredible analysis of our modern[izing] brains. Can you keep pace?
The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life
Building on the premise that teaching isn’t directed by a simple technique, rather teaching is and should be rooted in the teacher’s integrity and identity – ultimately emanating from the heart. Great teachers are unfailingly present in the classroom, treating their classrooms as a community and their students as collaborators. This work uplifts the soul for all teachers, reminding each of us that it is from our hearts — the place where emotion, spirit, and intellect converge – that we can move forward authentically within both our professional and personal lives. Refine yourself.
How Learning Works
Revisiting the importance of how the learner interacts with and encounters learning is vitally important. This book helps educators bridge the gap between what the research says regarding learning and the practical implications of teaching. The authors introduce seven general principles of learning, each emanating from a variety of research literature and experience working with teachers.
Walking on Water - Reading, Writing and Revolution
How many of you would agree with the idea that you love to learn, but hated school! This wildly addictive book explores what happens to creativity and individuality as we pass through the educational system. Be prepared for a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by Derrick Jensen who is increasingly recognized for his passionate and articulate critique of modern civilization. It is a page turner and will certainly start a fire under your feet.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Carol Dweck helps us explore the traditional notions of success, she explains why it’s not simply our abilities and talent that lead to success. Rather it is all about the approach we take, understanding the difference between a fixed or growth mindset helps refocus what success is. The book explores why praising intelligence and ability does not foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. Empowering the right mindset can motivate students and help them to raise their grades. It can also help us reach our own personal and professional goals.