Posts have been a little sparse ’round these parts because it’s that time of year again… BACK TO SCHOOL TIME! In the last week I’ve been busying myself with the logistics of a new print management system, hiring a new and much needed library worker (yay!) and registering a plethora of new patrons.
I love a fresh start, but I must admit, I’m not exactly pumped for the return of students on Wednesday of next week. I’m feeling a little unprepared. But the students are returning whether I finish updating our 300+ page procedure manual or not. So, to relieve my anxiety, I went searching for a few books to inspire myself and to recommend to our educators. Here’s what I found:
The title of this one really says it all. I strongly believe in hard work and kindness. And so do Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin former Teach for America teachers who after feeling like failures in the classroom created the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). What I like most about the KIPP program is that it encourages lessons to be lively. Education could afford to liven things up a little bit.
Your Brain at Work may not be directly related to the education field, but let’s be honest, we could all afford to learn a few strategies for overcoming distractions and working smarter. In this book, David Rock takes us inside a 21st-century couple’s brain to discover how brain chemistry can lead our minds astray and how we can overcome everyday challenges.
In The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Diane Ravich, former assistant secretary of education critiques the current business model of education. Ravich offers 40 years of insight and remedies for improving our nation’s schools. My favorite remedies Ravitch offers for improving our schools include paying teachers a fair wage and encouraging family involvement in school.
Deborah Meier uses her experience as founder of the Central Park East School in East Harlem and the Mission Hill School in Boston to argue in favor of trust in education and against standardization. Like Ravitch, Meier also strongly believes in family involvement and Meier makes the case for smaller, self-governed schools. Often too much emphasis is placed the standardization of learning over true learning, don’t you agree?
In Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, Rafe Esquith details how he has perfected award-winning teaching methods over a 20+ year career teaching in Los Angeles. Tips from Esquith’s classroom include incorporating different subjects into all learning activities– involve math skills in art lessons and vice versa! Best of all, Esquith provides links and tools for incorporating his methods into your classroom. As a librarian, I love any kind of reference material!
Do you have any reading recommendations for educators? I’d love to hear ‘em in the comments!