Saturday, August 15, 2009

Titles for Educators

Fairly true to form, I am once again writing a post with multiple recommendations within a subject area. Recall my posts about bicycle and garden related books.

With equal parts excitement and sadness, I am re-embarking on my teaching career and will be mostly absent from the bookstore during the school year. For others in the same career field, I am recommending some education books I have found indispensable.

The First-Year Teacher's Survival Guide by Julia G. Thompson has been my #1 reference since my 1st year of teaching 5 years ago. With over 400 pages of advice, tips, tricks, strategies from getting organized to delivering quality instruction it's a necessity for teachers with any level of experience. I am going to pick up my personal copy to refresh my memory here in the next couple of weeks.

My next favorite book is How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. It's actually more of a parenting book but there is a How to Teach copy as well (I just haven't read it). It describes ways to instill responsibility in kids just by changing from an "I told you so" approach to a "Hmmm, that's a bummer" approach which allows kids to think about their mistakes and make their own changes. I have found the change in language is very easy and fairly intuitive yet still takes practice to....practice, especially if you didn't grow up with parents who exclusively used the language.

Fred Jones Tools for Teaching: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation (ISBN:9780965026321) is another fantastic title with very practical tips and tricks to maintain a structured, effective classroom. The concepts are simple but profound, easy to execute, and will help immensely with building relationships with students and increasing student achievement. This is a must-have.

Good luck to all of you who are affected by the start of school. Please remind yourselves to be especially watchful on your bicycle with the influx of non-Fort Collins drivers as well. Happy studying!

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