If you’re looking for good summer reading to gear up for the school year I highly recommend the following books. They are easy reading, give a lot of easy-to-put-into-action ideas and will help you become a more well-rounded teacher.
The first book is First days of School by Harry Wong. I discovered this book a few years ago and it opened up to me a new way of thinking about the structure in my classroom. I’ve always been a big proponent of preventative discipline and this book sealed the deal. Although it’s geared for a ‘regular’ classroom teacher (whereas we are an extraordinary bunch, you know), the ideas and methods convert easily to our art classrooms. It revolutionized what I do the first 2 class periods of every school year, which sets the tone for the rest of the year…
The second book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, was a real eye opener. The district I teach in is predominately low income – my school has 83% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunches. It talks about the unwritten rules of income levels and how we, as teachers, can help our students understand and overcome those unseen barriers.
From a review on Amazon.com: People in poverty face challenges virtually unknown to those in middle class or wealth--challenges from both obvious and hidden sources. The reality of being poor brings out a survival mentality, and turns attention away from opportunities taken for granted by everyone else. If you work with people from poverty, some understanding of how different their world is from yours will be invaluable. Whether you're an educator--or a social, health, or legal services professional--this breakthrough book gives you practical, real-world support and guidance to improve your effectiveness in working with people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Since 1995 A Framework for Understanding Poverty has guided hundreds of thousands of educators and other professionals through the pitfalls and barriers faced by all classes, especially the poor. Carefully researched and packed with charts, tables, and questionnaires, Framework not only documents the facts of poverty, it provides practical yet compassionate strategies for addressing its impact on people's lives.
Both of these books have been in print long enough that you can find them at a decent, teacher-income-price on Amazon or any other used book site.
Do you have any books to recommend?
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