For many educators, summer presents an opportunity to unwind and take a much-deserved break from the stress of the school year. But it’s also important to refresh your mind and get ready for the school bell to ring again. We’ve rounded up a selection of books meant to inspire and rejuvenate you, as well as arm you with new ideas for your classroom. Happy reading!
Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
If you participated in the first session of our ATPE Book Circle this summer, then Dave Burgess’s Teach Like a Pirate is already familiar to you. With this book, Burgess has compiled his Teach Like a PIRATE seminars into a fun, quick read. The book focuses on ways to help teachers be more engaging in the classroom and more fulfilled in their career. Burgess also includes “hooks and brainstorming questions” to boost creativity and bring new ideas to lesson plans.
Uncommon Learning by Eric Sheninger (ATPE Book Circle book, eight hours of CPE)
Also part of our summer 2017 Book Circle, Uncommon Learning delves into how schools can take advantage of the digital age in order to improve learning, engagement, public relations, and more. Written by Eric Sheninger, this book discusses how mobile devices, social media, and open-source technology play a role in helping students develop the skills and tools they will need in the real world. Sheninger also addresses how schools can become leaders in this new technological environment.
Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children's Learning by Peter Johnston
At 120 pages, Peter Johnston’s Choice Words is a quick read. In this book, Johnson explores how a teacher’s most powerful tool—language—plays a key role in shaping students and their place in the world. The book is full of examples of seemingly ordinary words, phrases, and language usage that are crucial in the context of a classroom. Rooted in a study by literacy teachers, Choice Words explains how the things we say and don’t say affect what children learn and who they become.
Why Students Don't Like School by Daniel Willingham
The title can be misleading, so stay with us! Rather than stating why children may not like school, cognitive scientist and author Daniel Willingham explores how both teachers and students think and learn, and how this affects the classroom experience. The book concentrates on how understanding the brain’s innerworkings can help teachers make school a more positive experience for their students. Additionally, the book lays out nine principles you can clearly apply to your classroom.
In Praise of American Educators: And How They Can Become Even Better by Richard DuFour
Drawing upon his own research and experience, Richard DuFour passionately tackles the state of education today and discusses what we can do to improve it for tomorrow. In Praise of American Educators dissects the myths you hear from media outlets and policymakers surrounding American schools. DuFour presents evidence for why certain reform policies have failed and provides detailed steps for enacting positive change. DuFour truly believes the power to improve public education lies within the strength of its teachers. For more from DuFour, see his article on professional learning communities in the Spring 2015 issue of ATPE News.
Don’t forget, with the ATPE Book Circle you can turn reading into a professional development opportunity!
In this forum, moderators select professional development book titles and promote online discussions about best practices in the classroom based on ideas shared in these books. Read and discuss your thoughts—and earn continuing professional education (CPE) credit for each chapter read and discussed online (program requirements must be met for issuance of a Continuing Professional Education Certificate of Completion). Discussion questions are posted weekly on the ATPE Book Circle forum in the discussion thread of the book of your choosing.
Upcoming ATPE Book Circle Session: Uncommon Learning by Eric C. Sheninger, July 10–August 18
Not an ATPE member? Join today to take advantage of ATPE’s professional development opportunities for teachers, principals, and paraeducators.