Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teach'em, Aug 10, 2008.
Aug 10, 2008
What book(s) made you a better teacher? Any you would highly recommend for new teachers?
Strategies that Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis changed the way I thought about teaching reading. As a middle school teacher, I always taught literary analysis, not how to read; now I teach kids how to think deeply about what they're reading, and how to pay attention to the clicks and clunks of reading comprehension.
I also changed as a teacher when I read In the Middle by Nancie Atwell. The idea of teaching in a workshop was powerful for me. I don't try to be just like her, but I have taken parts of what she does and made that fit my particular teaching situation.
I teach 9th grade LA. Do you think this book would be beneficial for me at this grade level?
Actually, I think it could be. It nicely defines the strategies and gives you lesson ideas for how to teach them. The difference for you would be the text you choose to use for your think aloud lessons and for the kids to use for their independent work. For high school, I would also suggest the work of Cris Tovani, who teaches high school in Colorado.
Teaching Children to Care/The First Six Weeks of School/Reading with Meaning/The Art of Teaching Reading/The Art of Teaching Writing-- there are more but I can't think at the moment.
Personally, I don't think any book can make you a better teacher. There is so much good info out there that it's pretty difficult to narrow it down that much. That doesn't mean I don't love to go through the books and find new and innovative ideas. However, I think what really makes a person a better teacher is to be able to find things that click with your personal style and personality and tweak them to make them your own...and you won't get that from one place. Nothing can replace time and experience for this. As you find the things that work for you and develop your personal style, you will find a certain comfort level and real enjoyment in teaching. When you can enjoy teaching and learning as you go, I think that's what really makes someone a better teacher. The great part is the journey never really ends.
Yes, I have Tovani's: I Can Read It, But I Don'T Understand It. It has many good ideas for teaching reading comprehension. I wish I had time to concentrate on reading comprehension strategies only. Once they hit high school, we have so little time to focus on one particular area. The number of standards we must master is nothing short of a miracle. I know all teachers must deal with this, but in Ohio our graduation test is administered in 10th grade; pressure is on starting in 9th!
Teaching Outside the Box by LouAnne Johnson
Any of Kelly Gallagher's books
They Say, I Say
Aug 11, 2008
True, the book itself does not make me a better teacher, but the reflective part about reading and thinking about my practice and how I can use what I'm reading to improve it DOES make me a better teacher. I can't think of a time when I've read a book and tried to implement its ideas to the letter; rather I think about what the author says and its implications for me and my teaching situations. I do the same thing when I go to observe in my colleagues classrooms, which by the way, is a great way to learn new things. I take everything I learn and put it through my personal filter.
These books have made me a better writing teacher for "Littles"
About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray
Talking, Drawing, Writing: Lessons for our Youngest Writers by Martha Horn and Mary Ellen Giocobbe
The Literate Kindergarten by Susan Kempton
I think that you can learn to be a better teacher from professional reading. Otherwise, why would it be so important for us to have book studies? You read and analyze and experiment.. then try some more. Good luck!
That's pretty much what I was trying to say. They key is putting what you take in through that personal filter to make it your own and make it work for you.
Duffy's Explaining Reading
Fountas & Pinnell's Teaching for Comprehending & Fluency
These books definitely inspired me to be a great teacher:
Ron Clark's Excellent 11 and Essential 55
Teach with Your Heart by Erin Gruwell (the freedom writer's teacher)
Ron Clark Story and Freedom Writer's are both great, inspiring movies too!
Thank you all for your suggestions! I have alot of reading and thinking/filtering to do! :lol: