Fodder for Resolutions, Part 2: Books on Teaching

One class of Chavez scholars in 2007

Last week I posted about books that might be useful in meeting writing resolutions for the new year. Here are some of my favorite teaching-related titles for folks making resolutions to up their efficacy in the classroom in 2011. In the sea of books that promise to make you a better teacher, these are islands of real insight.

Teaching As Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher’s Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap by Steven Farr and Teach For America

I encountered the ideas now collected in this book as a Teach For America corps member in 2004. These concepts shaped–and continue to shape–my teaching practice. If I could pick one book to give to a new teacher eager to effect change in the classroom, this would be it. It helped me to set aside excuses and work strategically every day to solve problems creating barriers to my students’ learning. Caution: the philosophy proposed here may change the way you think about teaching forever.

Time for Meaning: Crafting Literate Lives in Middle & High School by Randy Bomer

This book has been one of the most influential to my teaching, and it helped me to integrate my personal reading and writing life and my work in the classroom. Because of Bomer’s book, I began each year by exchanging letters with my students about our experiences reading and writing. These were an amazing foundation for our work together. He also offers many manageable strategies for managing writing workshops and other classroom experiences targeted to turn students into readers and writers for life.

Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov

I came upon this title (Thanks, Shelley) after my days in the high-school classroom, but its strategies–especially the ideas for making it essentially impossible for students to cop out–have still been useful to me in teaching college. This is a book you can pick up today and start using to make change in your classroom tomorrow.

Psst! Like learning what I think about books? Check out many more reviews of all kinds of books, right here on my website. Like the way all my goodreads reviews magically appear on my website without me having to do ANYTHING? Check out the free plug-in from 314pies (my web designer).


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