I remember so few of the books that I read while I was getting my teaching certificate. I am sure I use the knowledge I gained, but other than Harry Wong’s First Days of School, a book I read on my own, I do not remember any of them.
Within the last two years, I have read two books that will stay with me for my entire career. Both I wish I had read when starting my first job (though I do not think they were both out!)
The first, is Dave Burgess’s Teach Like a PIRATE. PIRATE is an acronym for Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask & Analyze, Transformation, and Enthusiasm. Each is described in ways that lead to greater teaching and more joy in the classroom. Read it, Live it! You wont regret this book!
The Second is Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal’s Reframing the Path to School Leadership. This is a narrative story of a new principal and a new teacher and the advice they get from veteran mentors as they find their way. If I had read this before my first teaching job, I would have been able to more clearly understand schools as a political, cultural animal. You don’t need to be a school leader to benefit from this book! If you never thought about the interplay of culture and political factions within a building, this book will open your eyes.
Both books opened my mind to new ways of thinking that enhanced my practice and helped me to be a better all around teacher. You probably didn’t read these books in your Teacher prep, but you should!