January 6, 2011
Al Boerema starts the conversation:
The theme of the next issue is books that all Christian educators should read. Our contribution will be the books that you are reading these days and think would be good for others to read.
January 14, 2011
Rebecca De Smith starts it off:
Happy new year to all!
For busy teachers, it’s sometimes difficult to find time and energy to read, whether for pleasure or for expanding our competence as teachers. I am blessed to teach with colleagues who are willing to share interesting book ideas and to engage in meaningful dialogue after reading. I’ve listed a few books from this past year that have been a stimulus for change and growth in my teaching.
The most thought-provoking book on education I’ve read recently is What’s Worth Fighting for in Your School? by Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves. This book shares practical ideas for how teachers can begin to make positive changes in their school. I really appreciate how the authors advise teachers and principals to strive for balance between respecting individualism and encouraging collaboration as we work to improve our schools.
I have read some of Daniel H. Pink’s books this past year. In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink provides an engaging look at motivation. His idea that intrinsic motivation is what really brings satisfaction and helps us realize our fullest potential challenges teachers to look at how we can authentically motivate our students in the classroom.
Another of Pink’s books, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, focuses on the premise that we need to expand our right brain if we want to succeed in our world. It’s an interesting read as teachers prepare students for living and working in a fast-paced, technology-driven world.
Currently, the professional learning community in our school is discussing Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Seven Laws of the Learner: How to Teach Almost Anything to Practically Anyone. This book outlines seven principles and techniques that enable teachers to make a lasting impact on their teaching and on their student’s learning. It’s a great book to discuss with colleagues, providing opportunities to make his ideas personal and applicable in your school.
January 15, 2011
Mary Ashun added:
Thanks for lighting a fire under me Rebecca! I needed that. I also have enjoyed Daniel Pink’s book so I second what Rebecca says. Now to my reading list. I’ve been reading fiction set in different cultures in an attempt to be more globally aware. I’m daily reminded of the multicultural society we are living in, and while I demand that others try to understand me, I wonder to what extent have I tried to understand others? So here is my little list of what I’ve read so far:
The Romance Reader, by Pearl Abraham—The story of a Hasidic girl in New York City, questioning her identity, circumstances, her family’s rituals, and her impending marriage to a rabbi. An eye opener for me.
Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda—The story of the search for a birth mother by a young Indian woman adopted by an Indian father and her American mother.
American Fuji, by Sara Backer—An American female professor of English is introduced to Japanese culture when she accepts a position to teach in a Japanese university. She is able to live the expatriate lifestyle without encountering “too much” Japanese culture until she loses her prestigious job and has to work as a funeral director in a funeral home that sells dreams of “space death” to wealthy Japanese. A lovely book.