Recently I posed a question on this blog:
If you could give just 1 book to a new teacher (or a teacher who really wanted to further develop their skills and expertise), what would it be?
Here are the answers I received:
Cathy Fisher (Teaching & Learning Coordinator, Maercker School District 60, Dupage County, IL)
Margaret Seidel (6th Grade Teacher, Avon Public School District, Avon, CT)
Eric Martin (Director of Outreach, Institute for Character Development, Drake University)
Tom Lickona (Professor of Education, Director of the Center for the 4th & 5th R’s, SUNY Cortland)
(When you literally wrote the book on a field like Tom did, in this case Character Education…see Matt D’s recommendations…you’re allowed to suggest 2 books)
Matt Davidson (President, Director of Education, and Co-Founder of IEE)
“I have 3 copies of this, all of which are highlighted and marked up with tons of notes. It’s practical, has lots of suggestions for many of the most common classroom management, discipline, and character development challenges.”
(If you’re my boss, you get the quote from your email posted on the blog)
As for me…I used and continue to use the strategies presented in The Smart & Good School Report (by Tom Lickona & Matt Davidson) in every interaction I have with teachers, students, athletes, and most other people I meet. It is absolutely one of the most valuable resources I’ve ever come across (and you can download it in its entirety for free!)
The other book I used every single day after I got it and passed on to many of my colleagues was
This book has a quote and a discussion question for every single day of the school year to use with your students oriented around weekly topics. There is also an idea for an activity for each week to help pull the theme through from Monday to Friday for increased student learning. I used this in my elementary classroom every morning to start our day during morning meeting, I used it to develop a “Pride Code” for a high school football team throughout a season, and I know teachers who have put it into every situation from suburban elementary schools to urban high schools with incredible results. At IEE, our Power2Achieve Foundations and Toolkits provide intense and intentional ways for schools and teachers to shape the culture and help students their performance and moral character…but if I could give one teacher one book for them to use immediately, this would be it…In other words…get it and use it!!
Please continue to send me your recommendations or post them as a reply to this post! Let’s continue to develop our list of essential resources every teacher should have!