I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to read professional books about teaching. You probably think that I am kidding, but I am not. There is something about reading about teaching that is really refreshing to me.
The bigger struggle for me is always finding time to read all the books that I want to. With this being said, I pulled together a list of seven professional books that I have read over and over again. Not only are these books motivating, but they continue to be resources that I return to over and over again.
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When I was trying to decide which books to include in this post as well as what order to put them in, I decided to go with the order in which I read them.
This book was required reading for my very first education course in college and has been my best buddy ever since. I honestly reread it at least once a year, even years that I am not in the classroom. It is just that good. It is FULL of common sense actions to take in the classroom to build relationships with your students and have a healthy functioning classroom. I really cannot sing its praises high enough.
I grew up in an extremely strict household and held the belief that discipline had everything to do with punishment and negatives. That is until I really dove into this book, another required read for a college education course.
This book is the way that I learned to build a positive, interdependent classroom community from day one. It helped me to establish class meetings which began an absolutely integral part of our community and led to our classroom feeling much more like a family than a bunch of strangers thrown in together for a year. This meant that when struggles did arise we were able to handle them with dignity and love towards one another.
This book is all about change and accepting change rather than fighting it. As teachers, we have to come to terms with change on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily basis, and even at just a moment’s notice. You will read this book really quickly. I read this book at least once a year.
AND because learning to deal with change is such an important lesson there is also a children’s version of the book that I have enjoyed sharing with my students.
The final book from my college days that motivates me to this day is Kagan Cooperative Learning. This is where my love affair with cooperative learning started, and it has never ended. This book has everything you need from rationale to structures. It also has activities to get you started with cooperative learning. Soon you will be as in love with it as I am.
The truth is that there are so many nuances that go into cooperative learning. You may as well go straight to the source and get all the details.
It is all about motivation and I took home lessons about what motivates me as well as how I could work to motivate others around me, namely my students. While reading this one, make sure you keep an open mind for how the different ideas can be used in your classroom and you are sure to come away motivated!
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