I asked my tumblr followers:
What book should every teacher read?
here are zwelinzima answers:
In no order,
1.) The Book of Learning and Forgetting, by Frank Smith, discusses social relevance and control
In this thought-provoking book, Frank Smith explains how schools and educational authorities systematically obstruct the powerful inherent learning abilities of children, creating handicaps that often persist through life. The author eloquently contrasts a false and fabricated “official theory” that learning is work (used to justify the external control of teachers and students through excessive regulation and massive testing) with a correct but officially suppressed “classic view” that learning is a social process that can occur naturally and continually through collaborative activities. This book will be crucial reading in a time when national authorities continue to blame teachers and students for alleged failures in education. It will help educators and parents to combat sterile attitudes toward teaching and learning and prevent current practices from doing further harm.
2.) Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, speaks, again—directly and eloquently—on liberating young minds (here is my recommendation again)
“There is no way to help a learner to be disciplined, active, and thoroughly engaged unless he perceives a problem to be a problem or whatever is to-be-learned as worth learning, and unless he plays an active role in determining the process of solution.”
― Neil Postman, Teaching as a Subversive Activity
3.) Walking on Water, by Derrick Jensen, has just awesome stories with terrific lessons about asking questions (Note: I also recommend this book highly)
Walking on Water is a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by a writer increasingly recognized for his passionate and articulate critique of modern civilization. This time Derrick Jensen brings us into his classroom—whether college or maximum security prison—where he teaches writing. He reveals how schools perpetuate the great illusion that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that learning to please and submit to those in power makes us into lifelong clock-watchers. As a writing teacher Jensen guides his students out of the confines of traditional education to find their own voices, freedom, and creativity.
breenaisawalrus said: "Teacher" by Sylvia Ashton-Warner who said “When I teach people, I marry them”. Wonderful.
This is a great book. So many of my favorite books recommend or cite this book as an influence. Really a lot to be learned from this book. Her methods of teaching reading and writing have influenced many, but it was her story that really touched me.
Thanks of for the recommendation breenaisawalrus!
Here is a summery:
TEACHER was first published in 1963 to excited acclaim. Its author, Sylvia Ashton-Warner, who lived in New Zealand and spent many years teaching Maori children, found that Maoris taught according to British methods were not learning to read. They were passionate, moody children, bred in an ancient legend-haunted tradition; how could she build them a bridge to European culture that would enable them to take hold of the great joy of reading? Ashton-Warner devised a method whereby written words became prized possessions for her students. Today, her findings are strikingly relevant to the teaching of socially disadvantaged and non-English-speaking students. TEACHER is part diary, part inspired description of Ashton-Warner’s teaching method in action. Her fiercely loved children come alive individually, as do the unique setting and the character of this extraordinary woman.
-Adventures in Learning
Via Adventures in Learning’s Recommendations
Is this really how we should test reading development in kids?
A test that has been used since 2001 and given to millions of young students is critiqued.
We use DRA at our school. I am not sure it is the best program as I find asking children to read one or even two books on clue is not the best way to access their needs in reading or level. I often find slow readers are often just discouraged to read by all the extra attention given to them as slow readers. They love reading they just don’t love the way we are trying to help them become better readers. I still struggle with when it is best to start “teaching” slow readers to read. I think most kids want to read and love reading until we start “teaching” it. As it is my job often to teach the slow readers I try my best to give them the tools to be good readers without removing their love of reading.
What does your school use and what are your thoughts on teaching slow readers?
I am grateful to all the change agents of the world!
1. Grateful for being able to see William Ayers at U of O last night.
2. Grateful to work and play with many amazing community working to make the world more sustainable, just and democratic.
3. Grateful for mentor texts like Walk Out, Walk On and Active Hope, and Democratic Education: A Beginning of a Story.
4. Grateful that my mom taught me to question everything.
5. Grateful to grow up in a house that was full of books, learning and reading.
-Adventures in Learning
Life with Boys: From a TEacher
I see your points and agree with many of them, on the other hand, do you know what it is like for a parent to ask a teacher for advice and get no response? Or even worse, be asked to clarify who their child even is-even though you give child’s name and what block they have the teacher in? Do you know, as a parent, what it is like to set up a meeting with a teacher, to try and come to some resolution, or get some answers only to be told that basically your child is a screw up and they are just biding time until they can get rid of them? Do you know what it is like to walk by a classroom and see a teacher sleeping and kids just doing busy work?
Part of these problems are systematic of our education system. Our system rewards and encourages busy work, and suck innovation right out of teachers. I will not apologize or defend teachers who sleep or care less, but I also can’t blame them.
Teachers are attacked on a daily basis. Many are given a new top down reform change yearly with little input from them or even taking into account their students or their knowledge of those students. Little have autonomy to teach the way they know is best. They are given huge class loads, told to cover an insane amount of content, and have their pay and time cut every year. The teachers who raise above this, are awesome; the ones that fight it often get fired or moved; and even more just give up.
Think about it in terms of parenting, or your job…
So I encourage you to think more holistically about why some teachers suck, and if they are just truly “horrible” people (my words not yours) then lets work on helping them leave the profession. However I don’t truly think there are more then one or two teacher in each school like this… or at least that was my experience.
-adventures in learning
I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.
This week, I asked my students about their passions. I asked them to tell me one thing in their lives that drives them to want to learn and succeed more. Almost all students answered with the name of a sport. Two spoke of music. One was thrilled to tell me about her art. A first grader replied that she loves writing more than anything. When they spoke of these passions, their eyes lit up and they were excited about these parts of their lives. I want to harness that joy, that intrinsic drive, that passion. I do believe that each of my students can find literacy irresistible if they are taken down the right avenue to get there. I would love the input of educators who have found innovative and inspiring ways to bridge the gaps for struggling students. What would you add to a dream literacy “fab lab” to help inspire a desire to read and learn?