July 10, 2017

5 Books for Educators

5 Books for Summer Reading
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I absolutely love reading books!  My summers are scheduled with books that I have been collecting all school year!  I never have time to really devour a book during the school year.  I may read a book each night for a few minutes before I pass out, but it’s not like during the uninterrupted time of June and July when  I can finish a book in a couple of hours. 
There aren’t many genres that I care to read.  If someone shares a book and it’s fiction I tend to shy away from it.  It’s just not my favorite genre.  I really enjoy non-fiction, especially if it deals with history or social issues.  I save my fiction for movie watching! 
Here is a list of books that I think are very helpful for educators no matter what stage of your career you’re in. 

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School by Monique W. Morris 

This book will have you walking away in disbelief if you have never heard of the cases Ms. Morris describes in the book.  It explains the school to prison pipeline for black girls via zero tolerance policies that have been put in place.   Black girls are being criminalized in the place where they should be receiving an education as well as help to underlying issues.  The author talks about the struggle of  African Americans female to receive an education while dismissing stereotypes that society holds.  It’s a very enlightening read because so much focus has been put on black males that we tend to forget the impact of incarceration as it relates to black girls. 

The Essential 55 by Ron Clark

Essential 55
I loved this book so much that I used its tenets to create a product for my classroom morning work.  Mr. Clark is the founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.  There was a TV movie made about his life as an educator.  The book talks about the 55 guidelines or rules for interacting with others.  This book made my list because I am a believer in teaching character education to students along with geometry, reading, and learning about matter.  The book discusses things like having self-respect and how we treat others.  These are things that many students do not receive at home.  You many not need to go through all 55 lessons but it’s a great starting point. 

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow

This book is non-fiction but it had me in tears throughout until I came to the end.  The premise of the book is that there is now a new caste system which replaces the Jim Crow laws of old.  The author goes through the history of America and its racism towards people who aren’t of European decent.  She also compares mass incarceration to Jim Crow.  The United States’ incarceration rate is the highest in the world.  Alexander also discusses how the War on Drugs is a complete charade.  When you read this book through the lens of an educator, you have a new understanding of why it is so important to make sure that children of color have an excellent academic foundation.    

Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
Get Your Pirate On!

This book is very inspirational and had me ready to stand on chairs and shout once I finished reading it.  It was all about student engagement.  I think this was the book that renewed my spirit for teaching.    Burgess offers practical techniques and innovative ideas that helped transform me as an educator. I think this is a great read for new teachers but a must read for us seasoned teachers that may have lost our way. 

Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching EverydayNo Matter What by Angela Watson
Check it out!

I found out about this book after researching Angela Watson who is the owner of the 40 Hour Teacher Work Week Club.  I had heard so many great things about the club I started researching Watson and fell in love with her ideas and techniques.  I submitted a video and was awarded a scholarship to take part in the club.  I’m all about working smarter and not harder and enjoying my workday because it will help alleviate stress.  If that’s you, this book should be your next read.  I’m such a book nerd that I have to take notes while reading.  I’ve almost written my own book with all the notes I have taken from this book.  It’s full of practical ideas and advice that can be implemented right away to get your passion back for teaching and make your day more efficient. 

Whatever you read during your summer break should be something that grows you as an educator but will also relieve the pressures that we go through as teachers. 

Enjoy your time off, it’s well deserved!!