This blog was originally posted on The Freshman Transition Network
Here are some great books to consider reading and/or sharing with your students.
Over the years I have been amazed by the number of educators who don't read books related to our field. We recognize the importance of our students reading but then overlook how important it is for us. Perhaps part of the reason is that many books on educational topics are pretty dry. Also, many such books are written by "the experts" and seem to have little real-world application. Well here are some books that I am confident you will enjoy reading and be able to apply to your classrooms and schools.
- They Call Me Coach - John Wooden - Learn from the master. John Wooden was an amazing coach - perhaps the best ever - because he taught young people how to live, not just play basketball. Read his book and then apply his strategies to how you run your classroom and interact with your students.
- The John Wooden Pyramid of Success - by Neville Johnson - One of John Wooden's greatest accomplishments was the creation of the Pyramid of Success. As Ray Moore has blogged about on The Freshman Transition Network, the Pyramid can be used in your classroom to teach students about success and to give them a pathway for attaining it.
- The Courage to Teach - by Parker Palmer - Teaching is an act of hospitality toward the young. Teaching takes amazing courage. Too often we feel professionally defeated by the hardships we face in the classroom. Remind yourself why you went into teaching and find the courage to be the teacher your students need.
- Teaching with Love and Logic - by Jim Faye and David Funk - Have you ever found yourself being sucked into confrontational situations with your students? How we react to our students and how we decide to handle disciplinary situations can make or break our classrooms. Gain practical strategies and ideas for dealing with potentially confrontational situations.
- You Can Be President (or anything else) - by Bob Moore - So many of our students are lacking images of success. Too many have only seen adults get frustrated and quit. They need to see people who when faced with failure kept going and then succeeded. This book is full of those stories. (Some are dated, though, as OJ Simpson is a hero in the book!)
- The First Days of School - by Harry Wong - We encourage teams of teachers to develop shared expectations and classroom leadership strategies. Often it can be difficult for teachers to agree on what to share. This book can be an excellent source of ideas. Rather than say - "I do it this way." - a team of teachers can go through this practice guide and find things they all like.
- Whale Done - by Ken Blanchard - This book is written for the business world but it applies to the classroom. Sea World trainers say that no one can MAKE a killer whale do anything. I think teachers might say that no one can MAKE a 15 year-old do anything either. But these trainers use certain principles to get killer whales to do amazing things. Teachers can use the same principles with students.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens - by Sean Covey - Everyone wants to teach students how to live lives of strength and success, but how do we do that? Wouldn't it be nice to have a curriculum? Well Sean Covey's book can be just that curriculum. Use it as a way to teach your students how to live effective and meaningful lives.
- The Ninth Grade Opportunity: Transforming Schools from the Bottom Up - Scott Habeeb, Ray Moore, Alan Seibert - This suggestion is obviously self-serving as I am one of the authors. However, if you are looking to create a plan for Freshman Transition in your school you won't find another book on the topic.
Those are just a few suggestions. If you have any to add please feel free to leave suggestions as replies to this post. Let me know if you have any questions.