Grant Snyder’s latest comic strip “My Bookshelf made me wonder – which books related to teaching (in the broadest sense) would a teacher pencil in under each of the categories he presented? Which ones would YOU add?
Yes, I am using the phrase “pencil in” intentionally. You see, you may change your mind about the choice of book. More than once.
And you may want to rewrite your choice in smaller print inside the grid of his comics so that there’ll be room for a non-teaching-related book as well….
Meanwhile, until you tell meabout your books, here are my choices.
“The book I couldn’t put down”
“Animalia” by Graeme Base. Oh, this most certainly is a book related to teaching. Teaching through the joy of wonder and curiosity! Base has drawn such an elaborate and beautiful alphabet book, with such an incredible number of drawings of words beginning with each letter that you can’t take it all in at once. My sons and I have gone back to this book time and time again and keep discovering more hidden words, looking up possible words and roping in any guest willing to join the fun. There’s even a “Dalek” in there… What a way to learn vocabulary. Thought provoking…
“The book I couldn’t pick up”
Whisper: Apologies. “Second Language Research Methods” by Seliger and Shohamy is still sitting patiently on my bookshelf…
“The book you gave me (I haven’t read it yet, sorry!)”
“Being a teacher” by Lior Halevi , which was a gift from the school and the parents of the graduating class. I feel guilty. The book does look interesting but somehow books I’ve gotten on my own always seem to take precedence…
“The book I brought to the beach”
No, no no. I don’t take books to the beach. Only magazines. Particularly not books related to teaching, which I hope to use and keep for many years! They are usually expensive and must be ordered from abroad or were a gift that I’m grateful for.
“The book I tried so hard to like”
“The Power of Teacher Teams” by Troen and Boles. The book seems so readable and friendly and is supposed to be awesome and helpful but I can’t see the helpful bit… Embarassed…
“The book I somehow own three copies of”
OK, not three, but two. Since I teach Deaf and hard of hearing students, there was a time people thought the perfect gift for me would be “Seeing Voices” by Oliver Sacks. For a while, every time I had two copies of the book I would give one of them away. Shortly after, I would get another copy! I believe I now don’t have a single copy left on the shelf…
“The book that saved my life”
“The Courage to Teach” by Palmer. It isn’t a very easy book to read but it is so powerful and important. A “slow read” makes you think. Being a good teacher can’t be disconnected from thinking about who you are and what you bring to the classroom. Everyone loves to tell a teacher “don’t take it personally” – but why not? How not to? This is a book to own!
“The book that I lent you – can I have it back?”
“Teaching Reading to Deaf Children” by Beatrice Ostern Hart. This was the very first book on education I owned and I read it from cover to cover, certain sections more than once. It was a powerful introduction, with wonderful examples, to what it means to approach reading comprehension in one’s mother tongue with a very limited vocabulary. Very useful for teaching a foreign language as well. This was back in the early 1980’s. Perhaps parts of the book are now outdated but I’ll never find out. I stupidly lent the book to someone, didn’t record the name, and never got it back…
“The book I fall asleep to every night”
NOT A TEACHING RELATED BOOK! Bedtime books are not for work! Regular readers of this blog are well acquainted with what I’m reading as I delight in posting about them. NOT WORK RELATED!
“The book I mistook for a hat”
This is an obvious reference to Oliver Sacks but I’ve already mentioned him. Let’s change the “hat” to ” hard hat” along with a toolbox. The book “Switch” by the Heath Brothers isn’t officially about teaching, but changing behaviors, bad habits and norms are issues a teacher certainly needs to read about. It is easy to connect it to the classroom. Another book that is good to reread from time to time.
“The book I’m desperately trying to write”
A blog, not a book…
“All the books that changed my life”
Here’s to all the books I’ve read and those that are waiting to be read! Life is good!