We all embark on our teaching journeys eager to teach. Most of the time, we have a few basic classroom management strategies to get us started. Throughout my coursework and student teaching, I developed a toolbox of strategies I would be able to use in my own classroom. Those tools and strategies were helpful, but after the honeymoon period passed my first year, I was struggling. Struggling is a HUGE understatement.
I needed better ways to communicate my expectations and get my students’ attention. I needed to minimize transitions, improve my efficiency, and have routines run smoothly.
I sought direction from my colleagues and fellow art teachers. They suggested a course provided by our district: Teaching with Love and Logic. This class was the catalyst that dramatically transformed my teaching. The book and course provided me with tools I could immediately implement.
This led me to AOE’s own Managing the Art Room course, where I was introduced to my classroom management hero, Michael Linsin. Attending an EdCamp led me to Dave Burgess and his book, Teach Like a Pirate. My own elementary school adopted the Top 20 approach to teaching…and quite frankly, life.
Drawing from these experiences, I’ve listed the five books that have most impacted my teaching and why YOU should read them too! Of course, the short descriptions barely scratch the surface af all the spectacular strategies you’ll find in each!
Learn to set boundaries and stick to them like glue. According to Linsin, when students know exactly where the boundary lines are they “have the freedom to develop and excel.”
Learn to be self-aware and purposeful in your classroom management practices. Read implementation strategies designed for immediate application for everyday routines and improving your teaching environment. Gain thoughtful tidbits like “your temperament and composure matter.”
Discover how to live “above the line” and improve your relationships with students, parents, staff, and your administration. The Top 20 philosophy transformed my thinking and my school’s entire climate.
Find out what it means to be a Purple Cow and make your class a highlight of your students’ day! Pick and choose from an extensive list of hooks and approaches for engaging lessons and learn why it’s important to get your hands dirty. A must read for any art teacher!
There is so much valuable information in each of these books. Like I stated above, these engaging reasons were my biggest insights. I re-read and reference these books often. Every time I open each book, I find more relevant information, tools, and strategies.
Have you read any of the above? How did they impact your teaching?
What other books would you add to the list?