Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top Picks for Reflective Professional Reading

Summer vacation is right around the corner. If you’re like me, you probably look forward to June and July as a time for catching up. I have a stack of books and journals that have been piling up in my office that I am very eager to crack open…just not yet. When the school year ends, I need a little time to meander. Before I delve into the hardcore “how-to become a better teacher” stuff, I must have something to help me reflect on the year that just was.

If you’re looking for some great books that help you put your year in perspective and think about education from a different point of view, these are my top three picks:

Outliers: The Story of Success (Amazon affiliate link) by Malcom Gladwell

What makes some succeed and others fail? As teachers, we can never understand this phenomenon too well. This book was fascinating and cast success in a whole new light for me. Whenever I talk to teachers about teaching reading, I ALWAYS think of the 10,000 hour rule.

(And if you like this book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Amazon affiliate link) is my absolute, personal favorite Malcom Gladwell book.)

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future (Amazon affiliate link) by Daniel Pink

I don’t think Daniel Pink intended this book for educators as much as he intended it for business people, but his thinking most definitely extends to what teachers need to know about thinking differently about how people learn. I love the idea of thinking outside of the box and whenever I read this book, I find myself wondering what we in education can and should be doing differently in order to affect great change.

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life (Amazon affiliate link) by Dr. Spencer Johnson

This book is about two mice and two little people on a hunt for cheese—on one level. Really it’s a parable that tells the story of change. If you’re looking for a book to help you put things in perspective and give you a springboard for evaluating what you want to do differently, this is it! In fact, I pulled my copy off the shelf and think I might begin my quest to reflect here. It’s an easy and short read that keeps you thinking for a long time afterward.

What helps you to reflect? Please be sure to share your favorite titles!

No comments: