Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Notes on Teaching: A Short Guide to an Essential Skill [Giveaway]

I'm no conspiracy nut, but I think the authors of Notes on Teaching: A Short Guide to an Essential Skill,  Shellee Hendricks and Russell Reich, must be somehow reading my thoughts. They've managed to put together a book that's one of the best companion pieces to this blog that I've ever read, including my own books.  There are 184 "notes" in Notes on Teaching, grouped by topic and with each going into detail without being too long winded or overwhelming.

A few examples that I particularly loved:

174. Put away the jargon. We rightly try to use the correct language and vocabulary to teach concepts, but we often get lost in it and forget to actually teach the concept and develop the vocabulary along the way.

159. Open your door. In a world where separate offices and cubicles are being replaced by more open concepts across industries, this is an important lesson to you can teach your students by example.

114. Notice what they [students] want you to notice. In other words, pay attention to your kids. I've been reflecting on my career for a while now, and showing your students you care in as many ways as you can is one of the best ways to get them engaged and on the right track in and out of your classroom.

172. Be an eternal student. Perhaps the best advice she (and I) could give you for any career.

Of course, I didn't agree with everything (Never use sarcasm), nor did I think everything was particularly realistic for everyone (Clean the slate daily).  Yet I found little to quibble with, and came away thinking Notes on Teaching is a more explicit version of my own book, Teaching is Not a Four Letter Word. We both offer straightforward advice culled from years of practice, observation and professional learning, but there's enough to compare and contrast that you will certainly get a lot out of Hendricks and Reich's work.

RCR Creative Press sent me a review copy that I want to give away to a teacher (or future teacher) that wants it.  If you're interested, email teachforever@gmail.com with the subject "Notes on Teaching giveaway" by 11:59pm CST on Wednesday. I'll pick a random winner and send them the book! Good luck and thanks for reading.