Five Great Reads to Expand my Teaching Community

Last spring I posted a list of recommended reads I used to transition back into my teaching frame of mind in the United States after working for almost ten years in Guatemala. However, I found that these reads, more than a graduate course or another certification, were most useful in defining teacher identity and possible roles for that identity. More recently, my book choices have subconsciously moved beyond myself and into the creation of my greater community of teachers.

As a means to advocate for a more inclusive definition of “teacher” and as a result construct a wider community of teachers for myself, the books on this list are not “for educators” specifically even when they are academic. Post Guatemala, I want to explore teacher literacy and the knowledge transference possible in our professional community. This has been evermore necessary as a means to continue my job search. However, as a professional “teacher” culture we can develop vocabulary and make meaning through the stories we tell not only for our students but for ourselves.

If I believed that I would fail as a teacher or admit failure because I was no longer a “teacher”, as defined in a limited way and qualified by “classroom”, there are more books in that library to be read, to be told, to be written. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to redefine and thus recognize so many teachers in my life who I never knew were there. Similar to my previous list, teachers sometimes appear, but teaching is not any one book’s focus.

Grant, Adam. (2013). Give and Take: a revolutionary approach to success.

Viking:New York.

BECAUSE IN ORDER TO BE AN ADVOCATE IN SOCIETY, YOU MUST FIRST LEARN TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF. SUCCESS OR FAILURE IN TEACHING DEPENDS UPON CHOICES AND RELATIONSHIPS BUILT INTENTIONALLY, AND NOT BECAUSE TEACHERS SHOULD ONLY GIVE AND NOT TAKE.

Bell, Susan.(2007). The artful edit: on the practice of editing yourself. W.W. Norton

& Company:New York.

BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU NEED A NEW CONTEXT OR CONVERSATION TO GIVE AND RECEIVE CRITICISM. THE WAY BELL CONSTRUCTS EDITING CONVERSATIONS ARE GREAT MODELS FOR PEER COACHING.

Neuman, Susan B.(2012). Giving our Children a Fighting Chance: Poverty, Literacy and the Development

of Information Capital. New York: Teachers College Press.

BECAUSE SO MUCH IS ASSUMED OF EACH INDIVIDUAL WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE ON A TEACHING ROLE WITH A STUDENT OR COACH A TEACHER. LIBRARIANS AND PARENTS ARE JUST TWO EXAMPLES WHERE MORE RESOURCES DON’T MEAN MORE ACCESS OR ABILITY TO USE THEM. TEACHERS STRUGGLE FOR MENTORSHIP BOTH IN AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM.

Yancy McGuire, Saundra.(2015). Teach Students How to Learn. Sterling: Stylus.

BECAUSE TEACHERS ARE LEARNERS AND LEARNERS ARE TEACHERS.A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY MUST DEVELOP A SHARED LANGUAGE AND SUPPORT THE LEARNING OF THE LANGUAGE BY INTERROGATING KEY TERMS.LEARNING TO LEARN IS THE BASIS OF THE LANGUAGE FOR MY COMMUNITY OF TEACHERS.

Alexie, Sherman.(2007). The absolutely true diary of a part-time indian. New York: Little Brown.

BECAUSE WE ALL BELONG TO MANY DIFFERENT TRIBES AND MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE BELONG TO THE TRIBE OF TEACHING.OFTEN A LYRICAL, MELANCHOLY TALE FOR A CHILD ALLOWS OUR ADULT MINDS AND HEARTS TO REMEMBER TRUTHS WE FORGOT.

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