What book would you recommend to a teacher to read this year?
For me, particularly for new teachers, it would be ‘How To Teach‘ by @PhilBeadle and/or ‘The Lazy Teacher‘ by Jim Smith. If I could pick one more essential read, it would have to be, ‘Getting The Buggers to Behave‘ by @Sue_Cowley as a staple read for all new teachers.
This is a short and unashamed post in the run up until the holidays, to share some of the reviews my new book has received. Perhaps an opportunity to buy a present for someone or for yourself? Over the past month, my new book Teacher Toolkit: Helping you survive your first five years has received two public reviews in Schools Week newspaper and @UKEdChat Magazine.
Firstly, a review by James Williams, Lecturer in Science Education at the University of Sussex;
Every good worker needs a good toolkit. Ideally one that has a tool for all occasions. I’m not always a fan of ‘tips for teachers’ books. We are a profession and, as such, we must go beyond just copying others and using superficial procedures in the classroom. McGill’s teacher toolkit, is indeed tips for teachers – lots of them – but it does at least try to go beneath the surface of ‘what works’ to explore why it works. You won’t find a huge bibliography linking to cutting edge research, but it’s clear that the approaches described come from more than just a superficial understanding of what makes good teaching. The overarching metaphor of the Vitruvian teacher is inspired and encompasses just those qualities we all seek to develop as teachers, regardless of how long we have been involved in teaching. Written in an engaging, active way, with a user-friendly, humorous it has an easy-to-access structure.
I was intrigued by the index, where under ‘G’ there is just one entry – Grim Reaper. This set my mind racing – just what would I find when I looked up the 5 pages listed? A reference to the short life expectancy of teachers? No, it was my second thought and I’m clearly in-tune with McGill. If you want to know who the Grim Reaper is, I suggest you buy the book. It will do what it says on the cover – it will help you survive the first 5 years. The technology subject influence (McGill’s subject) is clear, but the advice is solid and varied. You may not like all the activities and approaches, but I’m willing to bet there are plenty that will appeal to you and fit your developing teaching approaches. (Source)
Here is what @RichardGerver has to say about this book;
There are some books written by ‘experts’ who have taught for a couple of years and who were fast tracked into the media spotlight, there are books written by ‘researchers’ who tell people how to be successful teachers theoretically and then there is Ross, a teacher who has devoted twenty years to his students and to sharing his experiences to help other, passionate and committed professionals to be the best they can be. This is without a doubt the most authentic, practical and dynamic book I have ever read for teachers. Ross is an education hero because he gives and shares with such honesty and humility. This is about teachers, teaching and children learning; no other agenda… Brilliant, buy it, please! (Source)
This was the first public review of my book by Schools Week; a lovely 3D image was also provided. Nice!
In this review by Tony Parkin says,
I got into the meat of the book. Though meat is not the right word; this book is more like one of those receptions where trays float past with a rich assortment of canapes, rather than sitting down to a roast and two veg. … This rich array of strategies can really help any new teacher get to grips with the job. And so damnably attractively presented. Top quality canapes, in fact.
You can read the full article here; the image below only shows a snapshot.
UKEdChat is an online community-based project that aims to engage with educators, promoting the benefits of online collaborations, sharing practice and professional development through access to networks, news and resources. Their magazine, UKEdMagazine has a mission to engage, support and promote the benefits of teacher collaboration through social media sources.
Their review is written by Martin Burrett;
Here is the full magazine below; click to open.
If I can write a book, so can you …