Bookshelf

Reading Time: 9 minutes

What books are on your bookshelf this year?

I think I’ve got between 1,000 – 2,000 books in my house. I’ve never counted them and have probably read less than 50%; some gathering dust as family heirlooms, other signed by David Walliams and Carol Dweck to name a couple, as well as many childhood memories and recent adventures into countless eclectic topics from Nichiren Buddhism, Taoism, astronomy to British plants and birds. Over the past 10 years, my collection of educational books has taken over a small bedroom-makeshift-office, which is slowly brimming with teaching books rising up from the bedside table to the ceiling!

The books on my windowsill for 2017

Once the teaching term comes to an end, reading is a non-stop pleasure. These are the books that I’m reading; sitting alongside on work-desk windowsill. I hope to get through them all throughout 2017.

This post just shares what they are – from left to right – with an image and link to Amazon and a short book overview. Underneath the book introduction, I have included my current reading progress of all 26 books.

1. The Sketchnote Handbook:

The Sketchnote Handbook explains and illustrates practical sketchnote techniques for taking visual notes at your own pace as well as in real-time during meetings and events.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

 

 

 

2. Open

A collection of hactivists, hobbyists, forum-users and maverick leaders are leading a quiet but unstoppable revolution. They are sharing everything they know, and turning knowledge into action in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago. Driven by technology, and shaped by common values, going ‘open’ has transformed the way we live. It’s not so much a question of if our workplaces, schools and colleges go open, but when.

Progress:

  • I have finished reading this book and would recommend it. This is a fantastic book!

 

 

 

3. Managing Teacher Workload

It is acknowledged that the quality of teaching is the critical factor in raising standards of learning. And yet teachers’ workload has rocketed in recent years, leaving morale for many at rock-bottom. Recent DfE analysis shows that primary teachers work around 60 hours a week and school leaders even longer. This is not sustainable. Teachers need an end to excessive working hours.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

4. The Day Poppa Turned Into A Star

Aidan and Poppa spend hours and hours playing together and going on adventures together. Then, unexpectedly, Poppa gets very poorly. Join us on Aidan’s sad and moving journey throughout this difficult time, how Aidan wades through a variety of different emotions and situations before finally realising that Poppa will always be there, just in a different way.

Progress:

  • I have finished reading this book and would recommend it. It is a wonderful story for children dealing with bereavement.

5. Teach, Reflect, Doodle.

You don’t just read this book, you add to it, doodle in it, document your thoughts in it and make it your very own personal manual to becoming the best teacher you can be whilst hopefully keeping stress to a minimum!

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

 

6. Inner Story

This is a book about you. There are two stories inside your head. One is about your life. The other is controlling your life – that story is your Inner Story. It is created in your mind and controls everything that you think, feel and do. If you want to be more confident, successful and happier or want to perform better as an individual or as a team you have to know your inner story. How much do you know about yours? Written by award-winning psychologist Dr Tim O’Brien.

Progress:

  • I have finished reading this book and would recommend it. It is well-thought out and parts are very relevant for teachers.

7. The Confident Teacher

The Confident Teacher offers a practical, step-by-step guide to developing the habits, characteristics and pedagogy that will enable you to do the best job possible. It unveils the tacit knowledge of great teachers and combines it with respected research and popular psychology.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

8. Liminal Leadership

Liminal Leadership empowers current and prospective school leaders at all levels to scrutinise, polish and advance their skills to build enriching, aspirational and ultimately fulfilling cultures within which to work.

Progress:

  • I have finished reading this book and would recommend it.

 

9. Mr. Brown’s Suitcase

Jez, a troubled young boy, finds both school and home life pretty challenging. His mum is struggling to cope, his unpleasant stepdad is often drunk, and it is always left to Jez to take care of his two younger brothers. Life is tough.

Progress:

  • I have not yet started reading this.

 

10. The Art of Standing Out

The Art of Standing Out is the culmination of 18 years of experience as a Head for Andrew Morrish, who has a proven and unblemished record for transforming challenging schools from special measures to outstanding.

Progress:

  • I have finished reading this book and would recommend it.

 

11. The Slightly Awesome Teacher

Most books on teaching ask teachers to be inspirational, to operate at 100 miles an hour with creativity oozing out of every pore. Dominic Salles says that’s unsustainable. But you can get brilliant results using some simple practices taken from the myriad of educational research on classroom practices. This isn’t a guide to all the extra stuff you should do to become cool and awesome. It is a book that will get you to forget about teaching and think about learning.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

12. Leading and Managing a Well Workplace

Leaders and managers have significant power to shape a healthy working culture that nourishes staff well-being and underpins improved organisational performance. In today’s pressured working environments, where so many demands are made on education professionals, it is more important than ever that leaders and managers take care of their own well-being and that of their colleagues. This booklet has been informed by the learning from casework undertaken by AMiE and ATL on behalf of members where staff health and well-being have been placed at risk due to the lack of good well-being practice.

You can download this book for free here.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

13. High Challenge, Low Threat: How the Best Leaders Find the Balance

High Challenge, Low Threat is Mary Myatt’s smart and thoughtful exploration of all the things that wise leaders do. Informed through thousands of conversations over a 20-year period in education, Mary shows the lessons that school management teams can learn from leaders in a wide range of other sectors and points to the conditions which these leaders create to allow colleagues to engage with difficult issues enthusiastically and wholeheartedly.

Progress:

  • I have finished reading this book and would recommend it.

14. Leadership Matters: How Leaders at All Levels Create Great Schools

‘Leadership Matters: How leaders at all levels create great schools’ improves the educational outcomes for children by empowering educational leaders in national, regional and local contexts to examine, refine and develop their management skills. Andy takes in-depth and diagnostic approach, encouraging leaders at all levels in schools to think about their own personal qualities; their specific situation; their own leadership actions; and their own overall leadership approach.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

15. Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change?

Finnish Lessons 2.0, Pasi Sahlberg has thoroughly updated his groundbreaking account of how Finland built a world-class education system during the past four decades. In this international bestseller, Sahlberg traces the evolution of Finnish education policies and highlights how they differ from the United States and much of the rest of the world.

Progress:

  • I have not yet started reading this.

16. Teaching: Level 1: Everything I wanted to know when I started out as a teacher.

In a self-published book, the author says: There are no pedagogical theories or proposed speculative methodologies to be found here. I am going to show you, in the most practical of ways, exactly what to do so that when you are asked to teach your first classes, you will do your job fabulously from the word go. With practical exercises so that you can put into practice all that you read, this book will help you structure your presentations and astonish your students.

Progress:

  • I have not yet started reading this.

17. Twitter Power 3.0: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time

This book is the best business leader′s guide to Twitter, with the most up to date information on trends in social media, branding, and competitive research. Readers will learn that viral content doesn′t happen by accident, why videos and photos are crucial to engagement, and how to measure the success of a Twitter strategy using specific and accurate metrics.

Progress:

  • I have not yet started reading this.

18. The Establishment: And how they get away with it.

Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City.

Progress:

  • I have not yet started reading this.

19. 100 Social Innovations from Finland

One might wonder what a single-chamber parliament, dish drying cabinets and text messaging have in common. Or what the link is between maternity packs, xylitol, the sauna and free school meals. The answer is simple: they are all Finnish social innovations. In Finland, as elsewhere, technical inventions have hogged all the economic limelight, but it is only recently that social innovations have been highlighted as the foundation of societal harmony. Gender equality, free education, universal social security and parliamentary democracy, and the consequent social stability they create, have secured Finland’s welfare.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

20. The School Leadership Journey: What 40 Years in Education Has Taught Me About Leading Schools in an Ever-Changing Landscape

In this outstanding book, John reveals all that he has learned about teaching and leadership over a stellar 40-year career, interweaved with a series of enlightening stories about government education policy over the last 20 years and the way in which successful schools have navigated the changing policy landscape.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

21. Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

This comprehensive resource will equip primary and secondary teachers and SENDCos with the training and skills they need to fully support children with SEND in mainstream classrooms.

Cherryl Drabble draws on her vast experience as a CPD leader, NQT mentor and her many years of working with working with SEND to provide guidance, practical activities and strategies for evaluating and strengthening your practice.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

22. Mantle of the Expert: A Transformative Approach to Education

One reviewer says this about the book: “This is the book I wish I had had when I was starting out as a teacher. And even now, twenty-one years on, I know it’s one I’ll return to again and again. Tim doesn’t just tell us – in simple, clear and glorious detail – the what and how of Mantle of the Expert. But he delves beautifully and sensitively into the why.”

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

23. Playing with Fire: Embracing risk and danger in schools

In the superb Playing With Fire, Mike urges all schools to follow his lead, empowering other Heads and their schools to provide activities for their pupils which include an element of risk and danger. With entertaining and visual examples of his work at West Rise, including bee keeping, water buffalo breeding, shooting, archery, Forest School, paddle boarding, and skinning rabbits, Mike breezily demonstrates how teething problems and mistakes are part and parcel of risk-taking and should be embraced.

Progress:

  • I have not yet started reading this.

24. Sex, Likes and Social Media: Talking to our teens in the digital age.

For most parents, the digital landscape that our kids and teens are growing up in is uncharted territory. How do we know if they’re happy? How do we talk to them about sex and relationships? How do we give them the new tools they need when we don’t have them ourselves?

This book is here to help.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

25. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers: The Michaela Way

This book raises challenging questions for teachers and school leaders about how they see education. In this book, over 20 Michaela teachers explore controversial ideas that improve the lives of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Michaela is blazing a trail in education, defying many of the received notions about what works best in schools.

I am reading this over Christmas and will blog my thoughts here.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

26. Flip The System

Education is threatened on a global scale by forces of neoliberalism, through high stakes accountability, privatization and a destructive language of learning. In all respects, a GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) has erupted from international benchmark rankings such as PISA, TIMMS and PIRL, causing inequity, narrowing of the curriculum and teacher deprofessionalization on a truly global scale.

In this book, teachers from around the world and other educational experts such as Andy Hargreaves, Ann Lieberman, Stephen Ball, Gert Biesta, Tom Bennett and many more, make the case to move away from this uneducational economic approach, to instead embrace a more humane, more democratic approach to education. This approach is called ‘flipping the system’, a move that places teachers exactly where they need to be – at the steering wheel of educational systems worldwide.

Progress:

  • I have flicked through various chapters (only) to find quotes and sections of interest.

TT.

 

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

4 thoughts on “Bookshelf

  • 11th December 2016 at 7:18 pm
    Permalink

    That Sketchnote book is on my Xmas list. I need to come back to sketchnoting as early attempts have been miserable, or just rip-offs of others style.
    Also looking to read ‘Essentialism’ by Grek McKeown which is popular among some teachers I know. Hoping it will allow me to identify what is essential….and what I can say ‘no’ to.
    Two social justice books are also on my list – ‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta-Nihisi Coates, and ‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colson Whitehead.
    Oh, and between now and 2017 I plan on devouring the new Jamie Oliver Christmas cook book.

    Reply
  • 17th December 2016 at 2:29 pm
    Permalink

    Really amazing bookshelf. I will be read it. thankyou

    Reply
  • 30th December 2016 at 10:21 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this- and that you haven’t had time to read most of them. Just imagine what could happen if more teachers had time to read and write about what we do. We could be learners and share our learning.
    Teaching should not be an endurance sport.

    Reply

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