I have always been a big reader and I when I studied for my PGCE I devoured as many books as I could. I wanted to understand the career path I was taking. Having now finished my PGCE and NQT there is less time to read, but what I have read, has helped shape me into the teacher I am. I continue to read as much as time allows, as I believe, all theory written only helps us understand our profession for good teaching practice. It helps us formulate ideas to try out in our practice to engage and excite pupils (To aid learning that is real).
Below are then top 5 books that made an impact on my teaching style.
I brought this book after teaching pupils who just hated education. I wondered why they had such hate for me and the system. I know pupils rarely actually hate the teacher, so I wanted to understand more about why some child are just so darn delinquent. This book is wordy and can be hard to follow, if you don’t have a very basic understanding of psychology. It heavily focuses on the id, ego and superego and how with these not functioning correctly we get tendencies for delinquent behaviour. The book is so good I re-read each chapter twice to make sure I didn’t miss a thing and I understood it. It breaks down behaviours and why they may occur. It gives real life examples of these encounters of delinquent behaviours. The book is based on research conducted with children with varying degrees of unsavoury behaviours. It really does make you change the way you think and act towards pupils with more disturbing behaviours. Great for anyone who wants to go into the pastrol side of teaching and also great for anyone with hard to engage or oddly behaving pupils. Want to understand children better? Read this book. I would advise first reading up on the id, ego and the superego if you have not, as the book centres heavily around these themes.
This book explores how children react to new experiences and explores how best children learn. It is focused on younger children in their early years. He uses first hand interactions as examples for his musings. This book helped me implement classroom strategies that work. This book isn’t over complicated with hard to read language written by some professor. It is easy to read, easy to understand and makes you feel inspired by the end.
This book by Daniel Pink really engrossed me. I read it so quickly I almost ate the book. It gives you real ways to tackle engagment in the classroom. The book explores what motivation is and as people what makes us do what we do. Motivation is essentially what us teachers want, as that’s where behavioural issues lie, when pupils aren’t motivated or engaged. This is a must read for anyone who wants to find out ways they could change their classroom practice to encourage pupils motivation. This book uses research to back up the ideas and concepts explored. I loved it!
This book consists of writings written by Alfie Kohn on his ideas relating to education. These articles can also be found online on his website. The book made me realise that allot of what we are made to do as teachers, allot of the time, does not actually have valid research backing it’s validity. The book covers various topics in education and really makes you reflect on your practice as a teacher. This book made me really wonder; is what I am doing the best for the pupils. It makes you step back and think. In teaching we can go into auto pilot and sometimes it’s good to read something that will make you reflect and to force you off auto and back into a reflective mindset.
Another oldie like ‘Children Who Hate’ and is just as relevant today, as it was back in the old days. The book talks about focusing on progressive education and what needs to be done to improve the quality of teaching. Shockingly as relevant then, as it is now.
Hope these reads inspire you, as much as they inspired me.