Summer Reading

One of the things I look forward to in summer is reading. I love to read! I don't usually read during the school year--too much else to do. But during the summer, I dust off my library card and get to it! In summers' past, I reread the Harry Potter series from beginning to end. Last summer I read the Hunger Games series. This summer I was ready to dig into my favorite mystery authors including Lisa Scottoline, Susan Witting Albert and Nancy Atherton. And I've read great books by all three authors.

But this summer I have also taken the time to read some "education" books, starting with "The Energy Bus" by John Gordon. I actually read this book over Christmas break at the insistence of my husband who is a HUGE John Gordon fan. But I was reminded of the book when I heard John Gordon speak at the Nebraska Career Education Conference in Kearney in June. While the book is good, John Gordon in person is so much better! This book as the cover says gives you "10 rules to fuel your life, work and team with positive energy." This is an excellent book for anyone in education or coaching. It has been huge on Twitter. You may have heard about it this spring during the Husker softball team's run through the NCAA tourney. The entire team read the book and used it to fuel their season. The book was given by new Husker AD, Shawn Eichorst to the entire athletic department. There is even an Energy Bus for Kids. There is an awesome website with posters you can download and bus tickets you can email or print. "The Energy Bus" reminds you that positivity in what you do every day is so important. You decide if you want to be "on the bus" or if you are an "energy vampire."

The second book I was curious to read was "Teach Like a Pirate" by Dave Burgess. If you are on Twitter, you have to have heard about #tlap. This book has taken Twitter by storm. Now at first I thought, what do pirates have to do with teaching? But the minute I started reading and understood Dave's reasoning for using the PIRATE mnemonic, I was sold! PIRATE stands for Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask and Analyze, Transformation, Enthusiasm. Dave offers great ideas that any teacher at any level can use in their classrooms. And the best thing is that Dave is a teacher in the classroom day in and day out. He is NOT a professional developer. He is using these techniques in the classroom right now. He is a self-published author that has taken to doing professional development workshops on the side. He basically gives you a peak into his world and how he structures his classes. I would love to be a fly on the wall in his classroom!

The third book I read was "The Ten-Minute Inservice" by Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux. This was another book I heard about on Twitter. I have seen Todd Whitaker at NCE Conferences in the past and enjoy him as a speaker. This was the first book I read by him. This book gives you "40 quick training sessions that build teacher effectiveness." The inservce sessions last 10 minutes which means they can be used in conjunction with things you are already doing. Just take 10 minutes to go over one concept from the book. This book makes it super simple to use the concepts because it tells you exactly what to say and how to say it when delivering each of the inservices. Each inservice has a purpose, directions for the inservice itself and implementation tips. This book was all about improving teaching in your school. This book is a must read by administrators. Many tips are shared throughout the book on getting your teachers to be better teachers. I also thought a lot of the concepts fell in line with the APL Training that our district has already been through.

I am glad that I took some time away from my favorite mysteries to read these books this summer. Even though none of these books addressed technology directly, I think there are things I can use from all three in my technology training sessions this year. If you are looking for a book to read yet this summer, pick up one or more of these three books. All will be well worth your time!


  1. I can't wait to check out the Energy Bus For Kids. It will be a shorter read for me and maybe if I get reading time again (after my kids are grown up), I'll read the grown-up version. That's why God made me an elementary teacher, I love children's books. Even going to share it with the school counselor!

  2. I think I want to read TEACH LIKE A PIRATE --love the mnemonic and sounds like the way I want to teach :D.
    Interesting article and good suggestions.

  3. I'm going to comment again. I wrote this comment (above) this morning.


Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting on my blog!