Monday, July 28, 2014

Crash Course Book Review

For me, summer is a time to relax.  When I am not tutoring or babysitting, I like to travel, shop, catch up with friends and family, and enjoy the sunshine.  After the frigid temperatures we experienced this winter, I  happily spend my days outside. The greatest gift of summer is restoring my love of reading.  This summer I promised myself I would read often and share my thoughts with other educators (thank you Twitter).

I continuously saw Kim Bearden's book on other teacher's blogs before the official release date.  I was so inspired by these posts that I decided to pick up a copy the day it was available for purchase.  I absolutely LOVED her book.  I even finished it in 1 sitting.  Just like teaching, we need to help our students make connections to their own life.  As I was reading this book, there were so many moments that I could relate to.

There are 17 courses in this book: Chemistry, Magic, Courage, Play, Recovery, Talent, Optimism, Love, Generosity, Tenacity, Insight, Expectations, Bonding, Creativity, Improvisation, Gratitude, and Faith.  Each course begins with a brief description that illustrates the main idea and is loaded with powerful words, actions, and experiences from Kim's 27 years as an educator and administrator.  At the end of each course, there are class notes which summarize the course in bullet points to guide self reflection.  In addition to class notes, homework is provided to help turn thoughts into actions.

I stumbled upon this quote at the last page of the first course.  AMAZING!  Teaching is all about relationships.  We must build rapport with our students, staff, parents, and the community. Teachers need to know their students- both academically and personally.  I am a firm believer in teaching our students according to their interests.  From selecting guided reading books to creating centers, I want my students to be engaged and having fun.  As we are heading towards the back to school season, think about how you will get to know your students.
 In high school, math was not my best subject.  My attitude towards math changed completely thanks to a teacher I was lucky to have not once, but twice.  I still keep in touch with him occasionally.  He held all of his students to high expectations and believed in them.  Even though I am certified PK-3rd grade, I strive to embody those same qualities to my students.  When students are given high expectations, they will rise to them {with proper guidance and resources}.

Kim Bearden's book is a "feel good" book.  With all of the preparation involved in the back to school season, take the time to read Crash Course.  You won't regret it! 
If you are still reading this, THANK YOU!!  

I appreciate those who are reading my blog.  Please leave me a comment.
Teachers- What is your favorite professional read this summer?  What did you take away from it?
Principals- Did you require your staff to read a specific book or article this summer?  What was your purpose?  If not, tell me what you would recommend others to read before school starts.

Have a great week!  

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