Top Reads From 2013 For Educators

I love books…there, I said it and I have now come out of the closet. The gift of reading that God has given is one that I cannot imagine life without. Me with just my own ideas is really a depressing thought. I love this quote by David T.W. McCord: “Books fall open, you fall in.” Great mental picture.

Photo courtesy of adamr |
Photo courtesy of adamr |

With a new year upon us, a part of reflecting on 2013 is reviewing those good reads that have impacted me as a person and more specifically, as an educator.

And so, here are four (drum roll please…)

  1. The Five Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward Burger and Michael Starbird. I found this book to be surprisingly helpful to not only my thinking but my teaching as well. Both of the authors are teachers and gave several ideas for how to create deeper processes of thought in a classroom setting. Very practical with ideas to implement “now” in your class.
  2. Generation iY by Tim Elmore. The millennial generation is the largest generation in history. And I like to think of myself as being in the customer service field, i.e. students. And one of the foundational building blocks of being successful in any business is to “know thy customer.” This generation is going to be in our classrooms for several more years. Elmore’s book is one to read each year to really “get” this group. Learn their strengths and their needs.
  3. Artificial Maturity by Tim Elmore. This is the follow up to Elmore’s original Generation iY. It is the prescriptive answer to what is being described in the first book. I really enjoyed this text because I felt like it answered the question of “what next?” after reading about this influential iY generation. Great tips for the classroom.
  4. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung. OK, you are probably questioning this selection as it does not sound very educational. But the truth is that we as facilitators of learning lead very busy lives, maybe even crazy busy. DeYoung begins by describing three dangers that can sneak into our lives by being overly busy. And then he proceeds to go through seven manifestations that might indicate things are out of control. The conclusion is simple yet profound. The truth is that lots and lots of activity does not necessarily indicate an effective life. Our time with our kids in our classrooms is short – we need to make it count.

I figured three or four suggestions would be less intimidating than a “Top 20 List.” As teachers, though, you MUST read and add to your own arsenal and have your ideas challenged. Not SHOULD…MUST. We owe it to those we influence.

If your tendency is to not read, then pick just one book off this list and go through it. Your students will be glad you did.

Community Input: What are some some helpful books that you have recently read that have shaped your own thoughts about education?


2 thoughts on “Top Reads From 2013 For Educators

  1. Have you read Pedagogy of Freedom or any of Paulo Freire’s other books? I really enjoyed Pedagogy of Freedom. Challenged my thinking as a Christian educator in a non-Christian setting. I will have to be back and re-visit your list after I’ve read the ones already on mine!

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