So you’ve started a teaching degree? What to read.

This is a guest blog – lifted from email advice our school SCT (specialist classroom teacher) sent to a student just starting their teaching degree here in NZ. I agree with his choices, although if you were training to be a primary teacher I would also recommend a good text on the science of reading (eg. ‘The Art and Science of Teaching Primary Reading by Christopher Such) – something University teaching courses infrequently cover. Enjoy……….

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  1. Seven Myths About Education By Daisy Christodoulou Education at University will give you lots of waffle and anecdotal gibberish about what education should be. Don’t fall for it, there’s is lots of great science around teaching and learning that you can use. All people learn the same way and 99% within the same social construct. So the first reading is to get you thinking about education and start deciding what is is and isn’t relevant, it is designed to get you to start to question and reflect
  2. Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham. Having deconstructed and started to question somewhat, this is a really good book on how we learn, this is the building block of being a teacher. we are there to impart knowledge and how to we do that? e.g. we can’t be generically motivated outside of success, success breeds motivation…
  1. Rosenshine’s Principles in Action by Tom Sherrington. Now you have read those ideas you are now thinking this is getting complicated so here’s a really simple book that spells out the action, really simple and used as a bible to effective teaching in many schools, this is gold (but don’t skip to it till you’ve done the reading first….trust me…)
  2. Running the Room: The Teacher’s Guide to Behaviour by Tom Bennett Now you have the theory. University will not equip you for the most import part of your job. They won’t. They will avoid classroom management because its hard. This is very sad because this is actually what you want to know! They will waffle on about ‘getting to know your students, ‘developing learning relationships,’ ‘involving students in developing classrooms’this is all fluff and waffle and great after the little blighters know you are in charge. I have written advice on behaviour management for my staff. Let me know if you would like to read it. Golden rule; the smallest intervention, at the earliest time with the least consequence. Always and consistently. This book is great, just remember most of these books are written for whole school approaches, just ignore those bits and stick with the classroom parts, managers deal with the serious and repeated stuff, that’s their job. Bill Rodgers is also good, lots of podcasts and writings, good simple advice.
  3. What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Psychologyby David Didau , Nick Rose Now that’s plenty. If you are really still excited and love all this stuff like I do. This is a cool extra reading that you might like. Teachers ask psychologist the hard questions. Good luck, let me know if you want any behaviour advice, that’s my jam