I was inspired to steal the idea for this post (and for the Pic Collage) from Andy Milne & #slowchathealth. In the past, I’ve mentally outlined a few books I might read over the summer, but it was kind of a “if I get to it” thing. This summer, I have books that have been sitting on a shelf waiting to be read. I’ve always enjoyed reading, and if there’s one thing I enjoy about having more time in the summer to do, it’s that. Although to be honest, I don’t do it as much as I should! Silly Netflix…and mountains…and facilitating at leadership conferences…and running camps…and the beach (I don’t like to read there…sunscreen and sand in my book, no thanks!)…and…well, you get the picture. 🙂
This post contains a list of books I’ll be working towards reading this summer and a short explanation about why it’s on my list. I may not get to them all. I have different reasons for everything on here, some personal and some professional. I’ve divided my list into sections and linked to Amazon descriptions of each one. As Andy says in his post, remember to check out your local library or your favorite book store! I’ll technically start working on this list before school is out on June 27th after I finish my latest read, Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography.
I don’t have a particular order to read this in (my money’s on Wormeli’s book first), but I know that when I fly to Seattle to visit my sister in July I’ll read a professional book. You never know who you may run into while on a flight or sitting in an airport, and I wouldn’t want to pass up the chance to have a conversation with another educator who sees my book and asks me about it.
PROFESSIONAL READS. These are the books that cover topics that are interesting to me and my career as a teacher. Although I only teach health education, I’m interested in a multitude of education topics and enjoy expanding my horizons.
Fair Isn’t Always Equal (Rick Wormeli). Rick is one of my eduheroes, and I’ve changed the way I grade and provide feedback to students based on his work. I look back at certain grading policies I had a few years ago and shudder. Rick’s writings resonate with me, and click with a lot of my general education philosophy. I’m looking forward to reading this book and cementing my grading practices for next school year and years to come.
Teaching In The Fast Lane (Suzy Pepper Rollins). I’m interested in continuing to find ways to create active learning experiences for my students, and my hope is that this book will help me on my ongoing quest to do so.
School Culture Recharged: Strategies to Energize Your Staff and Culture (Steve Gruenert & Todd Whitaker). I think I’ve followed Todd on Twitter since I first signed up back in 2010 and saw his name on a list of educators to follow. I’m interested in learning the most effective ways to transform school culture, and will read this from the perspective as not only a teacher, but a (potential) future administrator.
READS FOR PLEASURE
Gwendy’s Button Box (Stephen King & Richard Chizmar). A new Stephen King book? Well, technically a novella, but yes, please! Usually when King has a new regular-length release I buy two copies: one for me and one for my dad, who got me into Stephen King in the first place. One day I want to take a sabbatical with the sole intention of reading the entire Dark Tower series from start to finish. Well, I’m half joking about that, but for those who think King’s all “horror” check out his other well known books that aren’t horror related. Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption, anyone?!
All American Boys (Jason Reynolds). My 8th grade students are currently reading this in their ELA class. When I see a student carrying a book I haven’t seen before, I pick it up to read the description. After doing that with this book, I decided to add it to my summer reading list. I’m interested in books written for adolescent boys, especially those who are reluctant readers, and I’ve heard Jason Reynolds is a great author for those types of readers.
The Last of The Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War (Richard Rubin). I’m a BIG history geek and have always been fascinated with books about history and wars. As a fifth grader, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was my hero and I can probably still draw out the general troop movements/order of battle for the entire Battle of Gettysburg. I think my sister’s still mad at me for being dragged all the way to Gettysburg, PA with my family that year, and the long drive to northern Maine to see the museum about him. World War II became my jam as I got older, and I was close to majoring in history & education in college before I made the decision to go into health education. WWI unfairly gets less recognition than other conflicts. I’ve been on a WWI kick over the last year or so, probably because these events happened 100 years ago. After slowly listening to George Carlin’s epic, five part, 20+ hour Hardcore History podcast about WWI…I added this to my list.
IF I GET TO THEM…(or, books I’ll just read during the school year)
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen (Jazz Jennings). We cover gender identity during our human sexuality unit, and show some short video clips that feature Jazz telling her story. I’ve included this in a resources list we provide our students, and would like to read it to better my understanding of what transgender teenagers go through in their lives.
Brain Rules (John Medina). I bought this book a long time ago, and it’s been sitting on a shelf ever since. It’s a popular read among my #healthed PLN. The brain is fascinating, and ideally the knowledge gained in this book would improve how I teach adolescents, as well as different aspects of my own life.
Promoting Health and Academic Success: The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Approach (David A. Birch & Donna M. Videto). I picked this book up at SHAPE Boston so I would be better versed in creating a school wide environment that is based on educating the whole child. If I ever become an admin., my goal is going to be creating that type of environment in our school. I’m going to pick through the sections of the book as I take on different projects for my practicum hours.
I also have some “classics” that I’ve never read that I would love to pick up someday: books like Slaughterhouse Five, Fahrenheit 451, etc. As I mentioned before, I’m a big Stephen King fan and still have plenty of his epic length books to read. I enjoy reading YA books my students read, so I may pick up something by an author like John Green or a book from our middle school summer reading list. Lastly, I often add a book from Ryan Holiday’s monthly reading list email to my “to read” list, but those are usually not at the top of my list because a lot of them are quite long and about some pretty detailed topics. So, any of the above might make its way onto my summer reading list.
What’s on your summer reading list? Comment below or hop on Twitter and use #summerrreads.
Now, about that grading…