Other than a couple of instances, I found this to be a very practical, grounded (and funny) book.I have read very few that were so authentic and realistic.I knew this book was different right from the dedication page.
So much of it is devoted to first-year teachers, who may need to cut some corners in able to survive.Elden, in a way, tells which corners are important.There are many great quotes, such as:
"teachers who are willing to admit their mistakes are much more helpful to rookies than those who say, "Well, they would know better than to do that in my class."
Other great advice:
*Don't try to copy someone else's personality
*Good kids want to see you know who's causing the problem
*Keep pushing for better behavior. It's a process.
I took many, many notes, and even photos of some pages that I found to have some excellent lists/checklists.
My main quibbles with the book dealt with essentially making up grades if in a pinch, and frequent use of bribing, rewards, extra credit, threatening to punish an entire class for the transgressions of a few.Also, in my district, we are not allowed to use participation grades; the academic grade must be wholly due to academic work: no points for bringing a pencil, having materials, etc.Participation can be included if it is something like participating in a class discussion.
This looks at teaching from just about all angles: considering a mentor teacher, the administration, parents.There's a great, sobering section about standardized tests.I don't know if I completely agree with the statement, "One purpose of standardized tests is to light a fire under lazy teachers."
I got some additional great ideas, and would recommend this to others with just a couple of slight reservations.
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