Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Teaching Books: Teaching as Leadership by Steven Farr

[I'm not going to try to review the books I'm reading as part of my transition to becoming an educator. However, I do want to at least do summaries, both for myself and if anyone's interested. Consider these mini-reviews, if you will.]

This is a required book for new Teach for America corps members. It is also written for anyone who is interested in reading about strategies for reducing the achievement gap.

The book is structured into six sections which match up with the qualities TFA believes are needed for effective teaching: Setting big goals, investing in students, planning, execution, working to improve yourself as a teacher, and never giving up on your efforts. Each of these ideas gets a chapter, explaining the concept and how to use it to be a highly effective teacher, often with charts explaining what a good teacher does versus a struggling teacher.

Teaching as leadership uses a large number of stories from former and current corps members to bolster its arguments. There are also a lot of ties to current research both in education and in business strategies. (The latter might make educational purists wince.)

The back of the book explains a bit about the philosophy of Teach for America, its rubrics for measuring teacher performance, and how they select candidates. There is also information on al the teachers used in the book.

This is by far the most current teaching book I've read so far, but it's also the only one with a 2010 copyright.

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