New book reviews from teacher leaders

Be sure to check out our companion blog, TLN Teacher Voices, for recent views of books that may be of interest to teacher leaders.

 Massachusetts special ed teacher Laurie Wasserman finds the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul book for educators, titled Teacher Tales: 101 Inspirational Stories from Great Teachers and Appreciative Students, to be a much-needed restorative for her teacher spirit. The short-essay collection, which includes (among others) contributions from all of the 2009 state teachers of the year, “is the perfect book to pack in your book bag to read at school with lunch during a stressful day, savor with a cup of tea or coffee on a Sunday morning, or read on a plane.”

New York teacher Elizabeth Stein reviews a recent book by San Francisco education prof Stanley Pogrow, Teaching Content Outrageously: How to Captivate All Students and Accelerate Learning. While Stein thought the book could have been better, she agrees with Pogrow that teachers need to shake up their instruction in strategic ways that help students “connect to the content so that they can make sense of it, and, ultimately, transfer it.”

You’ll also enjoy the review by Georgia high school teacher Gail Tillery of Finding Mrs. Warnecke: The Difference Teachers Make. It’s the account by Cindi Rigsbee, a recent finalist for national teacher of the year, of her search for a primary school teacher who made a huge difference in her young life — and their ultimate reunion on ABC’s Good Morning America. It’s also a book, Tillery says, “which sends a message of the positive power which every teacher can tap into—if only we can learn to find it.”

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