It’s important to always find some “me-time” even during the always-on-the-go school year. Whether that time for you means diving into what interests you or it means broadening your knowledge by reading relevant educational articles, blogs, and texts, it can be difficult to know what you want to focus on during those ever-elusive little moments you sneak into your schedule. We decided to reach out to real teachers to hear what has been on their “me-time” reading lists – asking for anything and everything – and this is what they had to say…
Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance – I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this one. Educators from across the country agree it’s a must-read for greater perspective on growing up in poverty. Rosemary Fraine, a juvenile social worker from Seattle, explains, “Just finished Hillbilly Elegy and I think it should be required reading! It will help you understand America.” Not to mention that a very cursory search of online ratings has brought back high marks from both Goodreads and Google users. She also wasn’t the only one who recommended it! Bump this up your priorities list.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – This is a young adult novel that actually packs a lot of punch. It’s a rather timely and poignant book that follows a female protagonist who turns to activism after a rather appalling incident related to the shooting of her friend. First brought to my attention by Kelli Horton Prodanas, a middle school English teacher, our colleague and friend Millicent Hartgering also chimed in saying, “Just starting the hate you give, Kelli! Wow.” I’ve even seen it being carried around by middle school students, so the audience is broad for this one and could be a good way to connect with the younger people in your lives.
The Fifth Season by NK Jemison – In addition to her aforementioned excitement for The Hate U Give, Millicent Hartgering is also reading the science fiction award winner The Fifth Season and says it is, “Very thought provoking and enjoyable. It’s part of a compelling trilogy. She’s an amazing author and I’d like to read more by her.” The book focuses on a catastrophic climate change event that threatens to end the world. Yikes!
Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess – If you’re really ready to dig into some field-related reading then I’ve heard some good things about this book. It has lots of practical, yet inspiring, tips for teachers in all stages of their career. “A great book to read on a flight, plus it gives many great teaching techniques,” says Shirin Zuhair Haddadin, a teacher preparation student and ESL instructor. As a busy working mom, she knows all about maximizing those little moments of self-care (even if they’re almost exclusively found on airplanes.)
… and if you’re like myself and our friend, Emma Hensler, you often find those moments in the car or while exercising. If so, you could always consider listening to some informative podcasts. Emma says she’s, “been listening to the Cult of Pedagogy (podcast) to get ideas for next year.” I personally can’t get enough of RadioLab and Invisibilia. Or, for a real-life teacher murder mystery, I recommend Up and Vanished.