As an English teacher, you might assume that certain books have played an important part in my journey as an educator – and you would be correct.  Only, I haven’t read any of them.  As part of the graduate diploma program I’m currently in (en route to a masters in education) I was asked to bring in a book that has had an impact on my teaching or who I am as a teacher.  However, when I thought about it, I came to the surprising and ironic conclusion that there are no books that have played a serious role in shaping my pedagogy.  That’s not to say that I haven’t read books on education – I was forced to consume many dry and scholarly books throughout my time in university, but none of them left any indelible mark on my heart or mind.

Soon after I came to this conclusion, I realized that who I am as a teacher has been influenced by several key individuals who were there at important times in my educational journey.  So instead of using a book that didn’t really speak to me for this assignment, I decided to ask two master educators/mentors who have challenged me and inspired me what books influenced their teaching.  This is the list of books gave me:

Horace’s Compromise

Horace’s School

Horace’s Hope – all by Ted Sizer

The End of Education – Neil Postman

Understanding by Design – McTighe and Wiggins

In the Middle – Nancy Atwell

Lesson’s that Change Writers – Nancy Atwell

Failure is not an Option – Alan Blankstein

Moral Courage – Rushworth Kidder

Schooling by Design – Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

Even though I haven’t personally read these books, I feel like in some ways I have benefited from them because they helped shape the thought and practice of two educators I look up to.  At some point I will make it a point to read these books (and when I do I’ll let you know what I think)!

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