Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Books

Stenhouse Publishing sends me books to read and review. Currently I am involved with an online discussion group that is discussing Jennifer Allen's new book A Sense of Belonging a book to foster and keep new teachers. While I liked the book I didn't find myself learning a lot, it didn't fit my needs. I asked a colleague who is a coach if she had read Jennifer's first book, Becoming a Literacy Leader and she lent it to me. I am not a coach, I am a first grade teacher, but Jennifer Allen is a coach and both books share her desire to foster teachers as a coach in her building. If you haven't read either of her books I encourage you to a least stop by Stenhouse and read the first chapter and discover this woman's heart for helping teachers. I want to teach in Jennifer's building! I get the feeling that I could go to her to "mull" things over, that I would be encouraged to try new things, that she would help come up with research and materials to support my thinking. I get the feeling that she doesn't just say what is the standard phrase that the state wants her to say, that she has her own beliefs and can support them. She is working hard and loving her work. Her idea of a coach is mainly to coach the teachers, to make available literature that improves their teaching, study groups that encourage conversation, and mentoring texts that teachers can grab and use at a moments notice. Her idea of coaching is what it was meant to be! If you are a coach, or a principal, or even have ideas about what can benefit your school then stop over and get this book!