It should come as no surprise; I am someone who loves to read. Even as a kid I would often get in trouble for reading well past bed-time. Now I usually have more than one book in progress at a time, especially since I also discovered the world of audiobooks! I try to read a mix of “fun” books and “teacher” books, and this year I read some great teacher books. While none of them were directly related to teaching music, I still found a lot of value in everything I learned.
If you are looking for something to read this summer that will stretch your thinking, here are a few of my favorites from this year:
The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros
The Innovator’s Mindset is the perfect starting point for why we should look beyond the “traditional” means of education to find what will truly benefit learners. George Couros talks about the need to move past student compliance, and how being innovative teachers can help us encourage innovative students.
Why is this important for music teachers? If we want our students to be musical and creative, we may need to take a step back and try something different. This book will encourage you to do just that.
Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani
In Empower, John Spencer and A.J. Juliani discuss the importance of empowering students to own their learning experiences. When students are empowered, the learning is more meaningful and long-lasting.
Why is this important for music teachers? Encouraging students to become independent musicians is something we should all strive for. Not only does this help students now, but also in the future as they (hopefully) become life-long musicians and life-long learners.
Social LEADia: Moving Student from Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership by Jennifer Casa-Todd
The book, Social LEADia, defines the term “digital leadership” and explains why it is an essential trait for students to have. Jennifer Casa-Todd gives examples of what digital leadership can look like in schools, and suggestions on how to incorporate it into your situations.
Why is this important for music teachers? Many reasons! The music room can be one of the most visible (and audible?) places in a school building. We teach our students about the importance of sharing our music. A great way to do both is through social media. This book gives many ideas for how to include students in this process and why it is valuable to do so.
Learner Centered Innovation by Katie Martin
Learner Centered Innovation is what it sounds like: how to change your classroom to put learners at the center. Katie Martin discusses what we need to do for students and also what we need to do for ourselves as teachers to make this happen. I hope to re-read this book over the summer.
Why is this important for music teachers? The world is changing, and we need to change along with it! This book covers relationships, feedback, classroom culture, learning how to learn – things that music teachers live on a daily basis. The question Katie makes you ask is, are we doing these things in ways that best benefit the students? If not, how can we change?
I have quite a stack of books ready to go for summer. Here are a couple I am especially excited about:
- Inquiry Mindset, by Trevor Mackenzie & Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt – I read Trevor’s first book, Dive into Inquiry, and loved it. Inquiry Mindset is supposed to be similar, how to infuse curiosity and inquiry into your classroom, but geared towards elementary students.
- Teach Like a Pirate, by Dave Burgess – I’m excited to read my first of the pirate books! This one is about increasing student engagement and teacher creativity.
- Maestro: A Surprising Story about Leading by Listening, by Roger Nierenberg – Finally, a music book! This book is actually about leadership as it investigates the relationship between an orchestra and its conductor.
What about you? Have you read any of these books? I would love to know what you thought! What other “must reads” are out there to add to the (always growing!) list for this summer? Please share. The only thing better than reading a book is reading a book with friends!
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