Summer Reading

Without even planning, my summer reading list developed quickly this year. This is my mandatory reading for work and some are books that I have read in the past. I decided–along with a teacher who will be teaching one section of the same course–to completely change the book list. So, that gives me 12 weeks of some pretty interesting reading to come!

Professional Development:

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. This one was assigned to all teachers, but it’s one that I’m actually quite interested in because of the psychology aspect. At the end of the day, I love to learn about the way people learn, particularly what motivates them.

inGenius by Tina Seelig. This one was assigned to teachers who teach an art course. As a creative writing teacher, this lumps me into that category. As with the other, I’m looking forward to learning about becoming more creative myself and taking that into the classroom.

Other Work Books:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This is one of those books that I would definitely read on my own if I had all the time in the world, so I’m a little excited that it was picked as an “all school” book. It gives me a good reason to read something for “fun” that I probably wouldn’t get around to otherwise.

The rest of the books for work comprise my reading list next year, and I’ve read them before. I’ve never taught any of them in a classroom, so I’m excited to re-read them with the intention of teaching. It definitely changes the way I read and what I pay attention to as I read.

  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The decision was to overtly teaching self-realization this year, which led to the addition of the Morrison selections, Obama and Goodwin. At the same time, our discussion centered around the idea that there is a world outside of the school and neighborhood in which we teach.

I have to admit that it was extraordinarily hard for me to keep my opinions to myself this year when students stated that racism doesn’t exist anymore, women are completely equal to men and that poverty is something “in other countries”. So, I’m very excited to explore some deeper themes and discuss what the human experience for more people who my students actually interact with.