Teaching Essentials by Regie Routman had been in my to be read pile for quite some time. When I was packing for our vacation two days after school got out, I was purposefully going to pack non teaching books. I was trying to convince myself it's good to walk away. However, when I was gathering my books Regie Routman called my name. She's a thinker, she's global and she's always confirmed my thinking about teaching while stimulating my thinking. I'm so glad I made Teaching Essentials a vacation read.
I found these quotes helpful as I was recovering from the end of the year "crash" and actually got me excited about the following year.
-"Every child has strengths; we just need to see them and begin our teaching there."
-"Once children enter the doors of our schools and classrooms, we have an obligation to ensure they reach their fullest potential. We need to see each child as capable right from the start."
-"Once we tap into a child's interests and provide the necessary demonstrations and support to help him write, success can come quickly."
-"I believe that effective teaching is about hearing all the voices-making sure that every student is valued, hear, and respected and knows that his or her voice can make a difference."
-"We need to do everything we can to show students what is possible, through the stories we tell, read, and write with them and through the literature we use to teach reading and other core subjects."
Regie encourages teachers to become smarter. She encourages teachers to get involved with professional conversations, align our beliefs with our practices, and repeatedly encourages our work to be meaningful, engaging, and important. If we can achieve this, we can conserve time and energy. Regie encourages us to teach whole-part-whole and guides us through this thinking with her optimal teaching model. My favorite section is Start with the Student, Not the Standard. This text also covers assessment within our teaching and suggestions for analyzing student work while providing feedback. Another reason to look at this text is the guidance from Regie for creating independent, self-directed learners. This book should not have sat in my to be read pile this long.