the Month Club
Click on the links below to access
each Book of the Month:
The Five Dysfunctions
of a Team
By Patrick M. Lencioni
|“As difficult as it is to build a
cohesive team, it is not complicated. In fact, keeping it
simple is critical, whether you run the executive staff at a
multi-national company, a small department within a larger
organization, or even if you are merely a member of a team
that needs improvement." (The Five
Dysfunctions of a Team, p.185)
By Dr. Lisabeth S. Margulus
This book has what every principal and district needs:
specific plans, appraisals, and written resources for every aspect
The templates consist of job descriptions for all people
involved with children. These include bus drivers, counselors,
custodians, food service workers, media specialists, school nurses,
paraprofessionals, secretaries, and elementary and secondary teachers,
The book is divided into two parts, the first being a
short story of a new CEO in a technology company who must tear down and
rebuild her executive staff. The story illustrates the teamwork
dysfunction model through the interactions of the various team
members. The second part of the book is a detailed look into the
model itself and how teams can overcome the various dysfunctions.
The model used in this book to identify the dysfunctions
of a team are represented in the graphic below. These five issues
are not separate entities, but rather build upon each other. The
first dysfunction, Absence of Trust, is at the bottom, is followed up the
pyramid by the other four dysfunctions.
The book also contains templates to help coach each
teacher in five general areas, Building Community, Designing Learning,
Managing Learning, Communicating, and Growing Professionally. Further
subcategories are broken down so the evaluator (the principal) can
be more specific on which coaching template he/she wants to use to help
better the teacher. The author continues on to provide templates
for support staff too.
This book reiterates what we constantly are hearing as
educators and support staff. Staff members must be held
accountable to perform their responsibilities within the district.
If the job descriptions are in place, and staff is not reaching their
full potential, a plan needs to be implemented. The plan must be
fair, concise, and allow opportunity for positive improvement.
This book is an excellent resource that can be implemented within any
school district. It has all the tools to make sure performance
appraisals are done effectively. It also has a great CD with al
the templates on it that you can use, adapt, or change to fit your own
school and district.
Who Moved My Cheese
by Spencer Johnson
|“Each of us has our own idea of what CHEESE is, and we pursue it we believe it makes us happy. If we get it, we often become attached to it. And if we lose it, or it's taken away, it can be traumatic ...”
(Who Moved My Cheese, p.14)
Teaching Evaluation and Student Learning
& James H. Stronge
|"The purpose of teaching is learning, and the
purpose of schooling is to ensure that each new generation of students
accumulates the knowledge and skills needed to meet the social,
political, and economic demands of adulthood." (Linking
Teaching Evaluation and Student Learning, chapter 2)
|Dr. Spencer Johnson is the famous, international, co-best selling author of the New York Times best seller, One Minute Manager. He is often referred to as "the best there is at taking complex subjects and presenting simple solutions that work." His books, including Who Moved My Cheese? show simple truths and ideas that help regular people to enjoy healthier lives, find more success, and deal with change and stress in their lives.
I've found this book particularly interesting and helpful because as a teacher, I'm seeing change every day, and every hour. Especially in times of budget cuts, teacher layoffs, trimming of programs, and yet new educational requirements by our governments, a teacher's CHEESE is constantly being moved. We have to be flexible, adaptable, and positive in these trying times. Our CHEESE is often moved, changed, altered, and it even runs out.
Studies have shown that children placed in classrooms
with teachers that have a higher teaching ability make a big difference
in the children's growth each year. So we can imply that the
quality of a teacher's ability to teach is extremely important to a
child's growth in education. When a child is re-placed with a
teacher with higher ability, the child can grow and catch up with
Four teacher assessment models are discussed in the
book. These are: 1. The Oregon Teacher Work Sample
Methodology; 2. The Thompson, Colorado School District
Standards-based Assessment System; 3. The Alexandria,
Virginia School District Goal-setting System; and 4. The Tennessee
Value-added Assessment System. Many educators believe that
learning takes place when teachers and students take responsibility
within themselves while working together. These four teacher
evaluation approaches emphasize using pre- and post- measures of student
learning to determine improvement or gains.
Teaching Makes A
by Carol Cummings
|“Teaching is far more complex
than ever before realized. ....
We have to decide what is the most effective and
efficient way to present the material. We need
to determine how many of our students are learning the
content WHILE we are teaching.” (Teaching
Makes A Difference, p.5)
By Michael Kett
you love to have a teaching tool to create a fun learning environment
for your students regardless of the curriculum or grade level? How
about something that the students beg you to teach them? The
secret is: Houdini In The Classroom!"
This is the book for helping all teachers to
improve their effectiveness in their classrooms. It helps
both the novice teacher and the seasoned veteran by forcing you
to think about your own decision making process as a teacher,
and to evaluate your effectiveness. The book focuses on
the teaching of instructional skills and the improvement in
Carol Cummings' book give practical ideas for
your classroom and for your teaching. She details how to
select and teach to your class objectives, monitoring and
motivating your students, and developing better lessons that
improve your students' learning. Each chapter reads just like a step-by-step
manual for improving your instruction. Periodically in the
chapter are short 'assignments' for the readers to complete,
adding their thoughts and experiences to the text.
Cummings adds creative cartoons and quotes to illustrate her
points. And each chapter is summed up with the
important points to remember.
Michael Kett has been a
physical therapist, as well as a magician, for more than 25 years. He
has also taught at Northwestern University and Benedictine University.
His first book, Applied Magic, is a blending of his physical
therapy and magic backgrounds. The magic effects in the book have
a therapeutic twist to address specific goals such as fine and gross
motor control, sequencing, range of motion, and balance. Michael
has lectured to many professional organizations regarding the benefits
of therapeutic magic.
book, Houdini in the Classroom, is also the title of the workshop
he teaches at conferences, conventions and individual schools. In
this book, Michael has combined basic magic tricks with techniques to
enhance creative thinking, cooperative learning, writing skills, public
speaking, and self-confidence.
The First Days of
by Harry K. Wong &
Rosemary T. Wong
“The First Days of School is
written to help all teachers 'jump-start' by beginning
school successfully.” (The First Days of
“What teachers do is nothing
short of a miracle that humbles and inspires us all.
For what you do, know that you are respected,
indispensable, and loved.” (The First Days of
By Ken Blanchard and Jesse Stoner
"Vision creates focus. Vision identifies
direction. Vision unleashes power. Vision allows you
to move Full Steam Ahead!" (Preface, ix)
"Vision is knowing who you are, where you're going, and
what will guide your journey." (p.80)
This is it, the big one, the indispensable one,
THE BOOK for teachers, regardless of what area you teach, what
age or grade level, or what school you teach in. This book
is for the brand new teachers and student teachers, and yet it
has all of the important aspects of teaching that veterans know
and understand. Even for 'seasoned' teachers, reviewing
the ideas and concepts in Wong's book each year reminds us and
reaffirms us why we are in the educational profession and how we
make such an important impact on the lives of our students.
Each chapter includes many pictures,
illustrations, graphics, and quotes to give simple
directions for becoming an effective teacher. Step by step
instructions help to guide new teachers into setting up their
classes, developing effective discipline systems, and
professionally developing themselves. It definitely is the
most important book any new teacher can get his or her hands on!
|The book, Full Steam Ahead! is a masterfully woven tale of
ordinary people finding vision in their personal and professional lives
and making positive changes. Simplified to a tale of a business
owner and an employee, the tale displays the progression of a developing
vision in the company and the steps and learning along the way.
There are many excellent connections to the education field, from
administrators to classroom teachers.
The lessons are remarkably easy to understand and apply. According to visionary leadership expert Warren
Bennis, Blanchard and Stoner have given "meaning and life to vision. Even Dilbert will get it!" Readers will learn how to crystallize a vision that resonates with their own hopes and dreams and allows them to go full steam ahead!
- Coming Soon!
for Tough Times
|“Few people at the time could
have known, however, that he possessed all the
leadership qualities and abilities necessary to save
the Union. And virtually no one would have been
able to predict the unparalleled strength of this
(Lincoln on Leadership, p.9)
Abraham Lincoln may in fact be our greatest American
president, and certainly the president who faced the greatest
challenges. He started as a backwoods country lawyer and
became one of our most revered and honored leaders. He
completely refused to allow the country to remain divided, and
utilized his leadership and his people skills to preserve the
Union, modernize the American military, and revolutionize the
government. "In a way, Abraham Lincoln represented
the summation of those leadership qualities that had helped to
form a nation." (Lincoln on Leadership, p.2)
This book is broken up into four sections, vital to those in
leadership roles: People, Character, Endeavor, and
Communication. Each section is broken up into
chapters which detail a specific leadership skill or ability.
Such timeless strategies such as Get Out of the Office and
Circulate Among the Troops, Persuade Rather Than Coerce, Set
Goals and Be Results-Oriented, and Preach a Vision and
Continually Reaffirm It, among others, are explained using
stories and anecdotes from Lincoln's life and experiences.
December - Coming Soon!
Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
William Ury, and
|The book, Getting To Yes, describes a new method of bargaining,
called principled negotiation. Developed by the Harvard Negotiation
Project, this is an easy to learn, four step process that is useful
whether you’re deciding where to go on vacation or agreeing on the
selling price of your car.
In the school environment, you are negotiating constantly. You
negotiate with other teachers over the use of facilities such as the
gym, music room, art room. You negotiate with your administrator over
materials, supplies, and programs. You negotiate with your students over
hallway passes. Our lives at work and at home are in a constant state of
bargaining with others. Where do we go out to eat? Who gets the remote?
What time does your teenager have to be home on Saturday night?
In many cases, the traditional method of positional bargaining,
negotiating over each side’s positions, leads to bitter feelings,
exhaustion, and a win/loss situation that never seems to adequately
benefit both sides.
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