Hello, all! I realize this would have been a better post for the beginning of the summer, but I figured that since school is going to start pretty soon, you could consider reading these titles in your spare time. This is an incomplete list of some of my favorite books as a future teacher. Some are fiction and some are not, but they all make me proud to be a teacher.
I recently picked up Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller on one of my browsing trips to the library, and I am grateful that I did. This is the story of Helen Keller’s breakthrough to language development told from the point of view of her teacher, Annie Sullivan. I have always been fascinated by the way Helen Keller was able to communicate and even speak in spite of her inability to hear or see. This book shows Annie’s tireless efforts to reach Helen, in spite of opposition from parents and her own fear of failure. Annie recognizes Helen’s potential and does all she can to help her reach it.
October Sky by Homer Hickam is an autobiography that does not focus on the teacher so much as the student, but the teacher plays an integral part. Homer Hickam was a high school student growing up in a mining town in West Virginia. It looked like he was fated to end up in the dismal coal mines himself, but after seeing the Russian space ship Sputnik in the night sky, he started experimenting with rockets. While the other adults in his town discouraged him in his pursuit, his teacher Miss Reilly gave him a book about rocket engineering and encouraged his dream of becoming an engineer. At the time, she was also battling leukemia.
One of my favorite books from my childhood, There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar, is a work of fiction. It tells the story of Bradley, an underachiever who was held back and not well liked by his classmates. When a new counselor comes to the school with new methods, she helps Bradley see his own potential and worth. (I always cry when I read this book.)
When I first read Christyby Catherine Marshall, I didn’t really think of it as a teacher’s book. I thought of it more as a religious book. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it is a very good book for future teachers who might find themselves teaching in an area far from home. Christy volunteers to become a schoolteacher at a mission in the sparsely populated mountains of Tennessee. She begins with the idea of “helping the poor unprivileged people correct their backwards ways” but finds that she has a lot to learn from them. She especially learns to love the children she teaches.
What books give you encouragement as a future teacher?