It is finally Spring. Spring Breaks are over, and we are in the home stretch to the end of the school year. As we all know it is a marathon and not a sprint! With that in mind, this is where we will begin. Like all great marathoners everyone must start with stretching and warming up. That is where I would suggest you all start. With a good stretch.
When is the last time you stretched yourself and your teaching? When, and what, was the last conference you attended to improve your teaching? When, and what, was the last professional development you attended to learn something new or perfect and improve what you already know? What was the last book you have read to develop new skills or further your teaching skills? If it has been more than two years since you have stretched yourself and your professional knowledge, it is time to do stretch yourself again, now!
Improve Your Teaching Skills
The easiest way to start stretching yourself is to read a book sharing ways to improve your teaching skills or has good discussions and examples of methods for teaching your subject. Being a life-long math teacher, I still think the best overall math professional development book in print right now is NCTM’s Principles to Action – Ensuring Mathematical Success for All! It was written by more than a dozen of the top experts in mathematics education. Anytime you can get more than a dozen math education experts to agree on anything, you know it must be great advice and information. This book is combines both researched based, proven methods and practical knowledge into one very easy to read book. To make this option even easier for you, there is a free book study on this book coming in June 2023. You can find out more here: NCTM’s Principles to Action – Ensuring Mathematical Success for All book study.
There are many other excellent books in your subject area to choose from. Some of my favorite sources to find extremely important and useful books, are from the subject area professional organizations. For me, it is NCTM, the National Council of Teachers of mathematics. For you it might be NCTE, NSTA, or any of the other subject’s professional organization for teachers. There is also ASCD, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. They have wonderful books for every subject and grade level. You can always find a useful and informational resource in their printed materials. Finally, there are organizations like NCSM, the National Council or Supervisors of Mathematics. They too have amazing books to help you teach mathematics at every grade level. There are many organizations that are always available to help you stretch yourself with a book or printed material. If you talk to your building administrator or district administration, more than likely, there are funds available for you to purchase these resources and make them available (after you have read and digested them) for everyone at your school, in your district, or in a professional library.