Saturday, January 2, 2016

Two Books Every Teacher Needs to Read

Teaching is not an easy profession. During the school year, you are so many different things to your students; a parent, nurse, counselor, leader, role model, listener, data analyst, and above all teacher. You want to change the world, but it can wear you out! During the year you can get so wrapped up in your job that you sometimes forget to take care of yourself. Stop, breathe, and take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be all the things you need to be for your students. 

In an effort to take better care of myself, I stumbled upon two amazing books; Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Daring Greatly by BrenĂ© Browne. These books have absolutely nothing to do with education, but speak to your inner teacher. They give you the strength you sometimes need to survive this profession. 

Teaching is a creative profession. Teachers are some of the most creative people I have ever met. Meeting all of the educational needs of your students takes a bunch of creativity. Unfortunately during our career, some people try to take away our creativity.  I have seen too many AMAZING teachers leave the profession because they felt like their creativity wasn’t acknowledged. To be totally honest, I’m sure that we have all felt like that at times. 

One day I was feeling the creativity drain and stumbled upon the "Magic Lessons" podcasts by Elizabeth Gilbert. I don’t want to be dramatic, but it was like everything she was saying was speaking to my soul. I was so inspired by her podcasts that I read her book Big Magic. The book did not disappoint. If you ever feel like you are in a creative rut, you need to read this book. Big Magic helped me overcome my creative obstacles.  

Teachers are leaders, and all leaders need the courage to be vulnerable. I stumbled upon BrenĂ© Browne while watching her TED talk on vulnerability. If you haven’t watched this talk, you need to. It will change your outlook on life. After watching her talk, I was inspired to read her book Daring Greatly. This book will completely change the way you interact with people. In this book she explores vulnerability, how people handle their vulnerabilities, and how understanding your own and other’s vulnerabilities will help you become a more effective person. This book is one of my absolute favorites. I think that all teachers should read this book to better understand each another and their students. 

These two books have helped me deal with the challenges the teaching profession can bring, and changed they way I look at problems. Read these books, they will change you.