Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nerd Alert

 I'm just back from my Nerdy Education Book Club.  This is the one where we pick education-related texts and discuss them in terms of our own jobs, experiences, and philosophies.  Tonight, we discussed a book on how you should only teach reading, writing, and discussion; and until you are teaching those things well, you shouldn't do anything else.

The book was called Focus by a guy named Mike Schmoker.  There were parts of the book I really enjoyed and learned from.  For instance, Mike really drove home the importance of checking for understanding.  This is something I haven't done so well in the last few years, so I appreciated the pep talk.

Other parts of the book, I didn't care for. Basically, those were the parts about how any idiot without an ounce of creativity can teach a good lesson if they just follow an easy formula and why won't the administrators just adequately supervise and enforce.

Overall, I found the book to be condescending, but still useful.  Does that make sense?  Anyway, if you want to read it, as Lee says, you should.


LH said...

I got about halfway through it. It was getting repetitive... A bad sign for
Such a skinny book. I liked his condemnation of canned programs. Didn't
Like his idea that curriculum design was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

KC said...

Agreed. I stopped reading after the language arts chapter, which was about halfway through.
I ended up liking the book more after my book club discussion. It was kind of interesting because many of them observe tons of teachers for their jobs, and they say that actually, people don't do the stuff Schmoker was talking about.