Four authors offer advice for newcomers to the teaching profession.
In this debut education book, former high school teachers Hill and Salazar, current educator Carrillo, and financial planner Sanchez cover fundamental topics for new teachers—from the first day of school to guiding students through successful research papers. Each chapter is structured as a conversation among the four authors, who draw on their own experiences and best practices to offer tips on classroom management as well as strategies for turning parents into partners, getting the most out of professional development opportunities, and preparing for evaluation and observation. Although the book is short, it covers a wide range of subjects and provides a surprising amount of insider information. However, the book’s lessons tend to be more general than they are detailed. The chatty, casual style of the dialogue format (“Rick, can you comment a little bit on classroom management?”) makes for easy reading, as if one is eavesdropping on old pros in a teachers’ lounge. The authors’ insights are often concisely and elegantly phrased (“It is very difficult to teach a student that you are looking for quality as opposed to quantity”), and they frequently remind new teachers that, yes, they can manage the challenges of their profession. Still, the book has its drawbacks in both style and content. The text is inadequately copy edited, with frequent punctuation and other errors that undermine the authors’ authority. Although it’s clear that the authors value students and want what’s best for them, the text sometimes has an adversarial quality, as when Carrillo warns that “some students may try to goad you into saying something, and they may want to get the teachers in trouble” with cellphone recordings of classroom activities.
An education book that, despite its flaws, provides plenty of useful information.