Do you ever think about the powerful lessons you learnt through childhood play?
Around the time I started high school, I was obsessed with the PlayStation game ‘Final Fantasy VIII’. While it was an impressive game, there was one section that taught me a great lesson.
During the game you have to train by engaging in small battles to increase your skill points. Skill points allowed you to ‘level up’ a character and with a higher level it was easier for them defeat the various enemies confronted during your quest.
I arrived at a particular point in the game on an Island that had been invaded by some terrible enemy. I saved the game, ran into the city, and was about to face the next challenge.
Unfortunately for me, I had not trained enough. I tried time and time again to defeat the enemy but my characters were not strong enough. I had landed myself in a situation where there was nowhere to train and my skill level was too low to defeat the enemy.
During this moment I was very frustrated. I had played the game for hours and it was all wasted, I just couldn’t do it.
This made me realise the importance of preparation. Taking the easy route is not always the best long-term option.
It is for that reason that I have valued the extra years I have spent doing my bachelors degree part-time. Volunteering, working full time and taking every opportunity I could to learn and grow have made me who I am today.
My next challenge is starting soon. I will be starting to teach in 2015 with the Teach for Australia program.
To help me, I have asked my friends and tweeps for advice. One question I have asked it, ‘what book do you wish you had read before becoming a teacher?’
Here is a list of answers from teachers all over the world. They come from Australia, the UK, US, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Conscious Classroom Management, Rick Smith
Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine
Differentiation in the Classroom, Carolyn Tomlinson
Dream Class, Michael Linsin
Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman
How Children Succeed, Paul Tough
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Faber & Mazlish
Ideology and Curriculum, Michael Apple
In The Deep Heart’s Core, Michael Johnston
Mindset, Carol Dweck
Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire
Real Talk for Real Teachers, Rafe Esquith
Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques, Doug Lemov
Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire, Rafe Esquith
Teach Like A Pirate, Dave Burgess
Teaching As a Subversive Activity, Neil Postman
The Courage to Teach, Parker J. Palmer
The First Days of School, Harry Wong
The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell
With thanks to the following tweeps for sharing their advice:
@DocbobLA, @PeterDeutscher, @zshanbatyrova, @seminyaksunset, @Jessa_Rogers , @MosierArnold, @MrazKristine, @Roussel_Capra, @FarrowMr, @UtahTOY2014, @alford_joanne, @DanielMCarr, @nashtysmans, @snydesn2 and @Mooshuns.
If you have any other ideas, or opinions on the books listed, let me know by commenting below.