Summer Reading

Now is the time when schools have finalized their summer reading lists and begin posting them online, mailing them out to the student body, and sharing them with local bookstores.  This is the same time that I set my goal to read the books that I have been collecting throughout the year that are now piled high on my nightstand.  I thought for this week’s post that I would share some of the book titles that I have been inspired to read and will read over the summer months.  The newest book on my list is Science Fair Season by Judy Dutton (2011).  This book follows twelve teens who competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair competing for hefty monetary prizes and scholarships.  Working with students on a daily basis I am always inspired by teens who have passion and drive to achieve their goals and at the same time make a difference in the world.   This would be a great summer read for a high school science class.  The motivation of the young people highlighted in Science Fair Season leads me to the next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink (2010).  This book is about what motivates people, more specifically, the intrinsic versus extrinsic motivators.  As educators we are often trying to motivate our students to learn our content area and make connections to our everyday lives The challenge is when we have students who are unmotivated and do not care.  How do we get them to care?  How do we motivate people without begging, bribery or bullying?  Pink’s book offers many research studies on motivation as well as a toolkit.  Showing Up for Life (2009) is a book by Bill Gates Sr. about his son, Bill Gates – a famous and intrinsically motivated icon for this century.  Gates Sr. suggests that he was blessed with a truly gifted son and all he did was cultivate his son’s interests and passions.  The Blessing of a B- by Wendy Mogel (2010) is another book that looks at how we can support teenagers through the tumultuous teenage years.

The last three titles that I have on my summer reading list are more business than educational reads:  Crush It (2009) by Gary Vaynerchuk, The No Asshole Rule (2007) by Robert Sutton, and Delivering Happiness (2010) by the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh.  I find that I can learn a lot from business books and make connections to my teaching.  The stories about people’s successes and failures like with Hsieh’s book I can share with my students about motivation and success.  The No Asshole Rule I think relates to everyone, how to deal with mean, rude and nasty people.  This is my list thus far.  I think it will keep me occupied until July at least.  As I come across more book and read these books more carefully I will share my thoughts, reflections and connections.  If you have any great books to share for the summer months, please post suggested titles in the comments section below.

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