Sunday, October 29, 2006

Number three...

OK, this is a bit of a cheat. Didn't I say that I was looking at the top ten maths textbooks? And yet here I am giving plaudits and big thumb-uppery to a book on the business of teaching (not a textbook then), and one that's not even maths-specific.

Ah, but.

This wee journey through memory (old and new) has actually been a bit of a surprise to me, as I've been forced to re-evaluate a fair amount of books; often, these have been found wanting. But I can honestly say that this book, "The Craft of the Classroom" by Michael Marland, is an absolute belter. No other book has affected my teaching more, I can safely say. Of course, I was fortunate in that a teacher friend recommended it to me way back before I started at my very first school; I spent a good while reading the book over that summer and jings, crivvens and help ma boab, I realised I'd struck gold.

I see the latest edition is subtitled "A Survival Guide", presumably because these types of books are selling well to anxious newbies. Well, fair enough, but Marland's approach is more positive (balanced?) than that. He has a lot to say about a lot of things, and seems to have a brilliant knack for alerting you to potential problems - and well thought-out solutions - before you've even come anywhere near them.

For some people he maybe comes across as old-school, but who cares? He's absolutely inspirational. So I hereby award him honourary mathematics teacher status, to go with his Summy.

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