Vacation Reading

I’ve spent my week off from school doing something that I’ve gotten a lot better at during my second year of teaching: taking some time to take care of myself, too. As a result, I actually relaxed and feel rejuvenated and prepared to dive back into school on Monday.

One of my main hopes this vacation was to spend time reading and I did. I finally got around to reading Quiet by Susan Cain, which discusses introversion and the ways in which these traits, often devalued by society at large, are often linked to personal and professional success. It was fascinating to hear introversion discussed in this way and validating as an introverted person to not be encouraged to “speak up” or to adopt a different disposition.

I’m posting Susan Cain’s TED talk here; it provides a nice overview of the book.

Another interesting book that I read this week was John Hunter’s World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements. This work details Hunter’s experiences playing the “World Peace Game” with his young students. This game simulates global power politics and asks students to assume roles as negotiators and leaders as they strive to resolve a plethora of conflicts. Reading this work reminded me that our students are often so much more capable than we might give them credit for and that students can rise to the occasion when given motivating opportunities to do so.

Hunter also had a TED talk, which discusses the game. He strikes me as such an excellent educator!

So, with one day of vacation left, I am feeling ready to return to school and excited about beginning my favorite unit of the year, which revolves around Dr. Seuss, poetry, and environmentalism. I’ve memorized The Lorax to share with my students and can’t wait to perform the story for them!


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