Monday, February 7, 2011

Fires in the Mind

Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery by Kathleen Cushman

For teachers…

I recommend this book because it shows myriad examples from students on what motivates them. For example, here’s a student talking about what makes a teacher good:

“A lot of teachers here treat their class as more of a conversation, rather than a lecture, and I think that really helps to create dialogue. There’s not someone standing up and telling you a right or wrong answer.” – Kristian

Teachers can also check out the website link for ongoing ideas about how to apply these concepts into their classrooms.

For Parents…

If you are a parent, perhaps you could buy a copy of this book for a teacher as a holiday or end of year gift? And, if you are a parent you can check out the website link of this book geared toward parents.

Some great suggestions for parents from this link:

1. Love your children as an end, not a means.

2. View life as resistance training.

3. Stop looking at the scoreboard at the game and start paying attention to practice field.

4. Form in your children an ethical conscience and a conscience of craft.

5. Develop the whole person

Concentrate on seven life skills:

• Communication

• Courtesy

• Taking other perspectives

• Self-control

• Organization

• Time management

• Self-care

I hope Fires in the Mind will help bring teachers and parents together. As a parent I have often found the dialogue between a teacher and parent to be one way, with a teacher telling a parent something (usually rehearsed) instead of really listening to a parent’s concerns. Parents and teachers have to learn how to listen to each other. That’s what we try to teach our children and students, so why not model that as adults?

1 comment:

  1. This book and website look great... I will be reading it! Thanks for all your great info, Kerry.