Professional Development Reading

(Me as a student teacher, my three-week pre-internship.  We were playing Jeopardy as a review!)

I decided to purchase and start reading the book, The First Days of School by Harry Wong in anticipation of having my very first classroom next year.  I thought that this book would be a beneficial and appropriate read for me because two superintendents and a classmate of mine referred it to me, and also because I will be entering my very first day of school as a teacher in August.  Therefore, I decided that I should read up on this as much as possible!

I bought the book just this afternoon and am only on page 14.  So far it’s a really great book and I’m finding MANY useful tips about starting my teaching career.  While I was reading this book, I started wondering if it was worth my $40, in comparison to the amount of professional development reading materials, articles, and suggestions that I could probably find online.  Out of curiosity, I started Googling “first year teacher tips,” just to see what it would come up with.

Right away I found some of the following articles:

Ten Tips for First Year Teachers

Education World (which also includes Lesson Planning, Professional Development, Technology Integration, and a variety of other topics)

New Teacher, First Year Teacher, and Student Teacher Resources GALORE

How to Succeed as a New Teacher: Tips for the First Year Teacher

These are just four of the pages that came up right away!  Clearly, there are many, many more pages that I could have looked at as well.  Therefore, I go back to my original question, was it worth my $40 to buy the book, or should I have just surfed the web for advice?

I think that this book WAS worth the money!  I think that it all comes down to credability and focus.  While I’m sure that many of the websites that I came across do offer valuable advice, they are not coming from sources that I know or have been referred to me.  Secondly, in comparison to a book, the websites that I found lacked a bit of focus.  They definitely did show pages that offered tips and hints for being a first year teacher, but it is up to the reader to narrow it down and focus only on what is relevant to them.

Could it just come down to personal preference?  Books or websites?


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