Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Booknote: _The Ten Commandments of Professionalism for Teachers_

Vickie Gill's little book, The Ten Commandments of Professionalism for Teachers (Corwin Press, 2005), should be handed out to all teacher education program graduates right at their commencement. This is a simple book written in a conversational style that will benefit any teacher, not just beginners. It is only 65 pages long, but the book is a tool that educators will likely revisit often. Her ten commandments are really simply principles, but they are principles that education programs often fail to tell their students, and it is often the case that new teachers have to learn some of these basics the hard way. Ms. Gill provides advice on such important topics as finding a mentor, dealing with parents, paying attention to details, and professional development. Each chapter ends with a set of questions for further reflection. These questions can be discussed in small groups, but I find that they can be used for personal reflection in the form of journal entries or other personal writing as well. I cannot recommend this book enough, and I tend to be sceptical of yet another book written by a teacher for teachers. However, this book is different. The author has a strong voice; she is passionate about her work. She writes in a clear style that invites the reader to think and reflect. I checked out the library copy, but I will likely purchase a copy for myself as well. If readers out there have a son or daughter just graduating from a teacher education program, this would make a very thoughtful gift. In addition, there are some elements here that would be very applicable to librarians and other professionals that work with people. For instance, beginning librarians often need to find a good mentor. They need to pay attention to the details. They need to continue their professional development. So, I would recommend it for librarians as well.

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