Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Review How Children Succeed

I went outside my box a bit at school and joined the book club.  I was a bit nervous about this because I am not very good at reading under a time schedule. 

The second reason I was nervous about the book club is because the principal is in charge of the club and he picks the books. 
Honestly the book was not a book I would pick to read.  However, book club meets at one of my favorite restaurants so I decided to give it a try.

The first book was, How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough. 
In the newspaper you always hear what is wrong with education, it was nice to read what people are doing to make a difference.  

I think the book reinforces what most teachers already know, children who come from stressful home situations find it harder to concentrate and learn in school.  Therefore is has a direct affect on their performance. 

So the question in my mind is how do we as teachers help our students overcome these obstacles?
We need to help our students develop their character.  They need to learn it is ok to make mistakes however you must learn from your mistakes.  Self-control, gratitude, curiosity, optimism, GRIT and all characteristics that will help our children succeed. 

Even children who come families that give them everything need to learn the same things.  I know many of my students are fortune enough to have a lot, however they do not always appreciate what they have.  They always expect me to just give them the answer, they don’t want to think or be wrong. 

Paul Tough writes that all children need limits, discipline, and rules.  They need to learn to work through, “child-size adversity.”  Children need to be given chances to learn from their mistakes so that they can get back up on their own with out help from and build their confidence. 

My favorite part of the book is when the author is summarizing about the teacher who is also the chess coach at the school.  He writes, “As she saw it, her job was not to prevent them from failing it was to teach them how to learn from each failure. with unblinking honesty.”

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