"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, August 16, 2021

Reading to Inspire Students: Parolee and Pirates

At least once a month I try to share what I've been reading. Sometimes it's the fiction stories I'm enjoying, sometimes it's nonfiction or poetry, and sometimes it's craft specific titles that I share. Every summer, I dedicate a percentage of my free reading time to books that might aid in my classroom environment. Today, I thought I would share a few titles from my most recent selections:

1 and 2) I've only recently been introduced to Damon West. He visited with the staff at the high school where I teach. He will be visiting with staff and students at our school multiple times throughout this school year. His mission: to motivate positive character practices.

I picked up two of his books: the autobiography seen to the right, and his "coffee bean" ideology book seen below.

From the bestselling co-author of The Coffee Bean comes the true story of a well-raised kid, a three-year starting quarterback, a young person filled with potential…until a shocking addiction took hold.

Sentenced to sixty-five years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities to reach any goal. A natural born leader, an athlete with good looks and charm, he appeared to be the all-American kid pursuing his dreams.

Underneath this facade, however, was an addict in the early stages of disease. After suffering childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter at the age of nine, Damon began putting chemicals into his body to alter the way he felt.

Once he was introduced to methamphetamines, however, he became instantly hooked—and the lives of so many innocent people would forever be changed by the choices he made in order to feed his insatiable meth habit.

After a fateful discussion during his incarceration with a seasoned convict, Damon had a spiritual awakening. He learned that, like a coffee bean changing with the application of heat and pressure, he was capable of changing the environment around him. Armed with a program of recovery, a renewed faith, and a miraculous second chance at life, Damon emerged from over seven years of prison a changed man. His story of redemption continues to inspire audiences today.

3) I met Hal Roberts at another teacher seminar a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed his presentation enough to be interested in learning more about his educational ideas. This book has been sitting in my TBR pile for a bit, but I finally got to it this summer. 

Leadership is difficult, but it is also very rewarding. Join Hal as you sail away from safe harbors into the rough-sometimes treacherous, challenging, but never dull-waters of leadership. Hal will share his experiences of over thirty years of leadership using the acronym P-I-R-A-T-E-S to guide, inspire, and edify you on your leadership voyage. This book is not about attacking and pillaging ships on the high seas, but how to lead fearlessly and navigate the rough waters of leadership. Hal will share how relationships and trust are the foundation of leading others. Leading comes down to how much influence you have as a leader; and Hal tells how to spark, motivate, and lead your crew to fulfill their potential. He connects each of the attributes to neuroscience so that you can get "inside the brain" of your followers.

4) Hal Roberts, mentioned above, accredits this author as a mentor so I knew I had to check out his work as well. I wasn't disappointed.

Based on Dave Burgess's popular "Teach Like a PIRATE" seminars, this book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. You'll learn how to: • Tap into and dramatically increase your passion as a teacher • Develop outrageously engaging lessons that draw students in like a magnet • Establish rapport and a sense of camaraderie in your classroom • Transform your class into a life-changing experience for your students This groundbreaking inspirational manifesto contains over 30 hooks specially designed to captivate your class and 170 brainstorming questions that will skyrocket your creativity. Once you learn the Teach Like a PIRATE system, you'll never look at your role as an educator the same again.

What books would you recommend teachers read? What advice would you give teachers of future writers? If you were going to write a book for educators, or create your own curriculum, what would it be about?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That first one is an amazing story. Glad he found his faith again and was able to change. Now he can make a difference in many lives with his story.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I agree with Alex that Damon West's book sounds so inspiring. Sorry not to have a teacher-related book to suggest to you.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Reading books in a variety of genres is time well spent for all future writers. Over the past few months, I've read books of multiple genres by authors new to me. Today I posted a book review for an unusual and outstanding novel that I would not have discovered otherwise.
Author Arti Jain's "and all the SEASONS in between" - Book Review