I recently read The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need by Daniel H. Pink, the same author of A Whole New Mind.
It was my first graphic novel and a quick read and I think it is a great read for parents and students in high school or college. But it is especially a great read for new and seasoned teachers.
Pink's lists 6 essential lessons for thriving in the world of work. Here they are with my teacher twist on each one:
1. There is no plan. Snow days cancel field trips and last minute assemblies wreak havoc on your lesson plan. You're teaching 5th grade this year, but you might be teaching 8th grade next year.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses. Always focus on what students are doing right instead of wrong.
3. It's not about you. It's about the students. Pink states, "The most valuable people in any job bring out the best in others." That is exactly what we as teachers need to focus on.
4. Persistence trumps talent. Encourage and value the student who comes to every extra help session just as much as the ones who ace every test with their eyes close. Later in life, persistence counts more than talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes. "Too many people spend their time avoiding mistakes" and then they never do anything. We need to teach students that it is okay to make mistakes, "each time they make a mistake they get a little better and move a little closer to excellence" (Pink).
6. Leave an imprint. You don't want to be the teacher that everyone forgets, you want to be the teacher that everyone remembers, the teacher who gets emails from her students 30 years from now.