Recommended by: Donna Phillips, middle school librarian, Schenectady Federation of Teachers
Suitable for: Professionals
Why I chose it: As a veteran teacher, I was humbled at how much I had to learn from Tools for Teaching and grateful for a belated opportunity to learn it. Jones's book is the culmination of more than 30 years observing "natural teachers" in their classrooms in an effort to figure out what they do to get results from challenging students. Jones, who began his career as a clinical psychologist, does those teachers further justice, systematizing and sequencing what they do.
What I like best: The book is assisted by the artistic gifts of his son, seasoning it with both verbal and visual humor.
How teachers can use this book: Strategies, from arranging the classroom space through counseling effectively in one-on-one moments, have a solid grounding in communication, psychology and learning research. That Jones manages to make this research so accessible, structured, memorable and fun is the genius of this book. It should be mandatory reading for anyone going into, planning to stay in, or burned out and tempted to leave the classroom. Better still, enjoy it with three dozen of your favorite colleagues as I am fortunate to be doing at our school this year.
"Check it Out" features books recommended to teachers and parents by school librarians.