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The Intentional Teacher: Forging a Great Career in the Independent School Classroom Paperback – September 30, 2009
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Gow's book is an excellent resource for new teachers and should be required reading for both the institutes mentioned above. Gow offers a thorough yet accessible introduction into all of the facets of life at independent schools (students, parents, colleagues, governing structure, etc). He also explains many key educational concepts and provides useful templates for how to use them (ie "Backwards Planning," "Bloom's Taxonomy," etc). Reading the Intentional Teacher before I started teaching prepared me with a meaningful way--What is my intention?--to think through my curriculum and pedagogy and I still ask that question on a daily basis.
"The Intentional Teacher" contains a wealth of practical advice for educators at all stages of their careers, from those just starting out (chapters on finding a teaching job and lesson planning) to mid-career teachers (chapters on continuing education and transitioning from the classroom to the administration). Mr. Gow offers wise counsel throughout on topics such as knowing students, communicating with families, classroom management, diversity awareness and cognitive and social development.
The book's title mirrors the author's own intent in writing it: to produce a guide to "help teachers focus on their own intentions--to understand and define their personal missions as educators and then to figure out how to make the most of their skills, energies, and passions in the service of their missions."
For Mr. Gow, a third-generation educator, teaching is "in the blood," but his new book dispels any notion of great teachers being born, not made. The teaching profession has evolved considerably since his grandfather founded The Gow School in 1926 near Buffalo, and the author would be the last one to rest on family laurels.
He writes, "Gone is the era when an independent schoolteaching career could begin with the new graduate being shown into the classroom and then progressing in stately and tweedy fashion over decades toward a punctilious retirement, full of years if not so many honors, with the teacher doing little more than showing up each September....Effective teachers are constantly engaged in the re-examination of both practice and purpose....Read more ›