Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Don't Change the Light Bulbs.

Don’t Change the Light Bulbs - Rachel Jones

I’m not sure how to describe this book.

I’m torn between ‘it’s my Twitter feed written down’ and comparing it to one of those shiny metal boxes in films that, when opened, a cloud of gas escapes...which dissipates to reveal rows of test tubes of coloured liquid, each one affecting the human who consumes it in different ways.

Maybe these two possible descriptions aren’t so far apart. This book takes nuggets of pedagogical gold, many from legends of the educational Twitterverse, and presents them to you on a plate.  When consumed (not literally of course, unless ‘internalising’ means something different to you) they stimulate, provoke, challenge and excite. Unfortunately I haven’t found one that will re-grow my missing hair but I’ll keep re-reading just in case.

What I really enjoy about this collection is that dipping in and out is as effective and enjoyable as reading from the front to the back. The format of numbered lists, with each ‘tip’ having it’s own design, makes them really accessible and bite-sized.  Just reading one tip is not as easy as it sounds though, as the ‘just one more...’ mentality kicks in and you’ll find hours pass by unnoticed, but you’ll be buzzing to get into school.

And really, that’s the fundamental point of this book. It’s aim is to inspire and help us all to be better at what we do. And it does. What it doesn’t claim to be is a magic bullet or a panacea; the contributors have most likely never met the learners you work with. Instead, the tips, tricks, thoughts and opinions will challenge us all to adapt and improve by applying them to our own situations.

If you’re looking for an easy to read source of inspiration that you can gain something from, in the time it takes to drink a teacher’s coffee, then this is the book for you.

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