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What We’re Reading Right Now: Alex Thomas Edition

6_AlexThomasWelcome to our feature where we offer up books, articles, and/or podcasts that we’re finding inspiring right now. This edition comes from Middle & High School Film Guide Alex Thomas. The following are books that have most influenced Alex’s pedagogical practice:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Because I didn’t understand the difference between introverts and extroverts until this book. It really makes creating differentiated assessment and feedback opportunities less of a task and more of a moral mission to reach everyone.

The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley. Because USA USA USA is not #1 in terms of teacher salary, teacher education, or student content mastery & testing, and we can learn a ton from other education systems around the world. Props to Finland. Come to think of it, I’m just going to go ahead and mail this to Betsy DeVos.

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories From a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. Because this book taught me how to look for signs of trauma and mental health issues. It also created a deeper sense of empathy within me, which will affect how I interact with adolescents who walk into my classroom for the rest of my life.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. Curveball: this book doesn’t have anything to do with teaching in a traditional sense. But it did change the way I look at adolescence, justice, and therefore teaching.

If you would like to guest curate “What We’re Reading and Listening To Right Now,” please email us at!

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