Of Note: Simply Complex
The Little Orange Book: Short Lessons in Excellent Teaching by The University of Texas System, Academy of Distinguished Teachers
University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers, April 30, 2015
The Little Orange Book: Short Lessons in Excellent Teaching is modeled after Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teaching from a Lifetime in Golf. Useful to novice teachers and veterans alike, this slim volume, written by sixteen members of the University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers, is full of short essays focused on great classroom teaching. The essays work across disciplines and, though aimed at college teaching, have immediate relevance to middle and high school classrooms. Both practical and inspiring, the essays offer a lively set of pedagogical tools (e.g., "What constitutes great feedback? When is group work most effective?") alongside useful reminders about the affective sides of teaching (e.g., "How do I romance students into engaging in my discipline? How can I ensure my classroom feels safe for students?"). New teachers might want to read the book cover to cover, and school leaders might use a specific essay to frame a discussion for on-site professional development or a conversation starter in a department meeting. Beyond its practical use, and most of all, The Little Orange Book is a testament to the complexity, beauty, and nobility of the teaching profession.