Angela Watson's Reviews > Educating America: 101 Strategies for Adult Assistants in K-8 Classrooms

Educating America by Paddy Eger
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Jan 11, 2012

it was amazing
Read in September, 2011

This book is the best resource I've seen on this topic. It's based on the principle that one teacher cannot (and should not) meet the needs of an entire classroom full of students alone. Community and parent support are needed now more than ever, and school workers as well as corporate and community groups need to know how they can be most useful in the classroom.

One of the most remarkable things about this book is that its advice applies equally well to teachers, parents, volunteers, para-professionals, and other classroom assistants (the first part of the book contains more general strategies, with separate chapters written "mostly" for each type of classroom worker.) "Educating America" tackles tricky topics from setting expectations to monitoring student progress. The advice goes far beyond common sense stuff and provides genuinely useful tips that you can tell are effective in real classrooms.

Paddy provides realistic examples of how classroom assistants can be truly valuable in helping meet the needs of students, explaining in plain English how they can use questioning strategies with kids and help them develop thinking skills. There is an entire chapter on how assistants should handle misbehavior, and the appendix includes helpful checklists and planning worksheets.

I think this book meets a big need right now in providing practical resources and advice on incorporating adult assistants in the classroom. Paddy's website also has full-size worksheets that can be downloaded, with new resources added weekly. If you are looking for tips from an educator who's been there, I highly recommend Paddy's book and website!

[Review originally posted on my website, TheCornerstoneForTeachers.com.]
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