Discipline: Professional Resources

Grade(s): K - 5

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Towanda Harris

Today, educators often find themselves facing a dizzying array of materials and resources, whether they are a box of dusty skills cards handed down from a retiring teacher, a professional book passed on by a colleague, a procedure recommended by a supervisor, a program required by a district, a book reviewed on a blog, a unit downloaded from a website, or a strategy highlighted in a brochure. But how do we know which of these will help the children in our classrooms? How do we find helpful resources without squandering funding or instructional time—not to mention our students’ potential?

In The Right Tools, Towanda Harris lays out a path that teachers and administrators can use to make informed decisions about what resources and practices they need for the students they teach. Rather than telling you what to buy or use, Towanda offers tools and guidance to help you to make that decision as you

  • identify what you and your students need
  • match resources with your goals for your students
  • use the resource with a focus on your students
  • assess how well the resource is working
  • adjust how you are using the resource as necessary
  • utilize one of the most powerful resources available to you as a teacher—your colleagues.

Resources are only a piece of your teaching, alongside knowledge of best practices, and a deep understanding of your students. Yet each of these pieces can have powerful effects. By finding and using resources that are well matched to your students and their academic goals, you can keep working to help students reach their full potential.