There are a lot of professional-development books out there, but few are written specifically for the Lutheran teacher. Take a look at some of the suggestions below. They include books on teaching students and teaching the faith, so every challenge and question can be touched on.
The Pedagogy of Faith
Edited by Bernard Bull
This collection of essays covers a broad range of topics, all meant to help spark the Lutheran teacher’s own thoughts, prayers, and reflections. My personal favorites include “The Vocation of Learner,” written by John Oberdeck; “The Role of Questions in Teaching the Faith,” by Paul Buchheimer; and “Confront the Challenges to Your Faith,” by Marty Kohlwey. These essays are incredibly relevant in our culture and society today and discuss issues the Lutheran teacher will no doubt face.
- Foundations (of Lutheran Theology)
- Teaching and Learning (Lutheran Theology)
- Context and Culture (of Schools)
By Bernard Bull, Jim Pingel, and Michael Uden
The stories in this book are based on true events and are meant to present student and teacher questions, struggles, and challenges in the Christian classroom. The chapter that inspired me the most is titled “Making a Call When the Lines Are Crossed: Determining How to Respond as a Mandated Reporter,” which describes pressures from an unsupportive administrator and how God led a teacher to respond in her difficult situation. I found this one to be especially important because knowing when to report suspected abuse as a mandated reporter can be intimidating, especially when your administration may not back you up.
- A Teacher and a Standardized Dream
- A Tale of a Great Teacher and a Grade Awakening
- Bear One Another’s Burdens: The Insidious Impact of Childhood Trauma
Reaching Every Child
My favorite part of this book is how easy it is to read. Each article inside is about two pages—perfect for a daily read. Most of the articles cover topics that have something to do with kids with special needs, learning disabilities, and challenges. Just like the subtitle says, the book explains how to meet student needs. My favorite article is “Be a Student of Students.” This particular article describes how not all students will have a diagnosed disability, yet most will still need some accommodation in the classroom to learn at their best. That’s where the teacher must know their students well enough to adapt their teaching to reach every child.
- What Psychologists Say
- Seeing the Invisible Need
- Reinventing Attitudes
By Becky Schuricht Peters
Author Becky Peters defines faith and discusses how teachers might help their students grow. She encourages readers to examine their own faith life and contemplate their students’ cognitive development. Each chapter is specialized for a specific age group, making it easy to reference and perfect to use in group settings.
- Faith of Elementary Students
- Faith of Middle School Students
- Faith of High School Students
Imagine the Possibilities
By Bernard Bull and Jim Pingel
You may think that Christian schools are dying, but lots are still thriving. Imagine the Possibilities invites you, the reader, to see the ways your school can survive and adapt. Using examples from real-life schools, the book explores the ways that a Christian school may thrive in today’s culture and climate. I found it to be incredibly inspiring to read about schools that are doing well and learning how I can change my classroom for the better in the future.
- Bloom Where You Are Planted
- Pursue Your Passion
- Redefining the High School Experience