Tagged: books

Sharing your Classroom Lending-Library

Fellow Teachers,

This Summer I discovered a great new free app for organizing your classroom lending-library. I know, who has time? It actually doesn’t take a lot since it allows you to scans the book’s UPC code from your phone. 

Whether you’re interested in trying it for yourself or not, I ALSO wanted to use it to offer up 29 years of books about teaching, especially for any of you new to our profession. Browse the “Teacher Ed.” section of my classroom library at https://www.libib.com/u/maldog/l/1423153. Let me know what you’d like to do borrow and I’ll put it in your mailbox or the brown envelope to Dow City, or come on by the Art room and grab it yourself. 

Frankly, since we’re talking about 3 decades of Teacher/Ed, I might even be open to selling, trading or gifting some of them. (SOME of them).

Meanwhile, look at some of the other 16+ categories at www.libib.com/u/maldog, I have books on Art (obviously), Art Education (for K-5 teachers who want something), Photography, Graphic Design & Journalism (for Business or English/ELA types), Psychology, Philosophy, general Literature etc. etc. 

Just because I’m not an English/ELA or Reading teacher, I believe that literacy & reading make all our other disciplines possible and, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I want to do what I can to encourage and promote reading for kids. Hopefully my English/ELA colleagues will be okay with my sharing my extensive Comics & Graphic Novel categories with students!

Have a great Semester everybody; Happy “New Year!”


Check these books out


Cheesebread & Coffee’ are humor pieces from the Charter Oak-Ute NEWSpaper and Mapleton PRESS 2002-2008. Not political, not too religious.

Max Nix’ is a collection of poetry from 1985-2020. I know, poetry isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve been told mine is short, approachable, relatable and keeps you reading.

‘Dear John’ is a series of reflections on the book of 1 John. Not exactly a devotional, not exactly a Bible study- somewhere in between. It deals with some current issues though, love and who is our brother?

Prophet, Priest & Pirate,’ 2004-2020 essays on politics & religion. Yep, more progressive than most voters in Iowa’s 4th District, but more moderate/conservative than most of the rest of the U.S. Basic thesis: Democrats can be Christian too, and while we’re at it- let’s be careful not to make either political party or their candidates into false idols.

BOOK REPORT; ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’

 I read it two or three years ago now but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. This is a book that stays with you for years after you’ve finished it. 

Recently I’ve been reading a couple of books on teaching with methods of inquiry and conceptualization. Pirsig’s constant struggle is between what’s measurable and what’s meaningful. In this novel that tension seems to have led him to a breakdown. I feel like this is the same struggle we have in American schools today. 

Teachers want to challenge students to become intellectually curious and develop into whole, healthy, principled individuals capable of participating in and contributing to society- whereas politicians, administrators and officials have been stressing accountability based on data from standardized test results. 

Really it’s a false dichotomy, we need both differentiation and standardization, but the tension and dissonance are putting enormous pressure on professional educators and their schools resulting in frustration, confusion, and perhaps even an identity crisis just like Pirsig has to recover from in ‘Zen.’

But my identifying the central conflict with education really minimizes the book. Hit resonates on many more levels. It’s got plenty so say about self awareness, self acceptance, relationships, and parenting.

Riding from Minnesota to Montana on back roads and county highways with his son, Pirsig has hours to experience, contemplate, and think. This book is his “chautauqua,” hoping to help us deepen some of our channels rather than blaze new trails. Interesting so far. I think this is what I had hoped that Kerouac’s, ‘The Road’ was going to be like, but it wasn’t 

What books have ‘stuck’ with you for months or years after you’ve read them? What books have had a major impact on your life or profession, or personal world-view or outlook on life? How did they effect you? Why did you relate to the characters in those books?

Anyone else out there read this book? What did you think? How would you compare it to ‘The Road’ by Jack Kerouac?