Standardized testing, ridiculous demands on your schedule, poor decisions and mandates that are out of touch with the needs of kids, and an often thankless industry – it’s easy to understand why Colleen Schmit has crafted such a title, Crisscross Applesauce and Shut the Hell Up: 10 Reflective Lessons for New and Seasoned Teachers.
If you’re looking for a great summertime read or a fun book for professional development – I recommend this – you will be reminded of why you chose to be a hero in the classroom!
Crisscross Fun to Read
The book is a blazing fast 107 pages that will take two afternoons in the hammock (3 afternoons poolside with lemonade or mimosas) to read. The chapters are organized into “lesson” formats with:
- Objectives: Chapter titles.
- Anticipatory Sets: A personal story from the classroom.
- Procedures: Suggestions for professional learning.
- Closing: Final thoughts to consider.
- Reflection: Questions to think about.
Here are a few quotes to capture the motivating spirit of each chapter (written as lesson objectives). Click the + sign to open each chapter.
[thrive_accordion_group title=””][thrive_accordion title=”1. Roll with the punches.” no=”1/10″ default=”no”] “You may not be assigned the grade you imagined, placed at the school you wanted…Complaining over the situation will only make you miserable. Look for the good in the experience and see it as part of your journey…”[/thrive_accordion]
[thrive_accordion title=”2. Learn and use some of the native languages of their students.” no=”2/10″ default=”no”]This chapter starts with a humorous story of learning a few words from students. But she learned the wrong words! I won’t spoil the fun for you.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
[thrive_accordion title=”3. Communicate positively with students and stand up to bullies.” no=”3/10″ default=”no”]This chapter digs deep into the heart of what we do in schools. Colleen really lets loose and speaks to the heart of creating healthy classroom climates for kids and teachers.
“I think we are forgetting the huge impact we have on our students’ lives. An educator’s role is to support, nurture, engage, and inspire students.”Not every moment as a teacher is joyful, but shouldn't the majority of the moments be? -Colleen SchmitClick To Tweet[/thrive_accordion]
[thrive_accordion title=”4. Be an advocate for students and teachers.” no=”4/10″ default=”yes”] This chapter will challenge you to think beyond the mandates of education – to think beyond the tests. There are many things we cannot change, but we can control what happens in our classrooms. This was by far, my favorite chapter.
“The absence of fun is a disturbing epidemic in many classrooms…I didn’t sign up as a teacher to give tests. I signed up to teach.”Do your best to pump every moment not testing with teachable, meaningful experiences for your kids. -Colleen SchmitClick To Tweet
[/thrive_accordion][thrive_accordion title=”5. Show the students they are liked.” no=”5/10″ default=”no”] This chapter is about getting kids to love learning, to enjoy school.
“If students like you, they will work for you. If they feel safe and secure they will try their best.”
The four procedures recommended at the end of this chapter are amazing! They will catapult your relationships with students and build on the fun you already have in your classroom. These pages alone make it worth getting hold of this book![/thrive_accordion]
[thrive_accordion title=”6. Think about walking in parents’ shoes.” no=”6/10″ default=”no”] We will never know the challenges our parents face – the stories of their lives. This chapter reminds us that parents bring their greatest gifts to our classroom doors everyday.
“Try to walk in your parents’ shoes. Treat every child as if they were your own.”You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. -Harper LeeClick To Tweet[/thrive_accordion]
[thrive_accordion title=”7. Find positive peers to interact with.” no=”7/10″ default=”no”] “One of the very real navigational tasks that no one will tell you about is figuring out the cliques of the school.”
This chapter offers excellent and practical ways to avoid feeling isolated in the teaching profession. The suggestion will help you steer “clear of unnecessary drama.”Teaching can be a stressful profession. Why add more stress than is already inevitable? @fourmonkeypressClick To Tweet
[/thrive_accordion][thrive_accordion title=”8. Recharge your battery.” no=”8/10″ default=”no”]
This chapter offers a few helpful ways to keep your battery charged. And you know, your battery is so important as a teacher – your energy, passion, and enthusiasm.Misery loves good company, so if you're surrounded with drama, gossip, and fools, you may want to consider that you are at risk of becoming one of them. -Bryant McGillClick To Tweet[/thrive_accordion]
[thrive_accordion title=”9. Actively engage all students in learning.” no=”9/10″ default=”no”] Colleen wastes no time in this chapter by highlighting the value of quality student teaching, an engaged paraprofessional, and the project approach. She defines the project approach as highly interactive inter-disciplinary units where student autonomy is valued.
“Actively engaging all students in learning is a must…you absolutely cannot simply follow the basal and reach everyone in your room.”[/thrive_accordion]
[thrive_accordion title=”10. Educator will give students a voice in the classroom.” no=”10/10″ default=”no”]This final chapter is a warning against “the teacher show” where the teacher does all the talking in class, and students are expected to sit quietly and absorb their learning.
“For the love of Pete, let the kids talk and share. Allow plenty of time for meaningful social and academic conversations.”It's scary how little students are allowed to talk during the school day...this trend needs to end. -Colleen SchmitClick To Tweet[/thrive_accordion][/thrive_accordion_group]
[thrive_custom_box title=”Crisscross Applesauce and Shut the Hell Up” style=”light” type=”color” color=”#99aec2″ border=””]Read reviews at Amazon[thrive_link color=’blue’ link=’https://amzn.to/2rH5PpN’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]View the Book on Amazon[/thrive_link][/thrive_custom_box]
*This book review contains Amazon Affiliate links, which help pay for a portion of this review.
[thrive_posts_list category=’19’ title=”” no_posts=”5″ filter=”popular” thumbnails=”on”]