MTR Residents are not the only ones with a stack of books to read. MTR Staff are constant readers too and have offered up their current reading. There will be a reoccurring blog post with the latest readings and takeaways, hopefully a few of them will make it on your reading list!

MTRnews_justmercyReader(s): MTR Staff Book Club
Title: Just Mercy
Author: Bryan Stevenson
Why we read this book: Bryan Stevenson has been called “America’s Mandela,” due to his work in the United States justice system and leadership of the Equal Justice Initiative. Urban education is closely tied to the mass incarceration epidemic of this age and Stevenson shares unbelievable stories that illustrates names and communities along with the statistics. “But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, healing,” causes us all to reflect on the work we do and how we do it.




Reader: Yolunda Bass, MTR Instructional Coach and Assistant Residency Director
Title: School Principals’ Leadership Style and Teachers’ Subjective Well-Being at School
Author: Mati Heidmets, Kati Liik
Why I’m reading this: I’m interested in how principals’ (and coaches’) methods for giving feedback affect teacher morale and confidence.



Reader: Dr. Robin Henderson, MTR Director
Title: Between the World and Me
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Why I’m reading this book: I identify a lot with some of the author’s feelings and struggles with being an African American growing up in the era when we did. I’ve recommended this book to everyone who’s seen me sitting and reading it! I think it’s a must-read especially for the twenty-something African American because it gives voice to some the struggles they face in understanding current events and racial tensions in our country.




Reader: Jessica Johnson, MTR Instructional Coach & Development Director
Title: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Author: Carol Dweck
Why I’m reading this book: Mindset describes the positive impact of having a “growth mindset,” which conceives of our abilities as able to be increased, rather than a “fixed mindset,” which conceives of them as unchanging. By fostering a growth mindset in our students, we help them see that hard work pays off in new learning and accomplishments. A growth mindset contributes to students’ love of learning and reduces their fear of failure. Mindset was faculty summer reading at Kingsbury High School (Go Falcons!), so I also look forward to being able to discuss takeaways from the book with the KHS teachers I coach.



MTRblog_jesusanddisinheritedReader: David Montague, MTR President
Title: Jesus and the Disinherited
Author: Howard Thurman
Why: This was mentioned to me as the most influential book in Martin Luther King’s life and extremely formative in MLK’s philosophy for civil rights advocacy. Why: This was mentioned to me as the most influential book in Martin Luther King’s life and extremely formative in MLK’s philosophy for civil rights advocacy. His chapter on Fear is quite powerful. He was directly speaking to the African-American community of the 1940’s. Yet, his comments to any of us that feel fear and insecurity within new places and classrooms still carry much value. For new teachers, I thought during this early time in new classrooms, his wisdom would be as encouraging to you as I’m sure it was to the readers living deeply within the Jim Crow of America.





Reader: Alison Martin, Recruiter
Title: From the Courtroom to the Classroom: The Shifting Landscape of School Desegregation
Author: Edited by Claire E. Smrekar and Ellen B. Goldring
Why I’m reading this book: Matt Campbell, MTR Coach, recommended this book based on my interest in the demographics of Memphis schools. The history of desegregation and the lack thereof in American cities has a historical narrative and statistical explanation that is fascinating and disheartening.




Reader: Kathryn McRitchie, MTR Instructional Coach and Instructor for Learning Theories and Intensive Studies in Secondary Social Studies
Title: Down at the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear
Author: Aram Goudsouzian
Local tie: This book was written by the U of M history department chair.



Reader: Matthew Campbell, MTR Instructional Coach and Assistant Residency Director
Title: The One Best System: A History of Urban Education in America
Author: David Tyack
About this book: This book chronicles the bureaucratization of American schools in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Tasked with converting hundreds of rural school districts into modern systems of education, educational experts adopted business principles in pursuit of their overarching goal: efficiency. Tyack examines how these principles translated into new systems that school districts adopted in the face of increased urbanization and growing student diversity. Exhaustive and cogent, The One Best System provides an excellent framework for understanding the history of American Education.