Capture the novice mindset! Get ready to teach as never before, powered by a fresh, brave mindset. With humor and insight, this down-to-earth guide reveals a fundamental principle: the best teachers grow through risk, reflection, and revision. Readers will learn how to: Sustain the energy and positive qualities of a novice, while building expertise at all career stages Develop a network of support to improve teaching practice Implement new strategies that engage and motivate students Learn how to teach with the daring of a beginner and a lifelong passion for learning and growth. "Dr. Eckert highlights the value of seeking those "first days" throughout our careers - the joy and nervousness experienced in these transformational moments are critical to have again and again if we are to grow personally and professionally." Patrick Ledesma, Director of Research and Knowledge Management National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
"Jon Eckert shifts the conversation - and hopefully our mindsets - regarding growth and learning as educators, no matter where we are in our career. In his book The Novice Advantage, Eckert highlights the importance of thinking of ourselves as novices who are constantly growing instead of experts complacent with our practice. This book pushes our thinking on expertise as educators and is great fodder for book groups, Professional Learning Communities, or any collaborative professional conversation. A must read!" -- Megan Allen, Director, Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership
"I found myself laughing and taking notes throughout the book. Jon's ability to weave humor with proven, field-tested techniques will empower both new educators and veterans alike." -- Mawi Asgedom, Founder and author
"Dr. Eckert's new book is a must read for every novice - and the teacher educators who prepare them for the realities of the early years of teaching. While filled with practical advice for the new recruit, his book also serves as an antidote for the scripted recipes foisted upon too many classroom novices today. The Novice Advantage does not offer 63 steps to teaching effectiveness heaven but a blueprint for developing capacity to teach effectively over time and learning to lead the profession that students and our public schools deserve."
-- Barnett Berry, Founder and CEO
"If you're ready to laugh, cry, wince, sigh, and nod about classroom adventures (others and your own), this book is for you. The stories will resonate with any teacher who has had a "cringeworthy" classroom moment or two. As an experienced educator, I began reading Jon's insightful analysis expecting to come away with a renewed reminder of the "novice" world; instead, I was schooled by a great teacher. We are ALL novices and should strive to stay in that space. It's where lifelong learners hang out. Because we all begin something new each day, this book is not only for novice teachers-it's for all teachers who want to get better." -- Ann Byrd, COO & Partner
"So often we aspire to expertise with the false notion that experts are infallible. In The Novice Advantage, Jon Eckert paints a more realistic picture - that it's actually failures and rigorous reflective practice that breeds expertise. With deep case studies, practical strategies based in research, and amusing anecdotes, this book is a particularly useful addition to the tool belt of any professional, at any stage of their career. My recent shift from the classroom to teacher leader, then to non-profit leadership have forced me to rely on my Novice Advantage - I only wish the book was published while I was still in the classroom."
-- Nick Greer, Managing Director of Programs and former Director of Science
"Eckert's book belongs in the hands of aspiring teachers and master teachers alike. He brings a writer's touch and a teacher's insight into what it means for educators to be lifelong learners in the context of their career." -- Brad Jupp, Senior Program Advisor
"An insightful and refreshing reminder for aspiring teacher leaders and those continually developing their expertise. Dr. Eckert highlights us of the value of seeking those "first days" throughout our careers - that the joy and nervousness experienced in these transformational moments are critical to have again and again if we are to grow personally and professionally. Dr. Eckert highlights valuable resources and processes that all educators need for this journey." -- Patrick Ledesma, Director of Research and Knowledge Management
"Stories are a powerful way to learn. Eckert reminds us of this critical lesson more effectively than anyone in recent times. In his casting of continued development through the fresh eyes of the novice, he provides us with a special gift. You will leave Novice as a better teacher - and a wiser one as well." -- Joseph Murphy, Frank W. Mayborn Chair of Education and Associate Dean
"If you see teaching as a step on a career ladder, don't read this book. But if you see teaching as a lifelong craft, worthy of a lifetime's dedication, this book is written for you. Our education system has plenty of resources to help first-year teachers become competent. The Novice Advantage is written for those of us who want to move beyond competence to excellence. Jon Eckert writes "We need teachers who innovate, risk, create, reflect, and grow." This book is written for that kind of teacher." -- Justin Minkel, 2nd Grade Teacher and 2007 Arkansas Teacher of the Year
"Jon Eckert has given the profession a gift we desperately need. Real help and real inspiration for real novice teachers (and those of us with a few more years under the bridge). It comes at a critical juncture, when the median years of service among teachers in the U.S. is one year. Unlike too many books for new teachers, this is not filled with quick tips or rote formulas, but rather with thoughtful, useful advice anchored in the reality of teaching in America today. Most of all, it is genuine encouragement, reminding us that teaching is a calling that requires systematic preparation, demands significant sacrifice, but yields eternal rewards."
-- Renee Moore, @TeachMoore, NBCT, blogger, author
"The epitome of an "expert novice" himself, Eckert offers teachers at all stages of the profession clear, precise, and inspiring strategies for reaching students. And by recognizing the contributions educators make both inside and outside the classroom to shape great teaching, he elevates the teacher voice to its rightful position at the forefront of any discussion about the daily work of our schools." -- Jocelyn Pickford, Designer of the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
"The Novice Advantage empowers the hopefulness of education. It provides practical ways for beginning and veteran teachers to maintain their enthusiasm and wonder of teaching.
This book covers, in a very clear, useful, and readable fashion, all the relevant and effective strategies of a successful teacher. This could very well be the only book an aspiring or veteran teacher would need to fill their instructional toolbox. The "Key Takeaways and Fearless Practices" section at the end of each chapter provide an quick resource of reminders to strategies that will bolster continued reflection and improvements. It is a must read for all educators.
A powerful concept that is seldom considered is what Dr. Eckert refers to as, "getting better at getting better through honest reflection and transparent practice". It's the notion focusing on improvement rather than what was wrong and looking in the windshield instead of the rear view mirror." -- Robert A. Rammer, Assistant Superintendent
"With humor and grace, Jon Eckert challenges every teacher to let go of practices that restrain them in favor of practices that allow them to grow. The journey of personal growth means recapturing the hopefulness of novice teachers. As he writes, Eckert bares his deep belief that all individuals have the capacity for continued growth, that even long experienced veterans can get out of their ruts and tap into their deep wells of knowledge and abilities in the pursuit of improving school for all children." -- Joan Richardson, Editor-in-chief
"This book is an authentic, honest, and humorous depiction of teaching. Dr. Eckert captures the heart of veteran teachers as well as novice teachers and tells the story of a profession that is unlike any other. This book ignites the passion of teaching and encourages all of us to try new things and 'live on the edge'!"
-- Tammie Schrader, Regional Science Coordinator
"Jonathan Eckert explores and expounds a crucial tenet of effective teaching and instructional improvement: When we take risks, when we fail, when we reflect, and when we revise, we are constantly learning. And when we are constantly learning we are increasing the odds that we will be continuously successful. Eckert invites us into the often terrifying, disorienting, but exhilarating world novice teachers to drive this point home. In a counter-intuitive but clear and convincing argument, Eckert tells us that we would all be better teachers if we to be more like novices in this regard, always learning through risk, reflection, and revision, as if we too had little choice in the matter. This is an engaging, insightful, and instructive read. I strongly recommend it to prospective, novice, and experienced teachers and to those who help prepare and support them." -- Mark A. Smylie, PhD, Professor Emeritus
"The Novice Advantage is an inspiring call to educators to make continuous learning and improvement central to their own teaching, as well as highlighting how important it is for teachers to participate in broader efforts to transform school and district structures to support continuous growth for all teachers and students." -- Kristan Van Hook, Senior Vice President