The Rebooting of a Teacher’s Mind
Publication Type:Web Article
Year of Publication:2004
Carolyn Moser, a North Carolina teacher, reviews this book about advice the author gives after she returned to teaching after years away. It provides advice on the current needs of students, schools and teachers and discusses technology. Moser says it is also a good book for teachers who are stagnated in their practice.
Citation: Dyck, B.A. (2004). Rebooting of a teacher’s mind. Westerville, OH: National Middle School Association.
By Brenda A Dyck
(2004; 126 pp./paperback)
National Middle School Association
$14.40 (if ordered online)
Reviewed by Carolyn Moser
Wake County (NC) Public Schools
For teachers who are considering reentering the teaching profession
after years of absence or for teachers who are feeling stagnated
with their current practices, The Rebooting of a Teacher's
Mind is a must read book.
Brenda Dyck left the classroom in the late '70's and came back
to a totally different teaching environment. It became necessary
for her to rethink her "previous practices" and come up
with ways to work successfully within the teaching environment
of the 21st Century. The suggestions and resources she gives
in the pages of her book can serve as a source of support
to teachers at all levels of experience. Even though the
book is written with an emphasis on middle school students,
many of the ideas can certainly be applied to other grade
levels. Imbedded within the pages of the book are numerous
hyperlinks for support. Each of these can also be accessed
at the National Middle School Association website.
The book is divided into four broad sections with multiple
articles. Each of these articles examines age-old teaching
practices and makes suggestions for "rethinking and reexamining"
these practices to fit today's schools. Many of the things
suggested in the book are "jumping boards" to inspire teachers
to come up with ideas of their own. When reading the book,
I found myself adding notes in the margins of additional
things that come to mind as I read.
This book is well organized so that a busy teacher can find the
topic of interest with little effort. I can see this book
as one that might be found on the desk of teachers to be
used as a frequent resource. The four main divisions of
the book along with brief overviews follow:
Learning and Change: Within this part of the book
Dyck has 13 brief articles on topics such as homework,
student assessment, reading, paperwork, differentiation,
math, and teaching students how to think. The articles
are relevant to the issues that frequently arise in a
classroom of today. There are plenty of suggestions and
ideas that will get teachers thinking on their own about
things that will work best in their particular teaching
This section of the book addresses the needs and differences
of students within a classroom. Again, it is divided into
articles that refer to common characteristics of today's
student. There are articles related to students who are
disinterested in learning, different learning styles,
and assignments designed to motivate students of today.
Again, the resources offered are abundant so as to meet
the needs of teachers in any situation.
The feelings and emotions of teachers during the school
year are expansive. In this section of the book, Dyck
examines the phases that many teachers go through as they
struggle to teach middle school children. Again Brenda
gives suggestions and resources on 11 different topics
related to working with colleagues and also dealing successfully
other teachers. This is an excellent source of help for
teachers when beginning to work with new people for the
Integrating technology into learning in meaningful ways
is essential in today's classrooms. Many suggestions for
using technology to engage children in learning are given
that will fit the skill and comfort level of teachers.
Again, teachers must rethink their own competency when
dealing with technology. Often teachers are fearful of
using strategies they do not understand. Brenda gives
resources and suggestions that can help even the most
technology challenged teacher get their foot in the door.
Many very useful tools for student projects and activities
using technology are also given.
In conclusion, Rebooting of a Teacher's Mind is a book
that has value to all teachers regardless of their level of
experience. The key to reading and using the book is to remember
that the book is not intended to give step-by-step directions
for changing into a new and improved teacher ready to tackle
today's students. Instead, it provides ideas and resources
that can promote teacher thinking and reflection about their
Many times teachers continue to use strategies year after year
without reexamining and thinking about why they are doing
what they're doing—and how they are impacting student
learning. Without constant reflection it is impossible for
teachers to continue to be effective. Rebooting is not only
for computers. Rebooting is essential for all teachers if
they want to be effective in the classrooms of the 21st
Century. This book is definitely an excellent resource for
the new millennium!