Ditch That Homework Book Review

Authors: Matt Miller, Alice Keeler
Book Link

A colleague of mine recommended this book with the promise it would completely change the way I think about the classroom.

I picked it up with some skepticism. My personal stance has always been that great teachers cannot be replicated and are great for different reasons.

I’m happy to say this book really got me thinking about how I approach work in the classroom.

It starts with centering on the needs of students, all of whom are different, and demonstrates… with real-world examples… how much more effective a teacher can be by leveraging the right tools.

Any book that gets me to make notes, highlight passages and put it down to think is an instant five-star for me. This book had me doing that on several occasions.

While many pages were bookmarked, here are a few choice highlights:

“Just because students make poor choices doesn’t mean we should remove that responsibility altogether.”

“As teachers, we tend to want class to run smoothly. We like things to be neat and tidy. Students are still learning how to live life, and the way they think and operate creates a hot mess in our classrooms. Instead of avoiding those messes, we’ve got to pull on our rubber boots and wade through the mess with them. Yes, it requires time and patience, but it’s also how we can help them learn to make better decisions in the future.”

I love the fact the authors don’t just offer a tool or method and say, “This is all you need.” Instead, they look at the realities of the modern classroom and offer steps to get to a better place.

This book will get a teacher to re-think what their idea of useful work for students is… regardless of whether they assign it for homework or not.