Since there was no money set aside in our school budget to purchase teacher books, I needed a way to get teachers interested in purchasing their own books. I know from experience that people are more likely to purchase an item if they see and touch it ahead of time. So my solution? A book tasting!
I invited our Director of Technology to join me in leading a Book Tasting Lunch and Learn for our teachers on our campus. They wouldn't have to stay after school to participate, they could come in during their lunch period and browse the books that we had laid out. Between the 2 of us, we chose 10 of our own books that covered Content, Pedagogy, and Motivation.
We advertised with flyers around our campus. A menu of books was prepared for each place setting, along with bookmarks and pens for teachers to record the titles of the book in which they were interested. A Google Form survey was created, asking teachers if they were interested in a book study, what their top three book picks were, and their preferred format for a book study.
On the day of the Book Tasting, we decorated our Library with checkered tablecloths, menus, bookmarks, and pens. Our book choices were grouped by categories on different tables. With baited breath we waited to see how our Book Tasting would be received. As teachers from different grade levels trickled in during their scheduled lunch times, we invited them to look at their menus of books and to feel free to pick books to flip through as they ate their lunches. Coke floats were offered as a sweet surprise to top off their lunch.
Fourteen teachers visited our Book Tasting. We were encouraged to hear conversations that showed interest in doing book studies. The survey gave us lots of good information on which books were popular with our group. I am happy to say it looks like we have a core group of about 7 teachers that are interested in doing a book study on Teach Like a Pirate . We will be offering it up to any of our teachers in a few weeks in order to give them time to purchase their books. Overall, I think our Book Tasting was a small, but definite success. One that might be repeated in the future!