The magazine Edutopia is geared toward generating/creating innovation in schools. I have a subscription to it, but I don't always read it. I like reading about doing things differently because my personality (as much as I try to fight it) is to reinvent the wheel. This article is about textbooks. I have never like textbooks, especially English textbooks. There is some good stuff there that helps some teachers (especially new ones) but at the same time, each teacher needs to do a lot of filtering to get to what he or she needs. I used the textbook last year for some parts because it had some better-than-I-had-time-to-make grammar exercises. Other than that, it was just as easy to make something as it was to go through the book and find the stuff that was relevant or appropriate for my state core standards (the stuff I must teach).

I would really like to develop a kit for new teachers so that they have something to use that is not the textbook. Time is a major factor for new teachers, and it would be really nice to get everything in one place, and actually be able to use it. I have thought that writing an appropriate textbook would actually help make teaching easier. Now, I am not going to do that, because there is no way that I have enough time for it, but I can dream, right?

Anyway, back to the point, the article above shows how insane it is to use textbooks from McGraw-Hill or the other large publishers. It would be much more effective to find a smaller niche supplier of textbooks. A publisher who published something for each state (or just for Utah) would be a great way to focus the textbooks better.