One of the greatest pieces of advice my dissertation advisor gave me was to “read widely and deeply.” It is a practice that has given me not only a great deal of pleasure, but also provided me with a wealth of ideas to build upon and share in my classes.
I keep a commonplace book to help me remember these ideas. I think this practice is one that all aspiring teachers should embrace. You never know when any of the little nuggets you inscribe on the pages may come in handy.
The commonplace book is a tool directly related to thinking and learning. da Vinci’s notebooks are a perfect example. They contain both his artistic and scientific inquiries, as well as sketches and notes. Today they are akin to scrapbooks, though commonplace books tend to be more literary or intellectual.
Here are some resources to help you get started creating your own commonplace book.