The Power of the 5 P’s by Dr. Marva Dixon sets out in an unusual direction. Unlike teacher guides that focus on curricula or classroom management, Dixon’s work takes a refreshingly broad view. She purports that the real keys to success in the educational world come down to a sense of purpose, policy, practice, people and prayer.
Dixon has taught at both elementary and secondary levels and served in administrative/ mentoring capacities. She notes that teachers can drown in the daily demands of a role better defined by a long view.
She admonishes educators to look inside to gain perspective that can weather the torrents of a teaching career. For example, instead of being defined by the job a teacher is hired to do, she suggests teachers set their own purpose. (One of her purposes: “advocacy for high expectation for myself and others.”) These principles yield focus, motivation and simplicity to the demands.
Dixon also wants educators to know that school board policies function as laws. Understanding these laws will help teachers protect their jobs, as well as stand up to wrong. Teachers should also know the school board policies under which they were hired.
Dixon discusses the importance of evidence-based, scientific research for educational practice and includes helpful websites and banks of “best practices.” She underscores the need for cultivating positive relationships and includes a chapter on prayer. She doesn’t push her religious beliefs, but discusses them as a means to her survival in a difficult profession.
Dixon draws inspiration from an impressive list of authors. However, her lengthy synopses of others’ work distract from her valuable expertise. In the current educational climate, teachers need the words of a colleague who has had a rich, satisfying career. Despite her unnecessary diversions, Dixon’s excellent points bear reflection among teachers in all stages of their careers. This book could also provide the framework for a lively professional blog.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.