If you’re searching for something to pack in your bag for some lunchtime or after-school inspiration, check out these must-reads! Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, or just a lover of good books, these texts will engage you and help you power through the school year:
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck ‒ Although the “new” psychology of success is almost 10 years old now, this is a must-read for educators of all grade levels. Dweck provides many examples of the “growth mindset” in education and industry. The book describes practical ways to implement the mindset in a classroom. It is first on my list for a reason: a post-secondary teacher preparation program that I am involved with is actually using this text as the launching point for the philosophy of the program.
- Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess – In this book, Burgess takes Madeline Hunter’s anticipatory set and puts in on steroids. His multiple ideas for “hooks” are great and easy to apply in classrooms of all levels.
- The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life by Parker Palmer – Palmer’s audience is actually higher education, but many of the themes in the book apply to educators at all levels. For anyone with the “heart of an educator,” Palmer’s words are a reminder about the big picture in why we do what we do. You won’t be disappointed!
- Evaluating Instructional Leadership: Recognized Practices for Success by Ray Smith & Julie Smith – This book suggests tools and tactics for improving principal evaluation to create truly dynamic leaders.
- Night by Elie Wiesel and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – These are both themed around concentration camps during WWII and are not “education” books per se. But both books explore the human spirit and as such have a message about how we approach our students, our careers, and our lives. These books have changed the way I view the world and those around me.
- Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain by Marsha Tate – Tate’s ideas are clear and easy to implement. As educators we often recognize that the worksheet isn’t the key to learning. This book suggests ways to move beyond the worksheet and truly increase student learning.
- Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them by Ross Greene – Dr. Greene is the go-to person for research-based practice on students with challenging behavior. This book not only provides some of the whys behind student behavior, but also offers some of the hows for how we can help students to succeed.
- The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross Greene – This book can help you understand why and when children behave this way, and describes how to respond in ways that are nonpunitive, nonadversarial, humane, and effective.
- Help for Billy: A Beyond Consequences Approach to Helping Challenging Children in the Classroom by Heather Forbes – This book goes hand-in-hand with Greene’s work. The trauma-sensitive approach to students may change the way you view education and many of your students. This is the book for you if you have ever wondered “Where is this behavior coming from?” and “Will punishing or suspending this student even help change the behavior?”
- Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why by Paul Tough – Along the same lines as Mindset and Duckworth’s Grit, Helping Children Succeed is full of research-based ideas for helping all kids. Success in the classroom and in life requires different and deeper skills, especially for students growing up in poverty. Tough gives us practical ways to help increase the likelihood of success.
- The Tech-Savvy Administrator: How do I use technology to be a better school leader? By Steven Anderson – Ed-tech blogger Anderson explores how school leaders can use technology effectively.
- Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles by Steven M. (Mark) Constantino – This book describes practices you can use to reach out to all families, but especially those that have been difficult to engage. Great insights from someone who understands the classroom and different types of teachers.
- The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps by Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton & Sarah Landis – This book explores the pedagogy behind effective digital lesson design and gives step-by-step directions for innovative ways to engage students and package digital lessons on a Google Doc.
- The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey – This book explores the phenomenon that college as we currently know it is being replaced by a “new university” that is enabled by students’ ability to learn from a myriad sources. A good read that challenges the way college has always been done.
- What Connected Educators Do Differently by Todd Whitaker, Jeffrey Zoul & Jimmy Casas – This straightforward book gives practical advice on how educators can use social media to connect, learn, and stay current.
- 1000 Best New Teacher Survival Secrets by Kathleen Brenny and Kandace Martin – We were all new educators once. This book pulls together the wisdom of two teachers, Brenny and Martin, to provide great tips on everything from standardized tests to managing stress and health.
- The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun – A New York Times bestseller about how one person can effect real change. This is a great how-to-find-your-true-calling story.
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown – This book describes great techniques based on cognitive psychology, and best practices for creating productive learners. It breaks with common study and practice routines, which often aren’t effective.
Want to gather even more inspiration? Check out our blog on the best Ed Tech blogs for educators.>>