Teachers turn to books for many needs, including encouragement and organization
Every teacher will tell you that it’s one thing to learn about classroom instruction in a teacher preparation program. It’s quite another to be in charge of a classroom of students with different interests, abilities, and learning styles.
While experience trumps most things, many teachers have favorite books they use and reference throughout their teaching careers.
Whether a book is aimed at new teachers, building teacher confidence, substitute teachers, and motivating teacher tales, it’s clear that there is no shortage of wisdom when it comes to teaching.
Following is a list of some of the top books for teachers. We’ve highlighted the first 10, along with an Amazon link and brief description.
Have you read any of these books? What other books would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.
(Next page: The top 50 books for teachers)
This award-winning book gives beginning educators everything they need to survive and thrive in the classroom. The third edition covers new material including working as a part of a professional learning community (PLC), teaching media literacy and social responsibility, incorporating Common Core State Standards, handling “homework push-back” from parents, changes in classroom technology, techniques for motivating students, seeking feedback, and much more.
2. Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach, by Sam M. Intrator, Megan Scribner , Parker J. Palmer , Tom Vander Ark
Teaching with Fire is a glorious collection of the poetry that has restored the faith of teachers in the highest, most transcendent values of their work with children….Those who want us to believe that teaching is a technocratic and robotic skill devoid of art or joy or beauty need to read this powerful collection. So, for that matter, do we all.
3. The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, by Harry K. Wong
The best-selling book ever on classroom management and teaching for student achievement with over 3.7 million copies sold. The book walks a teacher, either novice or veteran, through structuring and organizing a classroom for success that can be applied at any time of the year at any grade level, pre-K through college. The book is used in thousands of school districts, in over 120 countries, and in over 2,114 college classrooms, and has been translated into 5 languages. It’s practical, yet inspiring. But most important, it works! The 4th edition includes updated research, photos, and more examples of “how-to” along with an implementation DVD, “Using The First Days of School” featuring Chelonnda Seroyer.
4. Growing Minds, by Herbert R. Kohl
Herbert Kohl, one of America’s most influential and provocative educators, believes that the only way to persist and to grow as a teacher is to commit oneself to the development of the child rather than to the regimented training of the pupil. His book is a lively, personal testament of one teacher’s efforts to cultivate the natural vitality of the learning process; it is also a wonderfully concrete and practical guide full of stories of individual students and how they were helped to grow through learning.
A winning collection of quips, quotes, anecdotes and humorous definitions to make learning and teaching more fun. Ideal for the classroom, lectures, homeschooling, workshops, presentations, reports and newsletters.
6. Fred Jones Tools for Teaching, by Fredric H. Jones
In Tools for Teaching, Dr. Jones describes the skills by which exceptional teachers make the classroom a place of success and enjoyment for both themselves and their students. Tools for Teaching integrates the management of discipline, instruction and motivation into a system that allows you to reduce the stress of teaching by preventing most management headaches. Dr. Jones helps you reduce student disruptions, backtalk, helpless hand-raising and dawdling while helping you increase responsible behavior, motivation and independent learning. These skills are made accessible by practical, down-to-earth language and many examples and illustrations that provide the next best thing to attending one of Dr. Jones’ workshops.
7. The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, by Parker J. Palmer
For many years, Parker Palmer has worked on behalf of teachers and others who choose their vocations for reasons of the heart but may lose heart because of the troubled, sometimes toxic systems in which they work. Hundreds of thousands of readers have benefited from his approach in THE COURAGE TO TEACH, which takes teachers on an inner journey toward reconnecting with themselves, their students, their colleagues, and their vocations, and reclaiming their passion for one of the most challenging and important of human endeavors. This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, in community with their students and their subject. They possess “a capacity for connectedness” and are able to weave a complex web of connections between themselves, their subjects, and their students, helping their students weave a world for themselves. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts — the place where intellect, emotion, spirit, and will converge in the human self — supported by the community that emerges among us when we choose to live authentic lives.
8. Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year, by Esmé Raji Codell
A must-read for parents, new teachers, and classroom veterans, Educating Esmé is the exuberant diary of Esmé Raji Codell’s first year teaching in a Chicago public school. Fresh-mouthed and free-spirited, the irrepressible Madame Esmé—as she prefers to be called—does the cha-cha during multiplication tables, roller-skates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library. Her diary opens a window into a real-life classroom from a teacher’s perspective. While battling bureaucrats, gang members, abusive parents, and her own insecurities, this gifted young woman reveals what it takes to be an exceptional teacher.
9. School: The Story of American Public Education, by Sarah Mondale
Esteemed historians of education David Tyack, Carl Kaestle, Diane Ravitch, James Anderson, and Larry Cuban journey through history and across the nation to recapture the idealism of our education pioneers, Thomas Jefferson and Horace Mann. We learn how, in the first quarter of the twentieth century, massive immigration, child labor laws, and the explosive growth of cities fueled school attendance and transformed public education, and how in the 1950s public schools became a major battleground in the fight for equality for minorities and women. The debate rages on: Do today’s reforms challenge our forebears’ notion of a common school for all Americans? Or are they our only recourse today?
Getting organized is not an easy task. The Substitute Teacher’s Organizer is a comprehensive resource designed to help you create a professional binder that includes record-keeping pages for your substitute assignments, as well as all the information, resources, and lesson plans you need to make any classroom assignment a success. Implement the practical tips, classroom management strategies, reproducible pages, and cross-curriculum activities for grades K-6 to maximize every minute in the classroom. Leave with a sense of pride as a professional and a sense of accomplishment of a job well done when you send students home at the end of each day.
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