Summer vacation is almost here, friends! This is the time I spend relaxing, spending time with my kids, and also when my motivation is at its highest to make the next school year the best. year. ever! This is my time to read teaching books, attend professional development classes, and work on curriculum.
It never fails. Once the haze of final exams and teacher tired wears off, I accumulate a stack of teacher books with ideas upon ideas that will help me upgrade my classroom, solve an annoying problem, implement something new and exciting to carry me through the hard, tired winter months.
I’m always asking my colleagues and PLN for professional development recommendations. Give me practical ideas, with lots of examples, or a teaching book that gives me ALL the inspiration!
As I wrote this blog post, I made sure to choose teaching books that I loved personally or that I’m excited to read this summer because I’ve read RAVE reviews. In addition, a lot of the books on this list are from my focus last summer: technology integration and innovation.
To be completely transparent, I may collect a share of sales if you click through any of the links on this page, and I’ll appreciate your support!
|180 DAYS: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents||
This one is the #1 teaching book on my reading list this summer. First of all, it has the author dream-team of Gallagher and Kittle together. Second of all, they’re inviting readers into their real-world classrooms, talking about what really matters, and showing their decision-making process.
|Teach Like a Champion 2.0: 62 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College||
Practical and user-friendly ideas and strategies for everything from classroom management to student engagement. New and experienced teachers alike will find teaching inspiration in this well-rounded book. You’ll also love the bonus CD that allows you to see the strategies applied in real-world classrooms.
|Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator||
Do you feel teacher tired or just want new strategies to create engaging lessons and build a positive classroom community? This teaching book provides practical hooks to help you engage students, as well as brainstorming questions to help you think creatively about your classroom practices. And, let’s face it, the title is pretty awesome!
|Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life||
I listened to this book on tape because, let’s face it, Ron Clark is an engaging narrator. This teaching book is for school leaders and members of any team such as a PLC, as well as classroom teachers. The main analogy discusses drivers, runners, joggers, walkers, and riders, providing suggestions for recognizing each kind of team member (think colleagues OR students here) and encouraging them to keep moving the “bus” along.
|Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students||
Have you ever thought about how your culture has programmed your brain to process data and engage as a learner? This is an interesting read! You’ll learn about how neuroscience research can inform brain-friendly and culturally-responsive teaching strategies and practices.
|The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity||
This teaching book begins by defining innovation. How do kids learn best? What type of environment is optimal for success? The focus is on growing a school community dedicated to creativity and transforming education, and getting everyone on board.
|The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator’s Creative Breakthrough||
Wade and Hope King, who teach at the Ron Clark Academy, are inspirational educators who share their 7-step process for how to become a creative and engaging educator. Definitely an inspirational read that will encourage you to reflect and think about ways to transform your classroom approach.
|Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us||
This book is outside of the “teaching world,” but I found it inspirational as I began to investigate student motivation and engagement, specifically in planning “20 Percent” time in my classroom. Read more about why autonomy, mastery, and purpose are so important for student motivation.
|Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions||
If you’d like to learn more about QFT, a strategy that teaches students to ask their own questions, this is the teaching book for you. In my inquiry-based classroom, this is a go-to strategy that teaches students to ask meaningful questions, and also to value the inquiry process.
|Flipping 2.0: Practical Strategies for Flipping Your Class||
This book has a ton of practical ideas for different disciplines, including the English classroom. The focus in on using technology to “flip” instructional time so that in-class time is dedicated to mastery, enrichment, extension rather than content coverage. If you’re interested in flipped classroom learning, this is a must-have text.
|Dive into Inquiry: Amplify Learning and Empower Student Voice||
The author discusses different types of inquiry that will help you transition from a traditional to an inquiry-based classroom. His ideas help teachers encourage student responsibility for their own learning and get started with IBL. There are also a lot of helpful examples!
|Learner-Centered Innovation: Spark Curiosity, Ignite Passion and Unleash Genius||
This book is great to read in conjunction with The Innovator’s Mindset, and discusses how we can truly engage and empower students. It’s a philosophical read that grapples with the problem of how to turn compliant students into problem solvers and innovators.
|UnCommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids||
This teaching book will get you thinking about how to emphasize higher-level thinking skills and use technology in a way that engages 21st century learners. Learn more about Makerspaces and blended learning, as well as how to implement them effectively in your classroom.
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