10 Books to Help Every Teacher Rock
Pick up one of these teacher-written guides over your next school break to return to your classroom with fresh and inspiring ideas.
By Lesley Vos, a private educator of French language and a Bid4papers blogger.
A good teacher is not the one who believes he knows everything, but the one who is ready to learn new things and improve his knowledge and skills. A good teacher is not the one who perfectly knows a theoretical part of a subject she teaches, but the one who knows how to talk and behave to her students, how to understand them, how to become their friend, how to make them trust and rely on her.
If you want to become a teacher who rocks, it’s never late to learn some tips and tricks from your colleagues: check out these 10 top books written by your fellow instructors to help you understand your students better, and come back to school a better teacher.
Your must-read books include:
1. Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit
Your students are different, and big problems may appear because of some stereotypes or prejudices in your classroom. The author of Other People’s Children analyzes all cultural differences that may appear between teachers and students, and tells how to forget about all this cultural baggage and take into account the needs of every student regardless of his color.
Other People’s Children on Amazon: link
2. Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham
The author of this book is a cognitive scientist, and he scientifically explains how you can engage students in a classroom. If you want to know how your students’ brain works, this book is your must-read for sure. Here you will find some advice and tricks to use to improve your practice and motivate students. Daniel Willingham explains how important emotions are for students’ learning experience and how memory and context influence the process of study too.
Why Don’t Students Like School on Amazon: link
3. Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov
More than 40 effective techniques are described in this book that will help you become a champion in your classroom, especially if you are a new teacher who is at the start of his career. These techniques will let you create a learning atmosphere and engage students; they are easy to put into action, and each chapter of this book will provide you with some training activities to try. It’s worth reading by all means.
4. See Me After Class by Roxanna Elden
If you need some advice from very experienced teachers, you will definitely like See Me After Class where veteran teachers share their experience and give insight into good work in classrooms. Here you will also find some funny and even crazy situations that may happen to a teacher while he’s educating his favorite students. This book will give you an answer to the question “How to survive in your classroom and become a great teacher”.
See Me After Class on Amazon: link
5. How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
Many teachers still consider students with good grades more successful than others. But have you ever thought why some students get excellent marks while others often fail here? Do grades really have a big influence on students’ success? Paul Tough argues with this statement and tells about the importance of building students’ character, not only their grades. He claims that character is a much stronger indicator of a student’s success than his high grades. His book will help you build both academic atmosphere and students’ characters in a classroom.
How Children Succeed on Amazon: link
6. The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer
Our students do not know anything about our inner spirit: they see a person who comes to teach them and give them different tests and assignments. Parker Palmer decides to tell everyone what a teacher feels, what his fears and worries are, what his inner life is, what brings a teacher to this profession, and what makes a successful educator except his perfect knowledge of a subject he teaches. If you want to become a part of teaching community, if you want to find out how to connect with both students and colleagues, if you want to reveal an emotional side of your profession – this very book is for you.
The Courage to Teach on Amazon: link
7. Letters to a New Teacher by Jim Burke
This book will be interesting to read for both novice and experienced teachers: it includes a letters exchange between Jim Burke (experienced one) and Joy Krajicek (a new teacher who had Jim as a mentor). Here you’ll find Jim’s advice and strategies he shared with a novice, and his story about advantages he gained from this mentoring. At the same time, Joy shares his thoughts on how having a mentor is important and helpful for a new teacher.
If you are a novice teacher, this book will be interesting and helpful in starting your career the right way. If you are a master, it will be also good to learn the experience of your colleague, his techniques, and advice he gives to a new generation of teachers.
Letters to a New Teacher on Amazon: link
8. What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
This book of a leading authority on teacher leadership will inspire you and help you become a better teacher regardless of your skill level. Here you will find 17 steps on improving your skills and learning new tricks to become a professional. Check how to learn from your own mistakes, focus on your students first, mean what you say, help students learn, and connect to them.
What Great Teachers Do Differently on Amazon: link
9. Motivating Students Who Don’t Care by Allen N. Mendler
Being a teacher, you perfectly know that not all students are perfect. Some of them are troubling, some of them are not interested in learning your subject, some of them do not respect you, some of them are discouraged… The author of this book shares some ways to connect with such students and motivate them on learning. This reading will be very useful for new teachers, as it can help them prepare for different situations in a classroom and face problems. Here you’ll find effective techniques to deal with troubling students.
Motivating Students Who Don’t Care on Amazon: link
10. Teaching With Love & Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk
Two veteran educators share their experience and provide psychological explanation of different teaching techniques. This book will help you develop new skills on evoking discipline in your classroom and managing it; it will teach you how to interact with students of different ages and go above the traditional training programs.
Teaching With Love & Logic on Amazon: link
So, as you can see, you have enough work to do. But if you still need some more books to read for both pleasure and education, you can always check the bookshelves of famous people and choose some writing masterpieces from there any time.