9 Best Books About Teaching Update 05/2022

The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong

From the publisher: “The book walks a new or experienced teacher through the best ways to start a new school year and become a better teacher.”

People who read the reviews of this book say it’s “a great resource based on the experiences of hundreds of successful teachers.” It also has “very concrete examples and specific practices that can be used in a classroom well before the students arrive on the first day.” This is a must-read for new teachers or those who are having trouble with it, they say. They also say it’s best for elementary-school teachers.

Not Quite Burned Out, but Crispy Around the Edges: Inspiration, Laughter, and Encouragement for Teachers by Sharon M. Draper

This is what the publisher says: “Not Quite Burned Out helps teachers remember why they became teachers in the first place. Draper doesn’t hide the heartbreaking truths, but he still celebrates the joys and real rewards of teaching.”

Some people thought it was good “brought me to tears, made me laugh, and most of all, made me think. If I had read it sooner, I would have been able to enjoy it more,”

Those Who Can…Teach: Celebrating Teachers Who Make a Difference by Lorraine Glennon & Mary Mohler

This book is called “a charming reminder of what dedicated teachers have done and can do,” and it’s called “a much-needed tribute to the amazing men and women who dedicated their lives to educating children of all ages and backgrounds.”

Personal reminiscences about gifted teachers from many different people, including writers, actors, business leaders, religious leaders, politicians, and of course teachers themselves, are brought together in this book by the publisher.

Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul: Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirit of Educators by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen

This collection of essays from the popular “Chicken Soup” series is sure to be a hit with teachers. This book is called “inspirational,” “a delight,” and “heartwarming” by people who have read it. The publisher says it’s “a thank-you note, sure to give a boost to tired teachers.”

Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol

Teachers who need Kozol’s reminders about how their job can bring joy, beauty, mystery, and mischief into the hearts of little people will be delighted and encouraged by this book.

People who have read this book have called it “a must read for new teachers” and “a source of inspiration.” It’s never too late to figure out that inner city schools have a lot of problems, but they aren’t impossible to solve, one person said.

Learn Me Good by John Pearson

A former thermal engineer named Jack Woodson is the main character of this book. He sends emails to a former coworker about his first year of teaching. This book is based on the real-life experiences of author John Pearson. It’s called “Wonderful, funny, insightful,” and “full of wonderful first-year-teacher stories,” by reviewers.

The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide by Erin Gruwell and The Freedom Writers

You may have seen the movie The Freedom Writers, which is based on The Freedom Writers Diary. You may have been inspired to use the book in your classroom because of it. It will help you use the same techniques Erin Gruwell used in her classroom with your own students. This guide will show you how to do that. A statement from the publisher: “This standards-based teachers’ guide is full of innovative teaching methods that will keep your students interested, empowered, and enlightened.”

One reviewer says, “The method that runs through this guide will undoubtedly change the lives of your students.”

Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks

It’s not a book about formal education, but it’s a real treasure in looking at how informal learning, passion, curiosity, and family foster a lifelong love of learning and critical examination of the world around us, even though it’s not about formal education. When Oliver Sacks wrote Uncle Tungsten, he told us about his childhood in England during World War II. He went on calls with his father, a doctor, and worked with his lightbulb-making uncles, among other things. In his writing, Sacks describes the perfect classroom (the world) and the perfect way to learn (play). This isn’t all. He also talks about how his family had a big impact on him, and how many of them were “autodidacts” (teach themselves).

In this case, what?The metals I remember from childhood seemed to have a power over me from the start. They were different from the rest of the world because they were shiny, gleaming, silvery, smooth, and light. To the touch, they were very cool. When hit, they rang. I liked the yellowness, the weight, and the feel of gold. For a while, my mother would let me play with her wedding ring. She told me about how it was indestructible, how it didn’t get dirty. Make sure you can feel how heavy it is. “It’s even more heavy than lead.” One year, I had to handle the heavy, soft pipes that had been put in by the plumber. So I knew what lead was. Gold was also soft, my mother told me, so it was often mixed with another metal to make it harder. People mixed copper with tin to make bronze. A trumpet-like sound came from the word “bronze.” The battle was a fight between bronze on bronze, with spears and shields made of bronze, and Achilles’ great shield. My mother said that you could mix copper with zinc to make brass.

Visible Learning & The Science Of How We Learn by John Hattie and Gregory Yates

These are updated versions of his original work, which you can see below. They are meant for professional development, staff meetings, and other types of teacher training. His first, much longer paper was a ground-breaking project that combined 15 years of data from over 800 meta-analyses and thousands of individual studies. In the book, the goal was to give a “effect size” for many “pieces,” from instructional strategies to family structure and teacher training.

If you start at the top and “do that,” it’s easy to think that’s how you should use this information. That’s not the best way to use it. As a result, you’ll have to read a book rather than just see a simple picture or blog post that you can “pin.” If there is a downside, it’s how much time and effort it takes to unpack, understand, and incorporate into your instructional and curriculum design.

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