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Summer Reading List for New Teachers

Hubert V. Yee social media and marketing manager of startup

Summer is around the corner so we compiled a list of "summer reads" for teachers recommended by community members from a previous discussions here on Edutopia. What other "classic" educator books do you think should be a "must read"? What do you like about these and other recommended books?

1) Why Didn't I Learn This in College? by Paula Rutherford

2) Beyond Smarter: Mediated Learning and the Brain's Capacity for Change by Reuven Feuerstein, Rafael S. Feuerstein, Louis H. Falik

3) Fred Jones Tools for Teaching: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation by Fredric H. Jones, Patrick Jones, Jo Lynn, Fred Jones

4) Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esme Raji Codell

5) Star Teachers of Children in Poverty by Martin Haberman

6) Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov

7) Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

8) The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings

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

10) The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller

11) A Mind at a Time by Mel Levine

Comments (35)

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And on the traditional or conservative side...

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Google my Listmania list on Amazon titled "40 Important Books About Education." Most of the big books from the last 50 years. You can read the titles and small blurbs in a few minutes. If you are curious about a book, then read the reviews, and decide from there. Most of these books are older but still kicking. Often quite cheap.

Co-Director East Bay WL Project at UC Berkeley Language Center

@ Hubert re: Summer Reads

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Hi Hubert - my list is a long one! Stuff has been piling up.

1) Catch up on all my Edutopia materials!
2) Teach like a Champion by Lemov, cited above
3) Project Based Second and Foreign Language Education by Beckett and Miller
4) Results, Results Now, and Focus by Schmoker
5) Qualities of an Effective Teacher by Stornge
6) Curriculum 21 by Heidi Hayes Jacobs
7) 21st Century SKills by Bellance, Brandt et al
8) Teaching Digital Natives by Prensky
9) 21st Century Skills by Trilling and Fadel
10) Never Work Harder than Your Students by Jackson

And some comic books, some historical fiction and all my back issue magazines. Can't wait - is it June yet???

Enjoy everyone. Summer is a time for renewal.

social media and marketing manager of startup

Hi Bruce, Got it! Thanks for

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Hi Bruce,

Got it! Thanks for sharing your reading list! Extremely interesting topics.

Hi Don,

Wonderful! I want to also check out your comic book list too. =)

We had two other educators share these books.

Making the Journey: Being and Becoming a Teacher of English Language Arts by Leila Christenbury

Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers by John Elder Robison

Are there any books that you would recommend for readers interested in teaching in special education?


A new book: "Faces of Learning" (published by Wiley)

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A book most teachers would like, "Faces of Learning" consists of statements from 50 teachers, thinkers, community leaders, etc. A buffet of anecdotes about education.

The editor is Sam Chaltain, a moderate education reformer trying to build a consensus. You can find out about his crusade on

(Much to my surprise, my own statement ended up in this book, right next to Arne Duncan! My crusade on is more contrarian and critical than Sam's. I think it speaks well of him that he included me in his book.)

social media and marketing manager of startup

Great recommendation! I love

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Great recommendation! I love publications that compare and contrast perspectives. I think This would be an awesome read for teachers who are looking to see through other people's lens.

Edu Consultant. Blogger & Social Media Marketing at Edutopia

Summer Reading List

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I liked your initial list. Think it's important to remember we're focusing on newbies, here. Don't want to overwhelm with tons of theory and pedagogy heavy books at the beginning.
( are you able to use italicized print here?)
Summer break/or Off Track time for year round newbies should also be a time to relax. Would love to see us suggest non-educational Summer Reading titles too!
Here are some of mine:
Water for Elephants-by Sara Gruen
Bossy Pants-Tina Fey
She walks in beauty (poetry compilation)-Caroline Kennedy
A Night without Armor-(poetry compilation)-Jewel
Eat, Pray, Love-Elizabeth Gilbert
The Happiness Project-Gretchen Rubin
Stop Saying You're Fine-Mel Robbins
10-10-10-Suzy Welch
The Tipping Point-Malcolm Gladwell

Will post more later this week.
Thanks, Hubert.

social media and marketing manager of startup

Good call Lisa! I'm finishing

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Good call Lisa!

I'm finishing up Iconoclasts and hope to get to The Happiness Project.

Kindergarten Teacher M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction

For the early childhood educators

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Young Investigators, The Project Approach in the Early Years- Judy Helm & Lillian Katz

Teaching with Meaning- Debbie Miller

Any other early educators out there with good summer reading suggestions?

For those wanting to excite kids to learn

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Anything by Ron Clark- Essential 55, Excellent 11, and his new book titled The End of Molasses Classes, coming out in early summer.

Author, Educator, Curmudgeon

The Accidental Teacher is a must read for new teachers...

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I really do hate the shameless promoting aspect of marketing one's book, but I sincerely believe The Accidental Teacher is an worthwhile, entertaining and provocative read for anyone interested in education. This critically acclaimed book is the story of my first-year struggles teaching high school English at age 58, without any experience or training.

Online University listed The Accidental Teacher as one of the top-ten education memoirs of all-time and renown educational reformer, Deborah Meier has recommended the book as a must read to anyone interested in the state of our public education system. Learn more at:

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