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Summer Reading List for New Teachers

Summer Reading List for New Teachers

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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

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Ann Wolff's picture
Ann Wolff
Child Development teacher, from CT

Here are my suggestions for young early childhood educators:
1. Theories of Childhood: Intro to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget, and Vygostky by Carol Garhart Mooney
2. Use Your Words by same author
3. Learning from the Children by Cinylee Villareale

Eric Mandel's picture
Eric Mandel
Author, Educator, Curmudgeon

Funny and thought-provoking, cool and inspiring The Accidental Teacher ( is a must-read for all educators around the world. With heartbreaking honesty, Eric Mandel shares the problems he faces in a public high school where he is appointed to teach for the first time in his life. Working with teenagers from under-privileged backgrounds who refuse to engage with any task is a challenge he willingly takes. And what if there is no support or counselling? He takes the plunge. Mandel's gift to analyse his students' characters is incomparable. No writer has ever captured the whims and caprices of kids as he has done in this book. That's why I consider it an essential and valuable resource for teachers and I think it's really worth a read.
-Fotini Sarafianou, teacher, Thessaloniki Greece.

Paul Fagen's picture

I would add Lisa Delpit's "Other People's Children," and Parker Palmer's "The Courage to Teach."

david's picture

Any books by Kieran Egan. His latest are Learning In Depth, The Future of Schools. His early books are also fantastic: The Educated Mind and Getting Wrong from the Beginning.

Jim Burke's picture
Jim Burke
English teacher, EC Ning creator, author, blogger

This is a great topic! I shared a room with a wonderful new teacher some years ago and wrote her letters in response to all her questions. I had the chance to publish these letters as a book, Letters to a New Teacher, which you can learn more about here:

Michelle Newsum's picture
Michelle Newsum
Primary teacher from Oregon

*Choice Words by Peter Johnston
*The Daily Five and CAFE by Boushey and Moser
*Mentor Texts by Dorfman and Cappelli
*Bringing Words to Life by Isabel Beck
*Who's In Charge? by Susan Ohanian (or any book by Susan Ohanian)
*What Does It Mean to Be Well Educated? by Alfie Kohn (or any book by Alfie Kohn)
*The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch

...and of course, ANY book by Margaret Atwood

Mike Anderson's picture
Mike Anderson
Educator, Consultant, Author

An amazing resource for new elementary school teachers is The First Six Weeks of School, by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete. It guides teachers through the process of building effective learning communities with their students. It's practical and easy to read and use!

Natalie's picture

I am a parent in the Blue Valley School District in Kansas City and they have just introduced a curriculum from the book 8 to Great by MK Mueller. The book doesn't necessarily have to be made into a curriclulum for the school, but from what I am hearing from the teachers, it is a must read for educators! The kids are loving the 8 to Great class and it is literally changing their lives. This 8 step process is great for realizing dreams, accepting responsibility, taking risks and having gratitude. I know they have workshops all over the country... but for those just looking for a good read, check it out!! You can go to to order or get more information.

Michelle Newsum's picture
Michelle Newsum
Primary teacher from Oregon

Reading Essentials by Regie Routman
Phonics They Use by Pat Cunningham
Any book by Frank Smith
Any book by Katie Wood Ray

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