George Lucas Educational Foundation

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.

Comments (35) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Sandra Jewett - 20497's picture
Sandra Jewett - 20497
Grades 9-12/ Teacher Mentor/Coach

It makes so much sense. The summer is an excellent time for teachers to focus on their practice and reflect in ways that can lead to teacher and student growth. Often the responsibilities and distractions of the practice during the school year leave minimal time for reflective reading. I am eagerly planning in my role as an instructional coach to incorporate list of as many recommended books as possible to share with as many novice teachers as possible during reflective mentor-mentee conversations. In addition my hope is that all Induction and New Teacher Coach instructional and mentoring programs nation-wide will consider providing a comprehensive list of books for teachers to be used as a proactive tool for discusssion in critical friends groups and professional development sessions which support teacher discussion, collaboration, and effective lesson planning.
I hope all of you will keep making valuable recommendations that can make the difference in how we effectively educate America's children in the 21st century.

Meg Norris's picture

A Bakers Dozen of Lessons Learned from the Teaching Trenches by Danny Brassell - his classes were NEVER boring!!

Jim Kilmartin's picture
Jim Kilmartin
Masters in Elementary Education (1-6) and Creative Art in Learning

This book by Rafe Esquith was incredibly inspirational. It made me realize that it's ok to make mistakes as a new can only learn from them!

Kelly Flynn's picture
Kelly Flynn
Former high school teacher and author of Kids, Classrooms, and Capitol Hill

I LOVED Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esme Raji Codell! What a lively, fun book!

Bonnie Yelverton's picture
Bonnie Yelverton
Still looking for a way to use my credential in secondary math & science

Eric, I just read your book, the Accidental Teacher, on Kindle and loved it. I've had a rough time getting through internship/student teaching (I'm 68 and teach science and math.) It took me 2 years and 3 positions. And my story also involves an evil administrator (the head of the education department at my graduate school) who "fired" me from student teaching, and evidently advised against me recently on the one job I really wanted - teaching kids like yours. I'm curious to know if you went back to teaching - and how.
I'm also enjoying Fires in the Bathroom, a compilation of student advice to new teachers, and looking forward to Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains, by Louanne Johnson.

Bonnie Yelverton's picture
Bonnie Yelverton
Still looking for a way to use my credential in secondary math & science

When gifted kids don't have all the answers, by Jim Delisle and Judy Galbraith, is very insightful about kids who are smart, but often not performing as you'd expect.
Learning Outside The Lines: Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD, by Jonathan Mooney, and David Cole

Carol Parker's picture
Carol Parker
7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

I love to read, and see films. My big event this summer is waiting for
THE HELP to open. I actually have tickets before the opening. I encouraged my gifted readers last fall to read this wonderful story of Civil Rights. Many did and understood it.

I also read:
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, and I saw the film. I loved the book, a story we need to know. The film was visually beautiful, but...I would love to hear what other people thought..

I could not put down UNBROKEN, it was riveting. I do not pick up anything WW II, but I do see every film. This is a must read.

I read with a pencil notating and pondering. She has taught me so much.

I am watching all of I CLAUDIUS. Magnificent! A not to be missed.

I also have Netflixed The Six Wives of Henry the VIII and Cambridge Spies.

And, the most romantic and best of reading the ARTS is MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.....aaaaahhhhhhhh! at the end of the year after I expose my students to the artists, a perfect film.....

I also will be going to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see Tim Burton.

I did read Tina Fey and Malcolm Gladwell. Amazing creative people

So little time in life to "READ" so much: BOOKS, FILMS, MUSEUMS!!

I am sure there will be more I can squeeze in the next 3 weeks before I have to return to the classroom.....

Kelly Flynn's picture
Kelly Flynn
Former high school teacher and author of Kids, Classrooms, and Capitol Hill

If you're looking for a book that honors teachers and recognizes their challenges, try Kids, Classrooms, and Capitol Hill by Kelly Flynn (me!). It's a funny, edgy, poignant look at life in the classroom. And it takes legislators to task for passing so much boneheaded education legislation.

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

Thanks Bonnie Yelverton for your kind words about my book, The Accidental Teacher. I'd be happy to send you, or anyone else who has finished the book, an update. Send your email address to me at: (double zero, not double oh).

Interested group members group check out:

Book's facebook page:

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