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Reading List for Teachers by Teachers

As a teacher, you tell your students about the importance of reading. You may explain the benefits of developing a regular habit of "hitting the books" and encourage your students to take time each day to read. But how many of teachers actually read on their own time? While reading may be low on the priority list for busy teachers juggling many responsibilities, the benefits of a regular reading habit are countless. In addition to the personal enjoyment you can get from reading, you may also find that books provide inspiration on ways to improve your teaching methods.

We asked several teachers across the country for book recommendations. Below are a few of their selections:

  • The First Days of School by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong: First impressions mean a great deal, and that is no different for teachers. The First Days of School provides dozens of helpful tips for teachers to start a new school year on the right foot. Tips run the gamut, from how to dress for success to how to introduce yourself to your class. The book is not meant to provide a plan for successful teaching, but to empower educators, new and experienced alike, to create their own plan for a successful start to the year. Composed of five parts, the book does not need to be read cover to cover. Instead, teachers can go directly to the right sections when they need guidance.


  • Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess: Described as "part inspirational manifesto and part practical roadmap," Burgess says that good teachers should embrace the spirit of a buccaneer – denouncing conformity, seeking adventure and sailing unchartered seas. In part one of the book, Burgess argues that innovative teachers need to re-engage students using the acronym PIRATE, which stands for Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask and Analyze, Transformation and Enthusiasm. In part two, Burgess offers suggestions for creating engaging lessons and explores factors that prevent good teachers from becoming great. An easy and engaging read, Teach Like a Pirate is a great book for any teacher seeking inspiration and encouragement.


  • Educating Esm�: Diary of a Teacher's First Yearby Esm� Raji Codell:�In an unflinching portrayal, Codell recalls her struggles as a first-year teacher in an inner-city Chicago public school. She documents the struggles that will be all-too-familiar to veteran teachers: coping with unruly students and an administrative team that questioned her unconventional teaching strategies. Codell's story concludes with her moving schools the next year, where the principal is more supportive but the job is less fulfilling. Though it was published more than 15 years ago, Educating Esm� is as relevant today as it was then, not just for educators but for anyone who has ever had a bad boss, struggled to stand out among their peers or been underappreciated.


  • The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching by Shelly Sanchez Terrell – If you have ever felt burned out or uninspired, this book aims to help you get back on track. Terrell presents challenges that motivate teachers to accomplish small goals and reflect on their experiences. The overall goal is to help educators rediscover their passion for teaching. The book contains 30 short-term and 30 long-term goals, as well as exercises, tips and additional resources to help you achieve your goals. Examples of goals include building a teacher survival kit and partnering with parents.


Whether you are looking for motivation or classroom tips from other teachers, this small collection of books may be of interest to you.

Learn about the LSUS M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy online program.


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