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Must-Reads for Teachers

This one is for you, TEACHERS. We typically share lessons and learnings around engagement and communication and culture – but today we are giving you all a little something to put in your back pocket.

Here are our picks for top books for teachers. From teaching theories to inspiration to a few notables, these writings will be sure to help you stay connected and engaged.

Teaching Theories

Seven Myths About Education by Daisy Christodoulou

In this controversial new book, Daisy Christodoulou offers a thought-provoking critique of educational orthodoxy. Drawing on her recent experience of teaching in challenging schools, she shows through a wide range of examples and case studies just how much classroom practice contradicts basic scientific principles. She examines seven widely-held beliefs which are holding back pupils and teachers:

  • Facts prevent understanding 
  • Teacher-led instruction is passive  
  • The 21st century fundamentally changes everything  
  • You can always just look it up  
  • We should teach transferable skills  
  • Projects and activities are the best way to learn  
  • Teaching knowledge is indoctrination
Teaching What Matters Most by Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver, Matthew J. Perini

Strong, Silver, and Perini offer four standards that will help all students meet the various standards dictated by states, regions, and districts. *Rigor: helping students make sense of challenging texts and ideas. *Thought: helping students become adept users of powerful learning disciplines. *Diversity: helping students understand themselves and others. *Authenticity: helping students apply what they learn to the real world. In this book, the authors go beyond simply showing what each standard looks like in various school settings. They provide research-based teaching strategies that can help all students meet each standard along with assessment practices that allow schools and teachers to respond thoughtfully to the diversity of students’ needs.

Disruptive Thinking: Why How We Read Matters by Kylene Beers, Robert E Probst

Supported with student conversations, classroom scenarios, practical strategies, and turn-and-talk moments, teachers and administrators will use this book as a guide for changing the way they think about teaching kids to become the thoughtful, skillful, attentive, responsive readers we want them to be, our democracy needs them to be. Beers and Probst help us understand engagement, relevance, and talk along with day-to-day concerns of choice reading, incommon reading, and leveled reading. The push our thinking in this book as they take on the challenge of changing how it is we read.

Inspiration

What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World by Taylor Mali 

Teacher turned teacher’s advocate Taylor Mali inspired millions with his original poem “What Teachers Make,” a passionate and unforgettable response to a rich man at a dinner party who sneeringly asked him what teachers make. Mali’s sharp, funny, perceptive look at life in the classroom pays tribute to the joys of teaching…and explains why teachers are so vital to our society.

What Teachers Make is a book that will be treasured and shared by every teacher in America—and everybody who’s ever loved or learned from one.

Today I Made a Difference: A Collection of Inspirational Stories from America’s Top Educators by Joseph W Underwood

Everyone remembers that teacher who made a difference. The one who went the extra mile to truly affect lives, whose lessons carried as much importance outside the classroom as inside. This book is a celebration of those teachers who continue to make an impact. A collection of stories from some of the country’s top educators, this book is a celebration of teachers’ work, and motivation for them to continue. Joseph Underwood has collected stories from each of the twenty-eight 2004 Disney Teacher™ of the Year honorees. And every story celebrates a different obstacle they overcame, the power and know-how needed to triumph, and the reward granted upon beating the odds. It’s the perfect gift for anyone in or considering the profession. This collection is sure to inspire, celebrate, and motivate those people who make the biggest difference in everyone’s life.

What School Could Be by Ted Dintersmith

What School Could Be offers an inspiring vision of what our teachers and students can accomplish if trusted with the challenge of developing the skills and ways of thinking needed to thrive in a world of dizzying technological change.

Innovation expert Ted Dintersmith took an unprecedented trip across America, visiting all fifty states in a single school year. He originally set out to raise awareness about the urgent need to reimagine education to prepare students for a world marked by innovation–but America’s teachers one-upped him. All across the country, he met teachers in ordinary settings doing extraordinary things, creating innovative classrooms where children learn deeply and joyously as they gain purpose, agency, essential skillsets and mindsets, and real knowledge. Together, these new ways of teaching and learning offer a vision of what school could be―and a model for transforming schools throughout the United States and beyond. Better yet, teachers and parents don’t have to wait for the revolution to come from above. They can readily implement small changes that can make a big difference.

Capturing bold ideas from teachers and classrooms across America, What School Could Be provides a realistic and profoundly optimistic roadmap for creating cultures of innovation and real learning in all our schools.

Notables

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.

Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Millan

Someone somewhere said that they use some of Cesar’s techniques in the class. Might just be a bit of brilliance here.


*descriptions are taken from Amazon and Goodreads

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