Most teachers consider themselves lifelong learners. At North Greenville University, that was actually one of the criteria for student teaching – prove you are a lifelong learner. At the time, I thought that was dumb, but as I continue to grow as an educator, I see the value of it.
There are lots of ways to learn, educate yourself, and continue to hone your craft. You can attend conferences (whether in-person or virtual), go to professional developments, grow a PLN or connect with other teachers. But one of the best ways (and the focus of this blog) is to read professional books. Now, not all books are created equal – and not all should be used as guidelines for educators – but I’ve attempted to compile a list here of those that I swear by. I know there are some that I’m missing and I’m always welcoming new suggestions so feel free to recommend titles in the comments!
I’m going to divide this into two parts – books I’ve read and recommended and books that have been recommended to me and are on my “to-read” pile. It’s a long list but I’ll try to keep the descriptions to one-line!
Books I’ve Read and Recommend
Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess is one of my go-to educator books. It gives you ways to spice up your teaching, engage your students, and you’ll finish reading more motivated than ever!
The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King will also encourage you to change up the way you do things and help you connect with your students. They teach at the Ron Clark Academy and the book is full of 7 ways to be an awesome educator!
The Book Whisperer is one of my go-to books when it comes to instilling a reading culture. I get so inspired when I read her stories of encouraging students to read, engaging readers, and making her classroom a culture where reading is a priority.
The Essential 55 is a book that teaches you how to interact and build community with your students. This book is great for any educator who wants to find rapport with their students and help their students become better members of society.
As an aspiring school librarian, Hacking School Libraries is a must-read. This book presents 10 ways to make your media center awesome. The best part of the book is that it presents the problem, steps you can take now to make a difference and a long-range solution. Plus, it’s a series of books for education, so check them all out!
Another book by Donalyn Miller, this one is focused on encouraging students to become “wild readers.” This book is geared towards reading/ELA teachers but there are ideas in there that all teachers can use to encourage a reading climate!
Books In My To-Be-Read Pile
This book is an actual handbook for librarians that was recommended to me as something of a guidebook for new librarians. It’s geared towards K-5 but I’m hoping some of the ideas will work for middle school! It’s next on my reading list.
I’m a big fan of the “Like a Pirate” books and anything published by Dave Burgess’ publishing company (does he want to publish my book???). This book is all about how to develop a culture of readers and was highly recommended.
This one is about blending bookrooms and classroom libraries to inspire your readers. I’ve always had a huge classroom library and I’m excited to read this book to see how I can help inspire classroom libraries once I’m a media specialist!
This is another book by Donalyn Miller and it’s about getting books into the hands of all your students. This is something I’m passionate about so I’m looking forward to reading about how to do it!
I’m still waiting on my copy of this book to arrive (the fact that it was sold out at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Mr. K’s … everywhere … should tell you something about how good it is) but I know I’ll devour it once it comes. Racism is an issue in our world, no matter how much we wish it weren’t, and, as an educator, it’s my job to educate myself so I can better teach my students. I’m really looking forward to reading this one!
In conclusion, those are my recommended books. I’m sure I’ll add more as I come across more but that’s it for now. Do you have any books you highly recommend? I’m, of course, also reading fiction books this summer (working my way through all the Junior Book Award nominees) but this post is strictly devoted to professional development books. I’d love to hear any recommendations you may have! Drop them in the comments!!