10 Books for Teachers
It's August—Davy is setting up the school schedule and unpacking boxes of books. I'm eyeing backpacks and buying flip flops for my first grader. And Tasha is counting the squares on the calendar between today and her teacher's return to Belize.
I can hardly remember an August that didn't involve school preparations. I taught for four years, and Davy is ready to start number 10. Before that, either my siblings were teaching, or I was a student.
Combine two loves—books and school—and I get excited. These are some of the books I read and loved as a teacher. Many of these books have broader applications than just for school teachers. Bible study teachers, pastors, and parents can benefit from them as well.
With All Due Respect - keys to building effective school discipline by Ronald G. Morrish. This book is as much for parents as it is for teachers. Morrish teaches how to use positive discipline and expect a high level of performance from students.
Seven Laws of the Learner - how to teach almost anything to practically anyone by Bruce Wilkinson. This was one of the first books I read as a teacher and I still think of some of its principles, especially the Law of Expectation, which states that the more you expect out of your students the higher they'll perform. This book has many valuable insights for anyone who does any kind of teaching, including Sunday school or preaching sermons.
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher edited by Bruce Wilkinson. Built on the principles in Seven Laws of the Learner, this book is a collection of essays dealing with every aspect of teaching. I found it especially helpful when I was teaching a class of urban youth and needed some creative ideas for redemptive discipline.
The First Days of School by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong. This book walks you through setting up your classroom for success and getting the first days going on the right foot.
Handbook for Creative Teaching by David L. Martin. This book is wealth of information on nearly all teaching-related issues—teaching specific subjects, grading, discipline, recess activities, day to day procedures, report cards, and many more. At 932 pages, this book is more of a resource than a book to read cover to cover.
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. This is a parenting book (one of my favorites ever), but I first read it as a teacher. As teachers or parents, we need to strive to change hearts, not just modify outward behavior.
The Thread that Runs so True by Jesse Stuart. The inspirational story of a teacher in the mountain regions of Kentucky.
Brilliant Idiot - an autobiography of a dyslexic by Dr. Abraham Schmitt. People in Abe Schmitt's Mennonite community thought he was an idiot, but he found out later in life that his brain fog was a learning disability—dyslexia. Most teachers will sooner or later have a student who has some degree of dyslexia and I found this book enlightening to help me understand what a dyslexic child is going through when they are trying to make sense of the words on the page.
On Teaching Writing by Jennifer Crider. Since I loved to write, I tried to pass that love on to my students (amidst their groans, unfortunately). This book was a great resource for ideas for composition class.
The Essential 55 - an award-winning educator's rules for discovering the successful student in every child by Ron Clark. An inspiring and entertaining tale of one energetic teacher transforming his class of average, low-performing students into respectful, confident young people.
Bonus: Be inspired by Rita Pierson's TedTalk.
What are some of your favorite books for educators?
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