The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Teachers

Ginger Abbot

Mar 16, 2022

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Summer is the perfect time to savor everything you didn’t get the chance to enjoy during the school year. For many educators, this may include weeknight wine tastings or a few days on a beach somewhere. However, those few months of freedom also offer myriad opportunities to read a few good books and gather ideas for the next school year. So, if you’re serious about providing quality education, you must add the following books to your summer reading list for teachers.  

1. Teaching When the World is on Fire 

In light of a global pandemic, climate crisis and economic recession, it’s no surprise that today’s students are experiencing rising stress levels and lower engagement. How and why should they stay in school when the world is literally on fire? Lisa Delpit aims to answer these and other similar questions in her book Teaching When the World is on Fire. Each chapter addresses a particular crisis and covers topics like hate speech, climate change and even Confederate statues. 

2. In Teachers We Trust 

If you’re looking for a similarly hopeful read, In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to World-Class Schools is a must-read. This book combines the perspectives of Finnish teaching expert Pasi Sahlberg and American educator Timothy Walker to help you build trust within the classroom. The authors touch on policy improvements and offer insight into small, practical ways to build better relationships. Suggestions range from making transparent decisions to becoming a purposeful mentor to students. 

3. Brave Enough

From the best-selling author of Wild comes a heart-warming collection of quotes that’s perfect for teachers seeking inspiration and encouragement. Brave Enough, which features more than 100 quotes and thoughts, is like a mini instruction manual for the soul that urges everyone — including educators — to love, forgive and endure. Cheryl Strayed’s hard-earned wisdom will have you laughing, crying and nodding in agreement with each turn of the page. 

4. Raising a Rockstar Reader 

Sure, authors Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald may have written this book for parents. But  Raising a Rockstar Reader: 75 Quick Tips to Help Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love of Reading is just as relevant to educators. This quick read offers plenty of advice for kindergarten and first-grade teachers and fun activities that you can easily implement in the classroom or share with parents. Build childrens’ oral language and fine-tune their reading and writing skills with these essential tips. 

5. Teach Like a Pirate 

Teachers who have a passion for learning and can model creative thinking will inevitably beget creative students. However, you might have to step outside your comfort zone and take a few risks to successfully inspire your class. In this case, you need Dave Burgess’ Teach Like a Pirate. Increase engagement, boost creativity and transform your life as an educator with more than 30 hooks, 170 brainstorming questions and tons of helpful advice. Once you implement these practical techniques in your classroom, you’ll wonder how you ever taught without them. 

6. Teaching with Intention

If you only have time to read one book this summer, choose Teaching with Intention. This text outlines a back-to-basics approach and stresses the importance of building from the ground up, making it a must-read for first-year teachers and seasoned educators alike. Build a strong foundation and turn your class into a community with actionable tips, systems and techniques that excellent teachers already use. Rediscover your passion and teach with intention rather than simply going through the motions. 

7. How to Be a Wildflower 

Self-care is more than a buzzword; it’s a foundational part of life, especially for teachers. That’s because your mood and outlook define the student experience. Set yourself up for success and positivity by picking up a copy of How to Be a Wildflower. This field guide contains meditative prompts, recipes, crafts, outdoor activities and more to help you unwind. Take care of your mental, spiritual and physical health with these fun summer ideas and integrate a few into the classroom to practice self-care year-round. 

Sharpening Your Skills

Great teachers encourage their students to read during the summer. Well, it’s time to practice what you preach and pick up a few books yourself. Sharpen your teaching skills and learn how to address current events with confidence by adding the books above to your summer reading list for teachers. The wealth of information they contain will help you stay on top of your game so you and your kids have the best school year ever.

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