If you’re a teacher and you’re reading this by any chance, I have a question for you. What made you decide to become one?
Was there a turning point in your life that made you decide that you have to be a teacher one way or another? Or did you just know from the start that teaching was your calling in life?
Whatever road it took for you to be where you are now, one thing is for certain and it is a fact that is undeniable—It takes gut to choose teaching as a profession.
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How Children Succeed
- A book that argues the qualities that matter most have more to do with 5 characters
- The author traces the links between childhood stress and life success
- A provocative and profoundly hopeful book that can change how you raise your children
It seems like many people did not choose to teach, but it is teaching that chose them.
It happened naturally for many wonderful teachers in our lives and they continue their work with the desire to educate and the devotion to fulfill the unimaginable duties of teachers tirelessly sacrificing everything they’ve got just to stand in front of their class.
It is hard being a teacher. When they drown themselves too much with their work, sometimes the passion they have for teaching wavers because of the stress that comes with their line of work.
A job of a teacher is not all about educating students but it is also about discovering and learning new things for the thorough development of their teaching profession. Because even though you’re already a teacher, it doesn’t mean that you stop learning.
One of the ways to enrich your teaching journey is by indulging yourself in a good book; a good book is like food for the soul, and although teaching is already a busy profession, teachers should always find the time to read some especially the books that can greatly influence for the better.
5 Best Reading Books For Teachers That Every Teacher Should Know About
1. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Educated is a one-of-a-kind book that contains the struggles that Westover, the author, had to go through before discovering the wonderful world of education. Currently, Tara Westover is an American author living in the UK who has a Ph.D. in History. Her story is well-known because of this published book.
Many people are applauding this masterpiece because not only it contains factual information about the author but it also talks about an issue that everyone goes to often and that is abuse.
In the summary of the book, Tara—at a very young age was taught by her father to only live like her mother who is a housewife. Their family was isolated from the mainstream society that is why the beliefs of her father were the only thing that the family needed to follow.
The Westover siblings did not have any opportunity to engage themselves in education, especially the girls. But when Tara got a glimpse of education from attending one session of teaching, she knew what she wanted and from there, she left her family in hopes of achieving her dream.
The book talks about her struggles, especially with the kind of family she has. Tara wanted to live and achieve her own dreams and not her father’s, she believed that receiving proper education is one way in order to achieve development in society. That is why even though she was only seventeen at the time she departed from her family, she left because she knew she did not have any future if she stayed.
Teachers will definitely get enriched with this book because it encapsulates the importance of receiving education, it can serve as an inspiration to all teachers who are doubting themselves when it comes to their education.
If you are a teacher that is doubting themselves getting that master’s degree, then this book will be able to uplift your spirits. The book itself is filled with raw emotion from the author, and you will be able to feel for her.
Choosing between her dreams of receiving an education and her family is a tough decision for anyone to make, but she did what she had to do so that she can impart her knowledge to the children.
This is also a good reference for the students as well, it will help in shaping their view of how important education is and that everyone deserves to receive education no matter who you are or where you are.
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2. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
“How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” is the book published by Paul after the release of his 1st book in 2008 titled: “Whatever It Takes”.
He found out even after researching for 5 years before publishing his first book, he felt like there were not enough answers about what really happens in childhood—and that is the reason why he published his second book in an attempt to answer those questions that were not answered during his first. So you can think of this as more like a prequel to his first book.
The primary issue that he introduced in this book is those children who are living in poverty. I liked how he addressed this issue because there are many cases wherein children are unable to pursue their path in education because of the financial situation they are in.
He stressed that children who are living in poverty have a harder time than those who are not because most of the time they are already exposed to the life of adulthood—children are already taking up jobs in order to provide for their family.
Moreover, those low-income families who let their children go to school often have a stressful relationship with their parents because of the chaotic environment that they live in, resulting in children’s poor performance in school.
This goes to show that without proper education and guidance from the parents, children’s minds will be unable to develop properly.
Reading this book will help teachers have a deep understanding of children who come from low-income neighborhoods, especially on the factors that can potentially affect their performance in their academics.
The book is not just informative but is also an eye-opener about the struggles of those children.
Focusing on instilling knowledge in your students is your most important task as a teacher, but you should also consider their struggles and emotional well-being in order to efficiently teach them.
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3. What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers across America by Ted Dintersmith
Ted Dintersmith is an innovation expert that set up a trip across America with the primary purpose of reimagining education to prepare students of the world market by innovation.
But upon visiting various schools from all fifty states, he was surprised about the different and innovative ways of how each and every teacher handled their students.
Seeing the unique efforts of how teachers impart knowledge to their students, made Ted realize that creating cultures of innovation in schools will make a huge difference in envisioning what a school needs to be.
In the book, the author discusses the experience of his one year trip across America. He presents all the fun and quirky ideas that he gets from teachers that are used in order to efficiently teach students. He also asked them how they came up with their ideas because all of their strategies when teaching are clearly different from one another.
The answer was very simple, and that their mode of teaching is based on their student’s personalities and interests.
It dawned on him that the majority of the teachers are very hardworking despite being unjustly charged. Most of the time, teachers and even the academic institution are being held accountable for children’s slow progression but what most people do not realize is that schools and teachers are not always responsible for the failure of the students.
Developmental neglect on the parents’ part is also a major factor in the children’s performance, the author stresses that before getting angry towards teachers, parents should first think about the situation of their children both inside and outside of school.
That is just one of the best parts that this book has to offer and it is definitely a page-turner.
Overall, the general idea of the creation of this book is to promote the developmental thinking of children towards innovation for their future success. This is a good book to read especially if teachers want to step up their teaching game by generating teaching ideas from this book which has many to choose from.
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4. Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham
Daniel T. Willingham is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, he uses his views on cognitive science to thoroughly explain the factors on why students are generally displeased with the idea of school.
What makes this book a best-seller is the fact that the author is a cognitive psychologist that is very familiar with his field, his explanations, and views inside the book are always backed up with psychoanalytic which makes his argument more than plausible.
Students are always having a hard time learning new modules and materials, which is why it is only common for them to lose interest in learning. That is why the author came up with various methods that are backed up by scientific reasons in order for teachers to implement those methods in their teaching strategies to help students overcome their lack of interest.
Although the book is very “research-based” many people do not find the book that appealing, however, if you are a child of education then surely you will find this book very engaging. It may bore you because of the scientific terms used however, it is very much straight to the point that is why it is refreshing to read.
Teachers will be able to have an idea on how to handle those students who are having a hard time engaging themselves in learning.
Even parents will be able to help in encouraging their children to be more forward in their education by reading this book because the purpose of teachers and parents is to help guide the children of tomorrow in a brighter future for themselves.
If we can show the students how important education is, then we can help them secure their own future.
Do not be intimidated by this book, it is truly a great read.
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5. Why Knowledge Matters by E. D. Hirsch Jr.
In a very similar matter the book, “Why Knowledge Matters: Rescuing Our Children from Failed Educational Theories” tackles and addresses the issues of contemporary education that led to unintended and negative consequences with supporting theories from cognitive science, developmental psychology, and social science point of view.
Within the book itself, Hirsch—the author of the book, argues that strict and careful planning of curriculums is an important step in order to come up with an effective education plan for students both those who are financially capable and those who are not. There are many cases wherein the curriculum is equipped with unfair situations wherein those who are with low-income families cannot provide in order for their children to pass the grade.
The author mainly focused on the top six problems of recent US education which are the following: the over-testing of students; the narrowing of the curriculum; the continued achievement gap between demographic groups; the scapegoating of teachers; the fadeout of preschool gains; and the reliance on standards that are not linked to a rigorous curriculum.
Hirsch addressed all of these problems and stressed each one of those problems and its effect on creating a bright future for the students. Another issue that he encapsulates inside the book is the fact that some students are given a task to do without any general idea or background information about that specific topic; how is it fair for students to fail a certain task without any knowledge on that subject matter? It is not the students nor the teacher’s fault but it is the lack of planning with the curriculums that are the problem.
This book will surely give you a new perspective on the education system that we have now. Real-time problems and potential solutions will be presented in this book, and this will give teachers an advantage especially when handling their students.
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11 Reasons Why Teachers Should Read Everyday
1.) Reading Greatly Reduces Stress
Stress is inescapable when you’re a teacher, and it’s a fact that teaching is one of the most stressful professions there are in any part of the world.
Surprisingly, reading is a great activity to delve yourself into to help reduce stress because it can relax both your mind and body just by simply sitting down and grabbing your favorite and just reading away for just a few hours or whenever you have free time to do so.
The act of reading something that you enjoy or like a lot helps release good hormones that our body needs to feel good and that eventually helps the heart, mind, and body relax and release the tensions from everything that makes us feel stressed out.
Reading helps take us into another world and lets us take a break for a while, reading is like taking a short vacation to just let our brain take a break from all the hard work it’s doing.
2.) Reading Helps Exercise The Brain
To help keep our brain cells active and thriving, reading is one of the best activities teachers can partake in because reading provides the same effect that exercise does to our body.
There are a lot of scientific studies that back up the claim that reading indeed makes you smarter and can even help improve your social, academic, mental, and even physical aspects of your life.
As reading helps you feel good by reading something that you take interest in, it helps the blood flow and circulates well which then improves the connectivity of neurons in the brain to help them communicate more effectively.
3.) Reading Invites Fresh Ideas And Keeps You Sharp
I love reading books that make you think, a book that challenges your convictions and beliefs in life that makes you reflect and assess yourself to help invite fresh ideas and will make you see the world from a different perspective.
We all know how we get to transform ourselves into wearing the shoes of the character we’re reading in a certain book, we sometimes feel like we’re the protagonist or we get carried away too much that we feel like we’re actually in the book, that’s how powerful books are!
And by doing so, it helps us keep our brands sharp and skilled when it comes to solving puzzles, patterns, and other challenges that the characters face in the book we read, especially books with twists and turns, and revelations every chapter, it just keeps you on your feet thinking about what the next page will uncover.
4.) Reading Helps Improve Focus and Concentration
Nowadays everything has to be cramped up to 1-minute videos and 5-minute read articles because everyone wants something instant which lets our attention span getting shorter and shorter without us even realizing it.
This might seem alluring because you can get everything fast and easy, but this does not do any good for our brain especially when it comes to focusing and retaining information.
When it comes to reading a book, you can’t just scroll up and swipe down to fast forward the story, when you read the book you have to be in the moment and it forces you to focus and really read everything from line to line.
This helps the brain’s skill to deeply focus and connect everything within the book from the plot to the actual climax of the story.
5.) Reading Enriches Your Knowledge of the World
We live in a big world, and not all of us have the privilege to travel and explore different cultures and learn about the expansive history of each and every country that is present around the world.
But books made it possible for us to learn more about amazing cultures and informative histories that each and every society has to tell. You can read books about historical events, customs, cultures, economics, and almost whatever your heart desires to learn you’ll find that there’s a book for it!
Books made it possible for us to not forget and still pass down priceless knowledge that generation after generation are still able to access because it’s written down as history in textbooks.
But if you’re not a fan of what factual books have to offers which is mainly specific dates and events, you might find historical fiction to be more enjoyable to read because they come mostly in the form of stories that are intriguing and very interesting as well.
6.) Rekindles Inspiration and Sparks Creativity
No matter how passionate we are when it comes to teaching, there will be times where we need a little bit of help to rekindle inspiration and spark creativity to keep our passion for teaching alive and kicking.
And one great way to help keep the fire burning is by reading books because books are like fuel for passion the more we read the more it keeps on revving inside us. Inspiration is contagious, and if you’re reading a very inspiring book the same will also apply to you.
It’s just like the law of attraction, when you read good books that inspire creativity and the will to make you live a better life, you will attract the same in reality.
Reading books will also let your imagination run wild which will then spark creativity which is essential for teachers to develop especially when teaching children of younger age. You get to imagine the places described in the books, and even how the characters look word for word, a good book lets you experience things beyond its pages.
7.) Reading Increases Memory Retention
I don’t know why, but I’m just in my mid 20’s, but I feel like I already have an onset of dementia since I always keep on forgetting almost everything.
Usually, the cause of forgetting important information like where you put your car keys that you were just holding a few minutes ago is due to high-stress levels and from thinking too fast and this is something not new to teachers.
Since I started picking up books to read again, I slowly noticed that I no longer keep on forgetting things.
Surprisingly, reading books helps you retain your memory at a much higher rate compared to when you’re not reading. Since it is said that reading is like exercise for the brain, it helps improve the overall state of our mind thus it makes us remember things easier and faster.
When we read books, we have to remember certain characters, events, and whatnots for us to understand the whole story the book is trying to implicate.
Scientifically, with every new memory that is created, it also creates new synapses that back up and strengthen the already established ones in our brain which makes short-term memory recall function in our brain work much faster and easier for us.
Additionally, the correlation of the synapses in our brains also helps to stabilize our moods to keep everything in balance and us in a good mood!
8.) Reading Makes You Write Better
Teachers write every day, and there might be times that we seem to be running out of words to write or even say, and it happens to all of us not only with teachers. Reading books will help expand your vocabulary and let you learn new styles and ways to write to convey the message that you want your students to grasp.
Reading books gives you exposure to well-written work from known authors which will eventually show an effect on how you write, it’s like a subtle influence that will greatly affect and improve the way you write and talk as well.
9.) Reading Makes You A Better Teacher
All in all, reading makes you a better teacher, with all the benefits you can reap from it, self-development is what stands out the most.
There are many instructional books about teaching, there are memoirs, there are books to give you new ideas on how you can be a better educator, and even a book on how you can make teaching more fun and an enjoyable experience both for you and your students as well.
But it’s not just books about teaching, you can also explore other books within your area of interest—you can even try books that are fairly new to you. Books that you think will let you gain insights from other people’s encounters and experiences to help you be a better version of yourself altogether.
Do not pass up the time overworking yourself. Reading a book will not only help you relax and take your mind off of work, but it will also help you in your endeavors as a teacher.
So go ahead and take a break! Find yourself a cozy spot, pick a good book to read, and just replenish yourself and your soul with all the amazing adventures and emotions that await you one page at a time.
So there you have it, my friends— I hope this short and quaint article of mine inspired you to pick up a book and read again not only to learn but to be rekindled with passion for teaching!
Let me know your thoughts about the books included in this list, have you read them? Any recommendations are deeply appreciated too!
Have a good one, cheers!