Today marks the 2nd year the world has been on lockdown, and even though many restrictions have been lifted many activities are still limited including face-to-face classes, and yet teachers seem to face a more challenging time now more than ever.
But still, that shouldn’t stop you from reading books.
Reading is the gateway skill that makes it possible for you to further yourself and explore the unexplored without even taking one step from where you are standing. And as the article title suggests, what books should English teachers read?
Since we are all very much confined to our own homes at the moment, and when you’re done with your teaching duties for the day and you’re looking for something worthwhile to do, just skip the binge-watching or the endless scrolls.
Because I highly recommend that the next best thing that you can do is to pick up a good book because I have some pretty awesome book recommendations lined up for you today. With that in mind, let’s get this list started!
<<Are you a wide reader? Choose from any of the 8 best reading books for teachers to give you an exceptional understanding of the education process and make you more compassionate in teaching children.
What Books Should English Teachers Read?
1.) Alphabreaths by Holly Clifton-Brown
A relaxed and compassionate classroom is a great environment for students to thrive in. The first book on our list is a great book that is intended to be shared with your students especially if you’re teaching preschool or elementary students.
Alphabreaths is a short-read book that teaches children breathing techniques that are easy for kids to learn and follow in a fun and engaging way. It helps promote mindfulness, relaxation, and teaches them about compassion as well.
The illustration of this book will surely catch your students’ attention and lock their focus into it as well. Each page of the book contains one letter and a corresponding short activity that will teach your students how to breathe in and out in a creative way.
This book helps exercise children’s imagination and also teaches them how to practice mindful and playful breathing in a way that children will love to do over and over again.
The authors Christopher Willard PsyD, Daniel Rechtschaffen MA, and illustrator Holly Clifton-Brown co-created this book that contains simple, playful, and delightful illustrations to help teach children how to fill their hearts with gratitude and remember to always be kind to others and send good wishes to others as well.
The best-recommended reading age for this book is around 4-8 years old making them best to read with Preschool to grade 3 level students. but you can read them to younger children as well. It has 32 pages with colorful and wonderful illustrations.
So if you’re looking for a book that will help introduce mindfulness to your students, this will be a big hit. Not only does it teach them about mindfulness and breathing practices, but it also helps them learn about the alphabet as well.
Each page will help kids learn different breathing techniques that keep them engaged, and to make it more fun you can let them pick the letter or randomize it and see what type of breath is in store for them for each letter that they will learn.
It’s best to start them young and it’s never too early to teach them about mindfulness, awareness, and breathing techniques that will help them become calmer and more relaxed adults once they grow up.
As simple as this book may be, it serves a deeper purpose that is just a must to be introduced to young children as this book speaks their own language making it easy for them to follow and understand as well. It cultivates essential skills for them to develop such as attention, gratitude, compassion, kindness, and self-awareness.
All in all, this is a charming book with playful instructions and superb illustrations. Alphabreaths is indeed a very good way to teach students about breathing techniques that teachers can also use as well.
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2.) Take Control of the Noisy Class: Chaos to Calm in 15 Seconds by Rob Plevin
Got unruly and noisy kids? Do you feel like you’re talking to the wind when they ignore you when you give instructions? Say goodbye to energy-draining disruption, disobedience, and defiance from your students with this next awesome book on our list!
Take Control of the Noisy Class by Rob Plevin is a book infused with the author’s tested and practical strategies that teachers can put into practice the very next day after you read it.
As the author himself is backed up with over 20 years of teaching experience in special education, he has generously given a successful and proven step-by-step process of managing even the toughest classrooms in today’s time.
In the book, the author demonstrates powerful and fast-acting techniques that he himself has tried and tested including the highlight of the book which is the novel routine to get any class quiet in 15 seconds or less. And if it can really do that, you can sign me up asap!
This book is like a treasure that every teacher should cherish, especially for new teachers who are newly experiencing trouble with classroom management—helping teachers across all age groups connect and come through even with the most hard-to-reach and reluctant learners.
This book will be a helping guide that will teach you how to gain energy from your kids instead of letting them drain you. You have to teach smart and not hard!
This book will give pointers by following a six-step plan that is easy to follow teaching you how to minimize and deal with classroom behavior problems. It also lets you in on a secret on how you’ll be able to gain trust and respect even from the toughest and hardest to reach students.
You’ll also discover how to put an end to power struggles and confrontations in the classroom and how to have your students follow instructions like angels with no need to repeat yourself over and over again, can I get an amen to that?!
This book also emphasizes the crucial significance of consistency in the classroom and you’ll be able to achieve it while you also learn quick and fun ways to increase engagement in your lessons that are both enjoyable for you and your students.
There is also a notable step-by-step method called the clean slate that you can try and use to start over with a particularly difficult individual or group of students that just won’t sway your way.
You’ll surely get a lot of ideas and enjoy learning from hundreds of practical ideas and interventions that will put an end to all your classroom management woes.
After reading this book, you’ll surely feel confident that you’ll be able to flip your classroom and create that enjoyable classroom climate that will benefit all especially your students in the long run.
Comparing it from all the books written under the same topic, this would be the best book that you can pick up. It’s empowering, inspiring, and written in a positive manner that certainly works given that many teachers have reviewed and testified backing up their claim to be effective even if you try it the very next day.
While reading this book, you’ll surely nod or even shout yes as every page and suggestion are very agreeable and practical for teachers to try and incorporate into their classroom management strategies.
Hands down the only behavior management handbook that you’ll ever need in your teaching career!
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3.) The Reading Zone by Nancie Atwell
English teachers are always on the hunt for the ultimate recipe to create passionate readers out of their students. And if you’ve been teaching for a while now, we all know the challenge and the obstacles we face in order to perfect that recipe.
If I must say, this is highly recommended reading for English teachers, parents, librarians, or just for anyone who would like to pursue and foster literacy from the earliest possible age.
As a veteran teacher, the author, Nancie Atwell, had the privilege to practice her approach freely as she was able to form her own curriculum from the ground up, this gave her the upper hand to curate the perfect formula for powerful readers.
She gathered pieces of evidence coming from her 20 years of experience as a teacher to make the case of reading more powerful than ever.
In this book, you’ll learn about the top ten conditions that the author established in her own strategies of teaching for making engaged classroom reading applicable for students of all levels while providing the practical support and structures necessary for accomplishing them.
One particular part about this book that will surely ignite the fire for teachers to empower students to become readers is the chapter that specifically looked at boys. It provided an in-depth look at a certain boy that no one imagines could be a very passionate reader.
His name was Cam, and he was from a working-class family. Cam was an athlete and he was all over racing and dirt biking. And then the Author, Nancie Atwell found a way to break through to him and found a book that he enjoyed quite well.
As a result, he became an avid reader and writer over time. This pointed out how Atwell dismissed stereotypes about boys and their disdain for reading. Challenging these stereotypes gave her the chance to open the eyes of teachers and for teachers to hinder developing prejudices among students.
It provides teachers with an effective method on how to help students develop into passionate and life-long readers regardless of their backgrounds.
Many teachers have loved this book as it demonstrates how you’ll be able to reach out to your students and make them understand how they can enjoy reading and why it’s the most powerful skill a child can have.
You can try and take different strategies from this well-written book and apply them anywhere. It’s warm, insightful, and the author is very down to earth making you understand the intricacies of the topic in the most simple way. It’s like a light-bulb moment on every page of this book.
If you’re trying to develop your strategies as a teacher who wants to develop strong readers, then this book would be your key ingredient to fostering great readers of the future. This book sends a message to all teachers, and I just wish and hope that every teacher can have a chance to read it.
Reading this book is a pleasure that any teacher would appreciate as it showers wisdom, insight, and a refreshing perspective a teacher needs.
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4.) Teaching Adolescent Writers by Kelly Gallagher
In the English subject, teaching and writing go hand in hand, that’s why for our next entry I chose the book Teaching Adolescent Writers which is an excellent teaching guide that has everything a teacher needs when it comes to teaching how to write to your students.
In today’s time, it is critical for students to know how to write effectively. The act of writing was once considered a luxury, but now it has become a necessity. There’s a high number of students leaving school unarmed with the necessary writing skills that can help them become successful individuals in life.
And with that in mind, it’s our job as educators to do something about it as we have the power to change that and prevent that from happening, and this book can tell how teachers can help and teach students how to write effectively.
You’ll find a number of classroom-tested strategies that are practical and doable that also help teachers dive deep into understanding the importance of teaching writing. It is one thing to teach, motivating students should also be the main goal for teachers to try and accomplish while teaching students how to write.
But don’t worry, this book is not all that serious as it’s also infused with humor and illuminating anecdotes that are personally pulled from the author’s experiences as a teacher in the classroom teaching about writing.
This is also a pretty straightforward book with ready-to-use strategies that you can apply to your very own classroom the next day.
These strategies are also based upon what the author class as the Six Pillars of Writing Success, which are the following; Students need a lot of writing practice, Students need a teacher who’s a role model in good writing, the need to create the opportunity for students to read and study other writers, giving them choices when it comes to writing topics, giving them an authentic purpose for writing and an authentic audience as well, and students need meaning full feedbacks both from their peers and their teacher as well.
Everything in this book is very practical, very detailed, and is just pure out-of-the-box teaching strategies that are proven to be effective. All the suggestions, activities, ideas in this book are intended for teachers of writers.
With a number of solid writing advice that reading and writing teachers, this is definitely a worthy book to add to your teaching arsenal. The only thing left for me to say is buy this book asap!
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5.) Go See the Principal by Gerry Brooks
One day as I was scrolling through the internet trying to look for the next great book to read I came across this book written by an elementary school principal and YouTube popular persona that was just full of humor and inspiration that can help teachers face all the challenging tidbits in the classroom day by day.
First off, I really did not know what to expect with this book at first and it just had me intrigued and to my surprise, it was really funny and entertaining, and that I was able to finish it in three days.
This book spoke the truth for all teachers and it was really empowering and inspiring in a very positive way. Some parts you’ll see are for teachers, some for parents, and some for administrators. Giving a piece of bread just for everyone involved in a child’s education.
It centered on the thought of what will help the school run at its best benefiting especially the students who are the main core of education. The author’s work also focuses on helping and encouraging teachers to improve and develop their instructional capabilities and assisting administrators to successfully lead their staff at school as well.
The author’s educational experience includes six years in the classroom along with two years as an intervention specialist and twelve years as an administrator and piling up these up gives him an impressive and credible resume to write a book with the goal of encouraging, motivating, and inspiring teachers to be better.
This book also gave wonderful advice focusing on topics such as PTAs, lunchtime musings, assessments, parent loops, transportations with teachers and parents as the audience in mind.
Overall a great book to read to refresh a teacher’s perspective on how to have a successful school environment.
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6.) Sprouting Into Greatness by Thea White
Are you feeling stuck lately? Trying to see past the dark tunnel and towards the light, but can’t seem to reach it? Are you feeling threatened by any form of change in your environment? If so, then you better get yourself a copy of this book.
There are times in a teacher’s life where one can feel lost or demotivated. Teachers tend to put too much pressure on themselves for not being able to be in full control of everything, or not being able to be what everyone needs at a given moment.
And that’s okay, we need to remind ourselves that we’re human and to err is human. If you have been feeling down lately and you need a great pick-me-up book then Sprouting Into Greatness is just the thing for you.
This is an amazing book that I highly recommend for teachers or anyone who wants to push further towards success as this book will help you get to the right path to success.
Thea Long White, the author, is a revolutionary life and legacy coach that delivers entrepreneurial wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, and powerful principles that teachers can use to transform their lives and learn how to start to take control of it.
This book does not preach but empowers change, growth, and continuous improvement that is the key to success no matter what path it is that you’re taking.
It will help you sprout and bloom into becoming the best version of yourself and lead you to the next level of your life. This book will guide you to create positive changes in your life and evacuate you from the comfort zone that has been hindering you to take the next big step that has long been due.
Let this book be the instrument to push you to do the things that you have been putting off, it will give you the moxie that you need to make things happen!
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7.) The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros
I remember that when I was a kid I would constantly ask my mother numerous questions for things that sparked my curiosity and everything was just full of wonders in mysteries that I was yet to uncover.
And now, seeing the same thing happening to my daughter, it has dawned on me that curiosity sparks a child’s interest in education and it should never be dulled by telling kids to stop asking a question or shushing them away.
Because that’s the point where you tell kids to stop questioning which then dulls their sense to interrogate, investigate, and learn. Reading this book will help you know how you can empower learners to become forward-thinking leaders who are not afraid to explore but are only hungry for more.
As a teacher, it is important for you to evaluate how you respond to a student’s curiosity, do you cater to their questions well? Are you explaining it in a sense that they will easily understand? Do you try to get on their level?
By choosing how you respond can help empower them to further their exploration and eventually help shape the way they absorb information and the way they learn today and in the coming future.
In a traditional classroom setting, students are not allowed to ask questions until the end of the discussion, but that should not be the case anymore. It’s the 21st century and educators should be able to innovate and revolutionize teaching strategies to provide better opportunities for students where they can thrive and be the best version they can be.
It’s our job as educators to encourage and push them off from the nest and learn how to control their wings for them to be able to fly independently. This book helps teachers realize that they hold the power to instill a new way of thinking that fosters creativity, innovation, and sharp problem-solving skills that students need in order to succeed.
Innovate your students by innovating yourself first. This book is truly a game-changer for education and a must-read not just for teachers, but for everybody who wants to contribute to the change for a brighter and better education for the younger generation.
Always remember that it starts with your mindset, what you attract is what will happen. And if we don’t innovate, we will evaporate.
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8.) Atomic Habits by James Clear
It’s surprising to know that who we are and what we can achieve highly depend on the small habits that we do every day. Even though it’s quite unbelievable the next book on our list will change your mind about that as it goes on to discuss the enormous power small habits have that affect our overall life.
If you are someone who’s having trouble changing your habits know that the problem is not you—the problem is your system. Atomic Habit by author James clear is probably one of the best self-development books to come out recently.
It’s filled with very practical and useful information that you can apply to yourself daily to help you build new and successful habits while ridding yourself of your bad ones. This book goes in-depth into every single step that you can follow to create good habits from a practical point of view.
If you have been feeling stagnant lately and you want to break routines that seem to be hurting you instead of helping you grow, this would be a refreshing read that will help shift your mindset for the better.
As you read the book, you’ll notice that there’s no fluff, and the author Jame Clear gets right to the point by giving you actionable guidelines and practices on how you can start forming good habits all while breaking the bad ones as well.
The book is structured around the author’s four laws of habit; the first law is to make it obvious, the second is to make it attractive, the third is to make it easy, and the fourth and last law is to make it satisfying.
You’ll also get a lot of life-changing takeaways from Atomic Habits, and to give you an idea as to what’s ahead of you with this book. Let me share with you my favorite one. One part of the book talks about how if you have a behavior that doesn’t harmonize with yourself, it just won’t work and last.
And it totally makes sense to me, because many of us begin the process of changing habits by focusing on what we want we want to achieve which then leads to outcome-based habits instead of the other way around which is to build identity-based habits where we can focus on who we wish to become eventually.
Therefore the process of building habits is actually the process of building yourself.
Ultimately, this is an incredible book that you should definitely read if you are seeking to improve your life through your habits, which is honestly I think is probably one of the best ways to improve one’s life.
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Teachers have the biggest and most direct impact on student learning, this is why it’s important for an educator to be equipped with a mindset that can help foster all essential skills students need to have in order to become successful individuals later on in life.
And even though teaching is not easy, it’s still the most rewarding job one can have that makes a difference not only to a few but to every person a teacher encounters in and beyond the classroom walls.
Adding these books as a tool to your own toolbox, also add more tools to your students’ toolbox that are priceless and life-changing that students will surely pay forward in whatever way they can.
How about you? What’s your must-read teacher book? If you’ve read some of the books I included in this list, how was your reading experience? I’d love to hear from you!
I hope that you try and read some of the marvelous books I included in this list. And if you enjoyed this blog post, share it with a friend!
Until our next one, adios!