7 Education Books All Future Teachers Should Read This Summer

Summer is a great time to get caught up on reading, especially for aspiring teachers. Explore one professor's picks for must-read education books.
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One aspect of teaching I love is that I get to keep learning. And one way I enjoy learning is through reading. Who doesn't love cracking open a good book while relaxing by the pool?

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In this article, I introduce my picks for the best education books for new and future teachers. Some I've read myself and recommended to colleagues, while others have been recommended to me by colleagues.

So before you dive into the pool, let's dive into these top seven books for teachers.

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1. Real Talk About Time Management: 35 Best Practices for Educators

By Serena Pariser and Edward F. DeRoche

We can all get better at time management, especially as new teachers. This book's bite-sized tips provide actionable steps to help you manage your time.

You can use the questions and activities in each section to reflect on your learning. Prompts can help you think about time management strategies in context. I especially enjoyed scanning the QR codes to watch related videos.

One tip discussed in this book is cutting down on grading time. I've put into practice the concept of peer conferencing. Instead of me reviewing students' work first, their peers do. Students get into groups of three or four and use the rubric to check one another's work. They can then edit and revise their work before I grade it, ensuring they don't miss easy points.

This book contains tons of useful advice like this to help future teachers improve their time management skills.

2. EduMagic: A Guide for Preservice Teachers

By Dr. Samantha Fecich

Shameless plug alert! If I'm writing an article about books for teachers, I need to include my own. I wrote "EduMagic" to share everything I wish I knew as a future teacher. In each chapter, you'll find practical advice for your teaching journey.

Owning your digital presence is one of my favorite tips I give in this book. As a future teacher, you need to get yourself online. Administrators will likely search for your name on Google, and you want what appears in the search results to be positive and professional.

You can do this by:

3. Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator

By Dave Burgess

This education book changed my life as a teacher. That's a big statement about a book, but it's true. Author Dave Burgess offers over 20 different methods for grabbing students' attention.

"Teach Like a PIRATE" will get your creative juices flowing with tons of ideas to put in place in your classrooms.

After reading this book, I made several changes to my classes, including starting the semester off with relationship-building activities instead of an overview of the syllabus. In terms of collaboration, I implemented a virtual cooperating teacher program in my course through which students can work with teachers around the world.

Additionally, I learned how to plan lessons around my and my students' passions. Burgess provides various prompts you can use to reflect upon your personal and professional passions.

4. EdTech Essentials: The Top 10 Technology Strategies for All Learning Environments

By Monica Burns

Whether you're an EdTech newbie or a seasoned pro, this book by Monica Burns will inspire you to use EdTech in new ways. "EdTech Essentials" explains the role of edtech and provides easy-to-use edtech strategies and tools you can put in place in any classroom.

My favorite section is about accessibility. Here, Burns discusses ways you can differentiate content through video, audio, and text. By adapting your content, you can meet the needs of all your students.

You'll also find a study guide and a list of over 100 EdTech tools in this book.

5. I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids

By Kyle Schwartz

If there's one thing all new teachers shouldn't overlook, it's the importance of building relationships with their students. This book by third grade teacher Kyle Schwartz offers practical advice on how to do this effectively.

In "I Wish My Teacher Knew," Schwartz tells the story of an activity she did with her third grade class. She gave each of her students a slip of paper that read, "I wish my teacher knew." Students could put down whatever came to mind on it.

Many responded with anecdotes about their families and friends — even their love for their teacher — whereas others responded with more serious topics, such as divorce and the death of a pet.

This activity ultimately gave Schwartz a window into her students' lives, allowing her to connect with and support her students more effectively. Chapters are divided into topics based on student responses.

This must-read education book is applicable to any grade level. I recommend doing this activity monthly or every nine weeks with students.

6. The New Teacher's Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges

By Anna M. Quinzio-Zafran and Elizabeth A. Wilkins

If you're looking for an education book that shares new teacher struggles and how to approach them, this one's for you. "The New Teacher's Guide" consists of several categories, including pandemic teaching, classroom setup, and culturally responsive teaching. Each section includes a personal story from a featured author.

What I enjoy most about this book are the short passages and variety of contributions. With so many contributing authors, you get to experience a diverse selection of voices and styles.

7. Leading Equity: Becoming an Advocate for All Students 1st Edition

By Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D.

As of late June 2022, this book isn't on shelves — yet. Sheldon L. Eakins, one of my favorite podcasters who hosts the "Leading Equity Podcast," infuses his passion for education equity in his upcoming book "Leading Equity."

Here, you'll get advice on actions you can take today to make your classroom a more equitable learning space. Eakins also discusses social justice and advocacy.

As a teacher, I'm most excited about implementing his 10 actionable steps toward equality and using this book to practice culturally responsive teaching strategies.

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