Many teachers are avid readers. When we have time, we love to immerse ourselves in colorful fiction, thought-provoking nonfiction, entertaining pop culture based magazines, progressive pedagogical curriculum, and everything in between. With that in mind, here are my suggestions for the 5 books you or the teacher in your life may enjoy!
- Teaching Outside the Box: how to grab your students by their brains by Louanne Johnson. This book is for both new teachers and vets and is an incredibly effective toolkit of strategies, checklists, handouts, and no nonsense advice to help you create a positive classroom environment that inspires both student and teacher. You will not be disappointed.
- I Am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the taliban by Malala Yousafzai. Who hasn’t heard the shocking story of Malala, the fifteen-year-old girl who was shot in the head at point blank range by the taliban in her native Pakistan, for daring to go to school? This story is told in her own words and shares her journey from survivor to global spokesperson for the right of girls to be educated. It’s a powerful testament to the importance of education and using your voice to advocate for what’s right.
- Chicken Soup for the Teachers’ Soul: stories to open the hearts and rekindle the spirit of educators by Jack Canfield. This book is part of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. In this version teachers, administrators, counselors, educational consultants and former students share stories, reflections, and observations that demonstrate the powerful impact of teachers on the lives of everyone they touch. if you’ve ever read any of the other “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, you’ll definitely appreciate this version for teachers.
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire: this classic, details the importance of delivering a critical pedagogy that informs, engages, questions and challenges the way students are seen, teaching is delivered and teachers teach. It explains the importance of teaching in a way that considers societal issues and social change.
- Lies My Teacher Told Me: everything your American history textbook got wrong by James W. Loewen. This self-explanatory, eye opener aims to correct the many inaccuracies taught as facts within the classroom. Those inaccuracies aren’t the fault of teachers but rather can be traced to textbook publishers who intentionally or unintentionally produce materials that gloss over, ignore or outright revise unpleasant aspects of American history. Rather than paint an ugly picture of that history, this book provides clear insight into the facts that make America the great, diverse and challenging country it is today.
Whether you choose to read one or all, the books listed here will inspire, motivate, enlighten, surprise and ultimately deepen the breadth of knowledge all teachers approach their profession with. These books come in several versions, so you can choose to download to your kindle, cuddle up under the covers with a paperback or listen to audio while you drive to your classroom.
By Shakti Hakim
Shakti is an educator and author of ‘The Busy Babe’s Guide to Wellness: 8 Steps to a Healthier You Now!’ which is available on www.amazon.com