It’s that time of year again! Our annual teacher summer reading list is here. This year, we’ve looked for books that inspired us or gave us actionable steps for the classroom. You’ll find a lot of great beach reads, as well as ideas to help you conquer burnout and replenish your well. You’ll also find books that are downright practical when it comes to implementing arts integration, STEAM and creativity in the classroom.
2018 Top 20 Teacher Books
Burnt out and feeling like you can’t even express all the overwhelm? This book says it all for you and then helps you find the pathway towards re-finding and redefining life on your terms.
This is a pure beach read. Fun and quick, you’ll get lost in Napa Valley wine country. Because why not?
Another great story, this novel was made into a bestselling movie. You’ll get invested in the characters as the writing has a way of pulling you into their unlikely connection.
This book changed the way we approach everything. It asks whether you are an amateur or a pro. It also asks you to consider how you want to handle things from each of these points of view.
You can’t go wrong with Agatha Christie. Before the movie, this gripping thrill ride is perfect for flipping through at the pool.
If you teach young adults, you’ll want to pick up this book. John Green’s novel explores what control really means.
Even though this novel is pure fiction, it explores topics like what is art and how we identify ourselves and others.
Speaking of identity, this novel looks at mistaken identities, secrets and is a modern-day version of You’ve Got Mail. An especially fun way to spend the day.
This is a fascinating account of the mathematics and art behind code-making and code-breaking. Not to mention, it includes some fantastic illustrations, too!
10. Happy Accidents
We’re big believers in the drama strategy, “Yes, and…” so we love this book. It explores the power of saying “yes” in your work and your life.
11. The Wild Card
Hope and Wade King are teachers who are used to creating engaging moments in their classroom. This practical book shares specific strategies for bringing more creativity into each day.
We spend a lot of time talking about Design Thinking, but what does it really look like outside of school? This book takes you behind the scenes and breaks down the process. Just FYI – this is a pre-order. It officially releases on May 22, 2018.
What do you get when you ask 40 authors and illustrators to create with a single story prompt? This collection of fantastic interpretations using art, story and poems – of course!
In the event that you’ve ever caught yourself comparing your work to others on Instagram and Pinterest, this is a must-read.
15. Move Your Bus
Ron Clark certainly is a gem and continues to inspire teachers worldwide. In this book, he moves from what works in the classroom to what works for leading change efforts.
Who doesn’t love the quirky Chip and Joanna Gaines? This story makes us love them even more and helps us all remember that it’s about progress, not perfection.
If you want to dive into what it really takes to make arts integration possible, this book certainly lays it all out for you. When it comes to preparation, this book is a winner.
Now more than ever, we need to know how to have honest, difficult conversations with respect. Brene Brown nails it with this particularly insightful and powerful read.
19. Stop Teaching
Filled with resources, laugh-out-loud stories and inspiring anecdotes, this candid book helps you pick up where your college methods class left off.
This powerful book will challenge you to look at your school and education through the eyes of those who are commonly left out of the conversation.
They say that the biggest impacts on your life are the people that you spend time with and the books you read. Here’s hoping that this summer’s book list truly makes a positive difference for you!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.