I am a major book nerd! I love to read! I love to read everything! From fiction, non-fiction, self-help, religion, science you name it I’ll read. I think it is important for teachers to expand beyond their content area and normal teacher books. Books for teachers don’t have to just be about pedagogy and practice. Books for teachers can be about politicians, sci-fi and quantum physics. Whatever expands your conscious go for it!
So without further ago here are my top 8 books for teachers:
Hands down my favorite book for teachers. Ever wonder why a child can come to class and tell you verbatim what happened during their weekend? Or how a child can tell you what happened in a movie down to the smallest detail? Or how they know the lyrics to 4,374 songs? But that same child cannot remember math facts or phonics. Why? Because we must create lived experiences that are engaging all the senses to increases the likelihood of that child remembering. If we create experiences with more sensory input, we increase neural processing, then higher the chance of creating a memory. Creating lived experiences in your classroom let your students live what they are learning.
Viktor Frankl was a concentration camp survivor during World War II. He was also a trained psychologist turned lecturer. During his time in the concentration camp he had to endure the most unfathomable forms of dehumanization. The only thing that kept him alive was he was able to give his life purpose by imaging life beyond the camp.
There is a part in the book where suicidal people would approach stating they were done. Farnkl would ask, “why are you still here then, what’s keeping you alive?” There response was their purpose for living. Tap into that purpose. It might not be what you think it is, but find it. Over the years, mine has changed from teaching my heart out to my family. What makes you tick? Makes you move? Brings you joy well beyond a job? That’s your life purpose. Which brings me to my next book for teachers.
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long Happy Life – Hector Gracia Puigcerver, Francesc Miralles, Meik Wiking, Linna Dunne
Ikigai, the Japanese word for “ a reason to live”. Ever since my husband travelled to Japan I have been so interested in Japanese culture. It takes a lot to wow my husband, he’s from New Delhi, India, and there isn’t much that can shock him. When he came back he was floored by Japan, saying it was nothing that he has ever experienced or seen.
I had to do a little research. I came across this book and it has truly changed my life. You know when you’re teaching and it’s going so good it almost feels like an out of body experience, that’s Ikigai. Taping into more moments of that. More moments of pure creativity where you and the universe are in complete synchronicity. Not everyone’s Ikigai is the same of course. You could be cleaning, driving, talking, and exercising. But the moment you feel theflow or you are inthe zone,you’ve found your Ikigai.
My fourth amazing book for teachers is the Artist’s Way. Are you feeling blocked emotionally or creatively? This is a workbook that is truly a teacher book. This book has exercises and techniques that help you unlock past blocks from childhood. It helps you open up your heart to creating and playing again. It got me writing again (not that I’m that great at it) which is so good for the soul. I refer back to this book every so often just to get my artistic child playing again.
So you’ve found your life purpose, worked on your teaching craft, unblocked creativity and you are on top of the world. Newsflash, you’re not the best, you’re not the smartest and your content may be out of date. Like the old saying goes, “the people that know the most often say the least.” This humbling book actually motivated me to be better. Be a better listener, learner and humble servant to my craft. Sometimes we need a reality check in a life and this was a good one.
I used to keep this little book for teachers nestled away in my cupboard at school. Whenever I needed a little pick me up, advice or guidance I would open it and read it.
This book for teachers taught how to unpack how I was taught in life. We were receptacles in schools. We were forced to take in whatever information the dominating class said we had to take it. It was mind numbing, with little room for diversity or creativity. This book expresses the importance of opening up the dialogue between teachers and students to ensure they are truly learning what they need to learn and what is culturally relevant.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
My last favorite book for teachers is about none other than Pixar! I’m a huge Pixar fan. I know they still have a long way to go when it comes to representation, but I think they do a good job at taking major, complex life issues and breaking them down for everyone to enjoy. They don’t make movies for kids; they make movies for adults that kids can watch. This book was a joy to read. I was able to gain insight into their creative process and how they function as a company.
I hope you enjoyed that list! They truly have changed the way that I teach and approach life.
Need help planning?
STEM has gotten a scary reputation over the years. STEM is a mindset, not set of topics. What if I could tell you that you can flip any lesson you have a turn it into a STEM experience? Give it go! Try it out for free using the planner and checklist!