It’s important for teachers to keep their skills sharp. Staying ahead of innovative teaching techniques is not only vital for your career, it improves the education of your students.
There are a lot of terrific books out there to help you in the classroom. Here are 5 of our favorites:
The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
In the mid-90’s, Erin Gruwell began teaching an English class of at-risk teens at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. After realizing the students knew next to nothing about the Holocaust, she began teaching them about it using Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, leading to a “life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey.”
The Freedom Writers Diary tells the story how Gruwell encouraged her students to record their struggles in their own diaries and the profound effect it had on the lives of her and her students.
The book includes entries from the students’ diaries and powerful insights from Gruwell and was the basis for the film Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank.
See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers by Roxanna Elden
Most of the time, the best teaching lessons come from those who learned them firsthand. Through honest, hilarious and sometimes shocking real-life stories, See Me After Class gives teachers practical advice they can use to become the best teacher they can be.
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
What determines if a child succeeds or fails? That’s the question Paul Tough seeks to answer in How Children Succeed. In education today, test scores are seen as the ultimate indicator of success. But Tough argues that a child’s character better predicts whether they will be successful. Tough shows how researchers and educators are using science to reveal the mysteries of character — and how it is transforming education.
Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them by Ross Greene
According to Dr. Ross W. Greene, the techniques we use to punish misbehaving kids are failing.
In Lost at School, Dr. Greene presents an alternative to the way we discipline students. Using research from neurosciences, Dr. Greene seeks to understand the underlying factors that cause children to misbehave and ways adults can teach them how to overcome these challenges. His approach, called Collaborative Problem Solving, draws upon years of research and experience to give educators and parents the tools they need to help children with behavioral problems.
Why Don’t Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham
Using his background as a cognitive scientist, Dan Willingham seeks to explain how we think and learn — and how that can help teachers better educate their students. Through nine principles educators can apply in the classroom, Willingham shows how story, emotion, memory, context, and routine can be used to create lasting learning experiences.