7 Must-Read Books for New Teachers

Anyone who has been a teacher knows how scary those first years can be. With all the details of classroom management and paperwork, and connecting with students and parents, and organizing your classroom, and meetings and tests, and more, it can feel overwhelming and lonely. There are no shortage of books to help new teachers feel their way into this strange new land, and we have some favorite must-reads we want to share. Many of these are required reading for our graduate students.

1. Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students & Our Public Schools...Now & in the Future
by Barnett Berry, et al
Teachers College Press, 2011.
Educators explore the future of teaching and learning and offer ideas and strategies for realizing excellent education for our nation's students.

2. The New Teacher Book: Finding Purpose, Balance and Hope During Your First Years in the Classroom
by Terry Burant, et al
Rethinking Schools, 2010.
A collection of writings with practical guidance, stories, ideas, and support for succeeding as a new teacher. (Great for experienced teachers, too.)

3. Master Teachers: Making a Difference on the Edge of Chaos
by Dexter Chapin
Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2008.
Explores the roles of teachers and outlines what makes a master teacher.

4. Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Thinking Differently in the Primary Grades
by Mary Cowhey
Stenhouse, 2006.
A primer on teaching for social change and meaning in the primary grades. Great reading for teachers of any grade level.

5. Planning to Change the World: A Social Justice Plan Book for Educators
by Tara Mack and Bree Picower, eds.
Education for Liberation and NYCoRE, 2011.
A useful and powerful resource for bringing social justice issues to mainstream teaching.

6. Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories
by Jerry Mintz & Carlo Ricci, eds.
AERO, 2010.
An anthology that offers a peek into the lives and journeys of these pioneering individuals who have—and are—transforming what it means to be a teacher, a student, and a life-long learner.

7. The Power and Promise of Humane Education
by Zoe Weil
New Society Publishers, 2004.
The go-to primer for teachers and activists wanting to learn how to integrate humane education into their classrooms & communities, complete with activities and lessons.

~ Marsha

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