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The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Teachers – 2020 Edition

The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Teachers – 2020 Edition

Summer break is the best time to grow and learn as a teacher. If you pick the right books, you can work on your professional development at the pool!

Every year, we look at the hot topics in education and society and then highlight some books that can help you grasp the concepts so that you can return to school a more enlightened teacher. Here are our top picks for summer 2020:

When You’re Looking for Professional Development

The School of Life by Alain de Botton

One decade ago, Alain de Botton founded The School of Life, an institute dedicated to understanding and improving our emotional intelligence. Now he presents the gathered wisdom of those ten years in a wide-ranging and innovative compendium of emotional intelligence which forms an introduction to The School of Life. Using his trademark mixture of analysis and anecdote, philosophical insight and practical wisdom, he considers how we interact with each and with ourselves, and how we can do so better. From the reigning master of popular philosophy, The School of Life: An Emotional Education is an essential look at the skill set that defines our modern lives.

Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy and Responsibility Using Restorative Justice by Nathan Maynard and Brad Weinstein

Are you or your teachers frustrated with carrots and sticks, detention rooms, and suspension--antiquated school discipline practices that simply do not work with the students entering our classrooms today? Our kids have complex needs, and we must empower and embrace them with restorative practices that not only change behaviors but transform students into productive citizens, accountable for their own actions. Replace traditional school discipline with a proven system, founded on restorative justice

Future Driven: Will Your Students Thrive In An Unpredictable World? By David Geurin Ed. D.

In Future Driven, David Geurin describes how to conquer the status quo, create authentic learning, and help your students thrive in an unpredictable world. He shares how to simultaneously be more committed to your mission while being more flexible with your methods. You'll discover strategies to help students learn transferable skills. And you'll find ways to inspire creative, adaptable learning. Ultimately, you'll invest in tomorrow by helping your students become world changers today.


When You want to Better Yourself as an Ally

How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Historian Ibram Kendi reorients the discussion of racism to focus on the act of fighting against it; it's not enough to be a passive opponent. Weaving in accounts from his own life, Kendi expounds the consequences of racism and white supremacy in our public and private spheres, exploring the ways racism manifests within and across demographics, and shows the reader what antiracism looks like and can achieve.

In Stamped from the Beginning, Kendi dives deeper to scrutinize the history of anti-black racist thought in America from its very beginning to now. Highlighting how deeply entrenched racists ideas have been – and still are – in America.

Stonewall by Martin Duberman

In Stonewall, renowned historian and activist Martin Duberman tells the full story of this pivotal moment in history. With riveting narrative skill, he re-creates those revolutionary, sweltering nights in vivid detail through the lives of six people who were drawn into the struggle for LGBTQ rights. Their stories combine to form an unforgettable portrait of the repression that led up to the riots, which culminates when they triumphantly participate in the first gay rights march of 1970, the roots of today’s pride marches.

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a critically acclaimed poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven among deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. SHOUT speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice–and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

When You’re Wondering What Your Students are Reading These Days

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

In Dear Martin, readers follow Justyce McAllister, a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. For guidance, Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. The brain, the beauty, the criminal, the athlete, and the outcast. Only one never makes it out of that classroom alive. According to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. He died on a Monday, but that Tuesday, he planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates. Now, all four of them are suspects. Are they guilty? They all have a motive. They all have something to hide. One of them is lying.

Interested in more resources centered around PD? Take a look at posts with the professional development tag on our blog!