Teachers have the power to not only educate, but to nurture and encourage their students during the learning process. As a teacher, you can help shape students’ intelligence, self esteem, and work ethic. In fact, students’ attitudes toward school and classroom learning can be telling of their future. 

That being said, being a teacher is hard, and teacher training often doesn’t explain how to deal with the most difficult aspects of being a teacher. Whether you’re looking to inspire your students to go to college, increase reading comprehension, or create a healthier environment for classroom discussion, these best books for teachers we’ve gathered below will help you do so. 

Best Books For Teachers

Any teacher knows there’s always more to learn. These books for teachers will help you further explore your craft and develop new teaching methods and ideas in the process. Let’s get started!

1. Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess 

Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess

Based on author Dave Burgess’ popular seminars, Teach Like a Pirate offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you boost creativity, increase student engagement, and transform your life as an educator. If you’re looking to increase your students’ passion, this is the book for you.

This book will help you transform your classroom into a life-changing experience by utilizing the 30 specially-designed hookes and 170 brainstorming questions that will skyrocket creativity. Once you’re done reading, you’ll never view your role as an educator the same way. 

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2. The First Days of School by Harry K. Wong 

The First Days of School by Harry K. Wong

The First Days of School is the ultimate guide for new teachers who are looking to succeed in the classroom. According to Harry Wong, establishing routines and expectations at the beginning of the year will save you teaching time and sorrow later on. Motivating and straightforward, this book will help you master the first days of teaching. 

Teaching shouldn’t be seen as just a job, but an opportunity to change lives. Whether you’re a beginning teacher or studying to become a teacher, this is a must-have for your library. 

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3. Why Don’t Students Like School? By Daniel T. Willingham

Why Don’t Students Like School? By Daniel T. Willingham

Why Don’t Students Like School? contains scientifically-backed approaches for engaging students in the classroom. In this, cognitive scientist Daniel T. Willingham focuses on the cognitive and biological bases of learning. By reading this, teachers can improve their practice by learning how their students think and learn.

This book reveals the importance of story, memory, context, and routine building to create lasting learning experiences. In this, you’ll find nine easy-to-understand principles with clear applications for the classroom. You’ll also learn about how intelligence is malleable and how the brain’s workings can help teachers understand their students on a deeper level. 

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4. Teach Like a Champion 2.0 by Doug Lemov 

Teach Like a Champion 2.0 by Doug Lemov

In Teach Like a Champion 2.0, Doug Lemov provides readers with 62 techniques that will help put their students on the track to college. This #1 best-seller has been named one of the most influential teaching guides ever, perfect for both new and experienced teachers. Turning educators into classroom champions, this book holds ideas on how to boost academic rigor, inspire student engagement, and strengthen your teaching practice.

In this, you’ll also find over 70 clips of teachers using these techniques in the classroom. Organized by category and technique, this book enables you to either read start to finish or open up to the page you want to read most. 

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5. The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo 

The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo

The Reading Strategies Book is your everything guide to developing skilled readers. In this #1 best-seller, you’ll find 300 strategies to share with readers. From literacy to analysis, these strategies will help them improve their skills and become better students overall. 

By reading this, you’ll be able to develop goals for every type of reader, give students step-by-step instructions for skilled reading, and adjust instruction to meet every student’s needs. Whether you use whole class novels, guided reading or any other approach, this book will complement and extend your teaching styles. 

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6. Visible Learning by John Hattie 

Visible Learning by John Hattie

Created through 15 years of research and over 800 meta-analyses on the influence of achievement, Visible Learning is a unique and ground-breaking book for both students and teachers. In this, John Hattie explains the power of teachers, feedback, and a model of learning and understanding. 

Through his evidence-based research, he’s learned what actually works when it comes to teaching. By reading this, you’ll learn about the influence of the student, school, curricula, and teacher. 

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7. See Me After Class by Roxanna Elden

See Me After Class by Roxanna Elden

Although teaching is seldom an easy job, teachers continue to inspire and educate multiple generations of students. See Me After Class helps those great teachers survive the classroom long enough to become great. Composed of hundreds of hilarious tales from teachers who have lived through it all, this book also contains tips and strategies that deal with the head-on challenges often skipped over in new teacher training. 

As a veteran teacher, Roxanna Elden offers practical and hilarious advice to help teachers walk through the doors of their classroom with confidence and clarity. 

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8. The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer 

The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer

The Courage to Teach holds the wisdom that’s been inspiring teachers to teach for over two decades. In this, Parker Palmer speaks to the joys and pains that every teacher knows too well. This book has helped teachers reignite their passion, redirect their practice, and deal with the many pressures that accompany their work.

This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching can never be reduced to technique. Rather, good teaching stems from the integrity and identity of the teacher, where spirit, intellect, and emotion lie. As it turns out, these concepts are the key to ever-lasting learning. 

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9. Invent to Learn by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager 

Invent to Learn by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager

Invent to Learn is all about making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. With today’s technological and creative revolution underway, amazing new tools and skills can turn us all into makers. Fortunate for educators, this movement overlaps with students’ desire to learn by doing. 

Active learning is at the center of the learning process, making inventing one of the most effective ways to gain new knowledge. Amplifying the best traditions of progressive education, this book helps educators bring the exciting opportunities of the maker movement into the classroom. 

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10. Making Thinking Visible by Karin Morrison 

Making Thinking Visible by Karin Morrison

Making Thinking Visible is all about how to promote engagement, understanding, and independence for all types of learners. A proven program for enhancing students’ abilities, visible thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking that develops students’ thinking dispositions while deepening their understanding of each topic. 

By reading this book, you’ll learn how to help direct students’ thinking, structure classroom discussion, and implement classroom strategies that are effective. 

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11. How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

People called this book a persuasive wake-up call, claiming that grit, character, and curiosity matter more than cognitive skills. In fact, this is what the book is all about. In How Children Succeed, you’ll learn about why fixed intelligence is a myth and how some students truly score higher on tests while others do not. 

Paul Tough argues that qualities that matter have to do more with character: optimism, self-control, and curiosity. This book introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators who are using science to peel back the mysteries of character. By understanding the common pitfalls of childhood, educators can inspire children on their way toward adulthood. 

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12. Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire by Rafe Esquith 

Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire by Rafe Esquith

From one of America’s most celebrated educators, Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire is an inspiring guide to transforming every child’s education. In a Los Angeles neighborhood plagued by violence and drugs, there is an exceptional classroom known as Room 56. In this classroom are fifth graders who are first generation immigrants, living in poverty and learning English as their second language.

These students also play Vivaldi, perform Shakespeare, and score in the top 1% on standardized tests. Later on in life, the students in Room 56 move onto Ivy League schools. Responsible for these accomplishments is no other than Rafe Esquith, the teacher of the classroom. 

In this revelatory program for educating today’s youth, Esquith reveals the techniques that have made him one of the most acclaimed educators of our time. In this, he’ll teach you how to teach your students money management, algebra, and the beauty of travel. 

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13. Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst 

Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

In Disrupting Thinking, authors Beers and Probst discuss an ongoing problem in the teaching world: students’ lack of engagement while reading. Too many students remain reluctant and disengaged readers. The problem? Teachers have misrepresented why we read and how we should approach any type of text. 

With their hallmark humor and appreciated practicality, Beers and Probst present a compelling vision of what reading and education across the globe could look like. By reading this, you’ll learn how to create engagement, deepen comprehension, and develop lifelong reading habits. 

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Learning More About Teaching Through These Books

At the end of the day, being a teacher isn’t easy. However, teachers still have influence on their students, and the learning that happens in the classroom can pose lifelong benefits. The books above will help you structure your classroom more effectively, motivate your students, and improve the learning environment overall. 

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