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12 Inspiring And Powerful Books Every Teacher Should Read

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Over the last decade, hundreds of best-selling books have brought together ideas to help teachers, professors, and educators improve everything from their teaching ability to their overall wellbeing. Here are a few recommended by industry experts.

#1 What School Could Be

What School Could Be, a book written by Ted Dintersmith, a former leading venture capitalist and producer of the critically-acclaimed documentary Most Likely to Succeed, offers an inspiring vision of what our teachers and students can accomplish if trusted with the challenge of developing the skills and ways of thinking needed to thrive in a world of dizzying technological change.

Dintersmith documents his unprecedented trip across all 50 states of America, visiting over 200 schools in a single school year. All across the country, he met teachers in ordinary settings doing extraordinary things, innovating in classrooms no matter the circumstance, and cultivating real learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Maya Bronstein from dkcnews.com

148 points
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  1. This is a great read for anybody interested in education from any point of view – but it is also just a really great read! Highly recommend.

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#2 Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

This book is a great read for anyone looking to find where our motivations lie. What drives us to better performances and having a more fulfilled career or life is our need to guide our own lives and learn new things or to create something.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Srajan Mishra from tsiapparel.com

13 points
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  1. Especially at this critical time for education in America, every teacher and administrator should read this book.

#3 TeacherLaughs: Quips, Quotes and Anecdotes about the Classroom

Because teaching is not easy. Sometimes the stress of the job can be overwhelming. A good laugh can be the greatest God-send in trying times. This book will provide very targeted humor for teachers anywhere.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Allen Klein from allenklein.com

11 points
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#4 Make it Stick

This [book] is a great look at how learning actually happens and includes techniques which teachers and students can learn and incorporate into classrooms and study efforts to make learning truly stick.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Lisa Sansom from lvsconsulting.com 

7 points
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#5 Creating the Schools Our Children Need

Although he’s from England, Wiliam provides valuable insight and eye-opening facts about American education, making some bold and thought-provoking statements, like America doesn't have an education system—it has 13,491 of them and “There is no such thing as a valid test.”

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Maia Appleby from learningsciences.com

5 points
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#6 Educating Hispanic and Latino Students

This book is full of statistics about American schools and takes a deep dive into the reasons Hispanic and Latino students (the fastest-growing population in our public schools) are still lagging behind their white and African American peers academically—and what schools and communities need to do to help them succeed.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Maia Appleby from learningsciences.com

5 points
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#7 Readicide

This is a book for written for educators. Gallagher shows how and why reading is dying in our schools and what can be done about it. Gallagher is a full-time English public school teacher in Anaheim, California. He knows his stuff and practices what he preaches which is extremely refreshing in education experts.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Kim Blevins from kimblevins.com

5 points
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#8 Culture in the Classroom

Culture in the Classroom: Standards, Indicators, and Evidences for Evaluating Culturally Responsive Teaching is a practical publication for educators to self-reflect and evaluate their methods and effectiveness. The publication is based around the State of Alaska's adopted cultural standards for education, with guidance from seasoned educators and culture bearers, and provides detailed explanations, reflection questions, and rubrics to guide educators in developing lesson plans and new curriculum.

Though it is based on Alaska's cultural standards, the book is applicable within any diverse school setting. The publication was developed by SERRC - Alaska's Educational Resource Center. SERRC has been a leader in providing educational resources in the State of Alaska for more than 40 years.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Melissa Griffiths from serrc.org

4 points
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#9 The Teacher Liberation Handbook

[This book] details the process anyone can take to open up a Liberated Learners Center in their area. This is a must-read for people who truly care about delivering meaningful education to young people.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Jim Flannery from PeerUnschooling.Net

1 point
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#10 The Kids’ Book of Questions

I suggest this book because it includes well over 200 hypothetical questions to make kids think about their own lives. One question is if you were the Principal of this school, what change would you make? This is a good book for the end of class when there may be some free time in order to find out that much more so how students think. It is good also, because it helps other students learn how to listen to different points of view. It may be hard for them to do that, but it is a good social tool for them as students and eventually as adults.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Steve Sonntag is a teacher and part-time tutor in California who can be found on wyzant.com or by email.

1 point
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#11 Maniac Magee

[This book is] about a boy's search for family after he is left orphaned. He 'bounces' from house to house and meets quite a few characters along the way. While this book was written in 1990, I feel the themes of family and race are still relevant today.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Addy Williams from learningperiod.com

1 point
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#12 The Book of Questions

[This book] has many hypothetical questions in it, much like 'The Kids' Book Of Questions', although they are more of adult themes. This book is good for students in the honors, AP, 11th, and 12th grades.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Steve Sonntag is a teacher and part-time tutor in California who can be found on wyzant.com or by email.

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