6 Must-Read Books for Middle and High School Teachers During Summer Break

As summer break commences, it’s the perfect time for teachers to unwind, recharge, and curl up with a good book. While I love a good fiction novel, I also use the summer to read books related to teaching. In the event that you, too, are wanting to dive into some professional development this summer, I have curated a list of six compelling books that are sure to inspire and empower you for the upcoming school year. Let’s dive in!

6 Must-Read Books for Middle and High School Teachers During Summer Break

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#1: The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher

This classic bestseller, written by Harry and Rosemary Wong, is a must-read for teachers of all experience levels. Focusing on the critical first days of school, the authors provide practical strategies for creating a positive learning environment, establishing routines, and building strong teacher-student relationships.

When I speak to new teachers, the number one advice taht I give them is to ready this book. Many of the instructional strategies, procedures, and routines taht I implement today came from what I learned in this book. It is a comprehensive guide to setting the foundation for a successful school year and you won’t regret reading this one.

#2: Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator

My personal favorite from this list is Dave Burgess’s “Teach Like a Pirate.” It’s jam packed full of goodness. I have read it twice and loved the book so much that I downloaded the audible version and devoured it in just a day. This book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. Whether you are just starting out or have been teaching 30 years, this book has something to offer for every teacher.

#3: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Essentialism” by Greg McKeown is a book that teaches the mindset of focusing on what truly matters and eliminating the non-essential. For overwhelmed teachers, it offers strategies to help prioritize core purpose, set boundaries, and develop an intentional approach to their work. By embracing essentialism, teachers can reduce overwhelm, enhance student outcomes, improve work-life balance, and make a greater impact in their classrooms. It made a world of difference in my mindset and ultimately helped me to have a productive school year by focusing only on the most essential elements of my job.

#4: I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids

Reads for Teachers

One day, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz asked her students to fill in the blank in this sentence: “I wish my teacher knew _____.” The results astounded her. Some answers were humorous; others were heartbreaking; all were profoundly moving and enlightening. The results opened her eyes to the need for educators to understand the unique realities their students face in order to create an open, safe, and supportive place in the classroom.

This book will stick with you long after your finished. Although I teach high school students, the implications from this book helped me to empathize with the students that enter my classroom.

#5: The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time!

6 Must-Read Books for Middle and High School Teachers During Summer Break

Time management is a constant challenge for educators, which is what led me to this book in the first place. I was in need a a system to help me make the most of my instructional time. In “The Together Teacher,” Maia Heyck-Merlin offers practical advice on how to streamline routines, prioritize tasks, and effectively manage time. With tips for planning, organizing, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, this book will help teachers reclaim valuable time and reduce stress.

#6: Teach Like a Champion 2.0

6 Must-Read Books for Middle and High School Teachers During Summer Break

Building on the success of the first edition, “Teach Like a Champion 2.0” presents 62 evidence-based teaching techniques that promote student achievement and engagement. From establishing high academic expectations to fostering a culture of respect, the book’s author, Doug Lemov, offers practical strategies to enhance classroom management, facilitate rigorous instruction, and create a vibrant learning environment.


6 Must-Read Books for Middle and High School Teachers During Summer Break

These seven books offer valuable insights and practical strategies to enhance classroom management, student-centered learning, time management, and overall teaching practices. By investing time in reading these books, teachers can return to the classroom with renewed energy, inspiration, and a toolbox of strategies to create engaging and impactful learning environments. Happy reading and have a fantastic summer break!

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