Too often teachers aren’t readers. Too often we want our students to read and to be intrinsically motivated to learn… but we aren’t doing it ourselves. If that’s you, then I invite you to consider changing that this summer. Deciding on what to read can be quite challenging, though, considering how there is so much out in the world and there are so many good books. And yet, we want to encourage you to consider a summer read that will both regenerate the personal you and invigorate the educator you. If you’re already a reader, then we want to offer you some new-to-you reads, possibly. Make time for your professional self and develop on your own, aside from what your school or district mandates. We have some reading recommendations!
Not Light, But Fire by Matt Kay – This book has some great tools and ideas for how to have conversations race in the classroom. His down to earth voice and his practical approach make this an easy read that will leave you with much to think about.
This Is Not a Test by Jose Luis Vilson – This book is a personal narrative that incorporates the socio political context for what influenced this one teacher’s journey. It’s a powerful story of resilience, vision, hope, and fight. This will speak to you.
We Want To Do More Than Survive by Bettina Love– It will shake you and move you in new ways that will push you to reimagine your curriculum and your purpose in teaching. Read it and then share it with others. This is a game changer.
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo– Not a book about education, but a topic that intersects with all institutions in this country. As educators there is so much here for us. Additionally, Val Brown, creator and facilitator of #ClearTheAir on Twitter, has developed a study guide with Beacon Press for White Fragility specifically for educators. Enjoy!
The Poet X (by Elizabeth Acevedo), The Hate U Give (by Angie Thomas), and anything by Jason Reynolds– This is for you fiction lovers. Let me tell you about good writing, page turners, lovable and profound characters, and complex plots… Don’t worry that it’s supposed to be for younger readers. Pick one (or more) and read!
Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings edited by Roberto Santiago– Considering the ongoing issues after the hurricane and the complexity of Puerto Rican identity in the U.S., this is a must read for becoming culturally competent. There is so much to look through and so many different voices in this anthology. There really is a little bit for everyone.
Troublemakers by Carla Shalaby– This offered me the language I needed to really engage in conversations about “classroom management.” It also pushed me to re envision the intersection of schooling and behavior. This is a must read for teachers struggling with student behavior related issues…and who isn’t?
And last, but not because it’s least, is An Indigenous People’s History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese – Yes, it’s for young people, and it’s written with precision and power. It’s well past time for this nation to pay attention to the Indigenous population that was and still is here. Read this and expand your knowledge about this country’s history as it relates to the Indigenous nations still fighting for themselves.
Okay, we’ll stop here. There are so many other titles we want to add to this list. That’s for round two! We encourage you to shift your summer practices and read for learning. If you’re already a reader, then we hope we’ve offered you some new titles for your collection. There is so much for us to do for our students. There is so much in this world we must prepare them for. After you’ve read, comment below and share with us what you’ve learned.