Read All About It: The Essential Summer Reading List for Teachers

Another academic year has come and gone, and if you’re lucky enough to have one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, you’re probably looking forward to a long and restful summer break. For some this time may be spent forgetting about work until September, but for others it’s an opportunity for reflection, learning, and enlightenment—and when you consider that every teacher is investing their time and knowledge into shaping the generation of tomorrow, it’s easy to understand why it’s important for them to spend some time developing their skills with the help of a few good books.

“Teachers are lifelong learners,” says Paul Taillefer, president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation which represents nearly 200,000 teachers across the country. “In a 2010 teacher survey conducted by the CTF, a majority of teachers said they would be participating in some form of professional development, with 70 per cent having professional reading planned for the summer.”

That’s why we’ve compiled this essential summer reading list, created especially with teachers in mind. From fiction to memoirs, we’ve got you covered— so sit back, relax and get those reading specs out!


The Essential Summer Reading List for Teachers


Teaching Tips and Education

As a teacher, it’s important to keep abreast with industry developments and new ideas. So if you’re in the mood for learning this summer, be sure to check out some of these top educational picks:

  1. Teach My Kid—I Dare You! by Sherrel Bergmann, Judith Brough and David Shephard

  2. The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn

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

Biographies and Memoirs

If you love a good memoir, here’s a handful of captivating teaching tales as told by some acclaimed authors:

  1. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt

  2. Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year by Esmé Raji Codell

  3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


Everybody needs a little inspiration every now and then—so if you’re in the market for a new muse, you needn’t look further than these moving titles:

  1. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

  2. Living, Loving and Learning by Leo F. Buscaglia

  3. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller



We all love a good story, and often works of fiction can be educational too, just like our top fiction pick by Sarah Shun-Lien:

  1. Ms Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum


Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. Don’t miss out on these timeless tales:

  1. Goodbye, Mr Chips by James Hilton

  2. Villette by Charlotte Brontë


We’ve all heard the idiom ‘laughter is the best medicine’, and no book is guaranteed to induce more laughter than this witty offering by comedian (and former teacher), Gerry Dee:

  1. Teaching: It’s Harder Than It Looks by Gerry Dee

Future of Learning

With the birth of the computer came a whole new era of learning, and with the unprecedented rise in technology we’re currently experiencing, now’s the time explore the use of tech in the classroom with the help of these insightful books:

  1. Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin

  2. Grown Up Digital: How The Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott

BONUS: Canadian Teachers’ Federation Top Pick:

Our top tip from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation tells us what it takes to possess, identify and most importantly—build talent—in all areas of life, including school.

  1. The Gold Mine Effect by Rasmus Ankersen

By Stefanie Neyland

June 10, 2013


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