The first year of teaching is full of new experiences… classroom management, lesson planning, building relationships. It can be a lot! As a new teacher, it is always nice to have a little extra help and guidance. This help can be found by joining a training and support program or even just by reading teaching books. Books for teachers can help challenge and inspire educators to be their best. But, with thousands of choose from, it can be difficult to determine which are the best books for new teachers.
In my opinion, these are the best books for new teachers to read. I not only read these books during my first year of teaching but have continued to go back to them over the years for encouragement and ideas.
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Best Classroom Management Books
The First Six Weeks of School
I have heard teachers refer to this book as the “teaching bible.” The First Six Weeks of School has earned this nickname for good reason. By providing a game plan for the first six weeks of school, this book shows teachers how to effectively establish rules and routines within the classroom. Establishing your rules and routines is important during any year of teaching, but it is especially important the first year.
I didn’t discover this teaching book until my second year in the classroom, and I can’t tell you how much I wish I would have had it during year one. As a matter of fact, I have found The First Six Weeks of School to be so helpful that I reread it every summer before going back to school. No matter how many years I have taught, I always want to rush into the school year. I feel pressure to get straight into teaching the standards. Rereading the First Six Weeks of School always reminds me to slow down and take time to make sure students understand the expectations for the school year.
The First Days of School
Why it’s One of the Best Books for New Teachers? The First Days of School by Harry Wong helps teachers create positive expectations for students that produce great academic results.
The First Days of School is the best-selling book on classroom management. Ask any teacher, and they’ve most likely read it. I remember reading The First Days of School when I was in college. When I bought the book, I thought it looked outdated. While the cover may appear “old school,” the information inside is not. The classroom management strategies are relevant to almost any grade level and setting.
The Morning Meeting Book
Why it’s One of the Best Books for New Teachers? The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete and Carol Davis helps teachers find ways to build a classroom community.
Whether or not you choose to use morning meeting as part of your daily routine, The Morning Meeting Book is filled with great ideas to build and strengthen your classroom community. I routinely return to The Morning Meeting Book at the start of each school year when I am looking for ice breaker and get to know you activities. The popular book for teachers is filled with games and activities that get students interacting and working together. And, if you do plan to use morning meeting in your classroom, this is the go-to book for getting started!
Best Books on Effective Teaching Strategies
Anything by Ron Clark
Why These Are the Best Books for New Teachers? Ron Clark is a visionary teacher. His books inspire teachers to think outside the box.
When I was in college, a professor showed me a video of Ron Clark. Watching him dance on desks and get students excited about learning, completely transformed my idea of what teaching should look like. After seeing the video, I went out and bought every book by Ron Clark.
Today, Ron Clark has published several books for teachers, but my go-to’s are The Essential 55 and The Excellent 11. Both of these books provide creative tips and strategies to engage students. These tips mixed with stories from Mr. Clark’s teaching career, always leaving me laughing and crying as I relate them to my own classroom and students.
The Wild Card
Why it’s One of the Best Books for New Teachers? The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King shows teachers how to use their interests and strengths to teach creatively.
The Wild Card is written by two teachers who work at the Ron Clark Academy. Like Ron Clark, Hope and Wade King inspire other educators to teach creatively and think outside the box. In addition to helping teachers find their “creative breakthrough,” The Wild Card is full of encouraging reminders. For example, teachers are the “wild card” in the classroom and have the ability to transform learning for students.
Best Book for Back to School
First Day Jitters
Why it’s One of the Best Books for New Teachers? First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a great book for starting conversations and building relationships with students.
First Day Jitters is different from the other books on this list because it is not actually intended to be a book for teachers. The picture book was written as a story for children but has become a favorite among teachers. In the story, someone doesn’t want to get out of bed because they have anxiety about starting the first day of school. While the reader is initially led to believe the person is a child, a turn of events reveals (**spoiler alert**) that it is actually a teacher.
I always use First Day Jitters as a read aloud in my classroom on the first day of school. Not going to lie, I have cried reading it to my students one or two times. The story touches on the idea that no matter how big or small we are, we all get nervous on the first day of school. When reading First Day Jitters to your class, use it as an opportunity to start a discussion about what makes your students nervous about school. If you are looking for more great back to school read alouds, click here to download a list of my favorites.
All new teachers need additional help and encouragement throughout the first year, and teaching books are great tools for finding support and inspiration. The books listed here are not only the best books for new teachers, but they are also great books to go back to each school year for ideas. If you are a first-year teacher looking for support, make sure to check out these books and download my free New Teacher Survival Guide. The guide provides additional support and inspiration by describing 15 proven strategies to help new teachers navigate their first year.
You can read more tips and strategies for new teachers by the New Teachers page on my blog!