7 Books Every Education Major Should Read

As an education major, you have to read dozens of books for your classes, some more interesting or useful than others. But in a teacher’s world, there’s always something else you can learn and another book you can read. Put these on your must-read list, whether you need classroom management advice, funny stories, or a reminder of why you want to teach. Maybe they’ll give you inspiration to write your own book someday!

  1. The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong:

    The first days of a new school year are invaluable and can set the precedent for the rest of the year. The authors give you all the tools you need to set up a classroom and establish your classroom management style. The information is helpful to student teachers, first-year teachers, and even those who just need a refresher, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth from this one. It’s easy to read and offers straight-forward advice that can be used for years to come.

  2. Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol:

    Part memoir, part advice column, this book by the National Book Award-winning author includes letters Kozol wrote to a first-year teacher in an inner-city Boston school. Take tips from his own experiences in a classroom, as well as specific advice he gives to the teacher after visiting her classroom on several occasions. Any of Kozol’s books are worth a read, but this one is particularly useful for those still in school looking for more practical wisdom, while his others highlight problems that have existed in the education system for decades.

  3. A First-Year Teacher’s Guidebook by Bonnie Williamson:

    With more than 30 years of experience in the classroom, Williamson has gathered tons of practical advice for first-time teachers, whether you end up in a rural, suburban, or inner-city school. This book is best for those wanting to specialize in K-6 education, and helps even student teachers through all the steps of setting up a classroom and getting into the swing of things.

  4. Discipline in the Secondary Classroom by Randall S. Sprick:

    While many classroom management books are aimed at K-8 teachers, teaching high schoolers is a different endeavor completely. There’s a delicate balance to strike somewhere between patronizing them and treating them like full-blown adults. Young high school teachers may be intimidated by the smaller age gap between them and their students, and this book will give them skills to overcome concerns and take control of a classroom of teenagers.

  5. Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains by LouAnne Johnson:

    Want strategies to help motivate and inspire your students? Grab this book — one that many veteran teachers wish they had read sooner in their careers! Put Johnson’s checklists, handouts, and creative strategies to use in your classroom, whether you’ve just graduated or are still student teaching. Her tips can be particularly useful with at-risk students, with whom Johnson has personal classroom experience.

  6. Teacher Under Construction: Things I Wish I’d Known! by Jerry L. Parks:

    The sub-sub-title of this one is “A Survival Handbook for New Middle School Teachers,” so for those of you wanting to take on the noble task of schooling pubescent kids, this book could be your life-saver. Learn time management, how to hold parent conferences, and all the special quirks that come with being a middle school teacher. Though you might still have to learn some things from experience, Parks prepares you for that first year in middle school, whether you’re about to enter your teaching career or even if you switch from a different age group.

  7. Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year by Esme Raji Codell:

    If you want to know what it’s really like to be a teacher (or at least what it can be like), this book can show you the teaching world through the eyes of a newbie educator. Educating Esme gives you laughs, inspiration, and a little insight into what your first year will be like, all in a fun-to-read diary full of one-liners and quirky solutions by this teacher.

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