Teacher summer reading usually goes one of 2 routes: you either typically read for pleasure or you are reading professional development titles to get a jump start on the next school year. Sometimes it’s both (which I highly recommend if you are prone to never turning off that teacher brain like me).
What do teachers read over summer break?
I took a poll of our awesome OC readers and here are the results!
Looks like the majority of our readers do tend to read both fiction and nonfiction throughout the summer break.
Great books for teachers to read over the summer will depend on your personality and your preferences – and the best part: no one is judging you either way. 🙂
Even the most effective teacher does not necessarily need to learn more about the achievement gap, how to write the nest lesson plan, or differentiating learning for every child during the school year.
My favorite comment from the survey results when I asked what you planned on reading over summer break? “Trashy romance novels.” That truly made me giggle because even teachers need some time to shut down and recharge.
And trashy romance titles aren’t exactly award-winning literature, so feel free to unplug and relax without analyzing the data or scrutinizing whether the capitals and punctuation is correct within the text.
A former professor in college (eons ago mind you) said something that stuck with me still to this day. He mentioned how his wife, a very successful psychologist, would begin her weekend on Saturday morning by watching kids cartoons. For several hours, she would be completely thoughtless about her high-stress clients and workweek past. Instead she tuned in to some old school cartoons and just watched. It was her way of decompressing so that she was able to truly be present with her family in her downtime.
Are you being present in your life over summer vacation?
With that said, I am personally a nonfiction book junkie. I should probably start a support group. Ha!
I LOVE reading about new ways to be better. Personally, socially, emotionally, and even professionally. Now, since we don’t have a ton of “free time” throughout the school year, learning something that can help me to be a better educator is something I enjoy.
Even better? It’s on my terms and my topic choice. No forced PD session here.
Typically, before the end of the school year, I choose something I would like to improve/implement in my classroom or instruction for the following school year. Then, I pick up a handful of books related to that topic to peruse throughout the summer as I please.
One year, it was student led conferences. Another was setting up better math centers. Of course, early on I started with looking at multiple classroom management solutions to help me as I was starting out as a novice teacher.
Need some good book suggestions for your summer reading list?
Here are 20 of the most popular suggestions from the OC readers. Thanks so much to all who submitted their ideas!
Nonfiction Books for Teachers to Read Over the Summer
- Teach Like a Pirate came out on top in our reader survey this year!
- Have a lack of engagement in reading with your students? Check out Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters.
- Teaching with Love and Logic even comes in a spiral-bound edition. Nice!
- Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World
- The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity is a 2nd title in our top 20 list all about innovators. I am feeling like that might be a new buzzword.
- You just can’t go wrong with anything from the Kings. The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator’s Creative Breakthrough certainly holds true to that point.
- An oldie but goody: The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades
- The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literacy Assessment and Instruction – not sure you can talk about D5 without mentioning CAFE too.
- Number Talks: Whole Number Computation, Grades K-5
- I adore that Jen Sincero made this list since this book isn’t really specific just to teachers, but it is definitely one of my personal nonfiction faves for any time of year reading. The language is a little strong, but the message is worth it in my opinion: You are a Badass (Deluxe Edition): How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
Fiction Books for Teachers to Read Over the Summer
- Anything by James Patterson was the most recommended fiction titles by our teacher surveyors. A few of his top sellers include: The People vs. Alex Cross, The Black Book, and 2nd Chance (Women’s Murder Club).
- Karen Kingsbury was another author mentioned who has various titles, including Love Story: A Novel and A Baxter Family Christmas (The Baxter Family).
- The Outlander Series
- The Nightingale has great reviews and the setting of the book is WWII, which is sure to please historical fiction buffs out there.
- Lilac Girls is another WWII era writing. I think I see a theme from our readers.
- Nora Roberts was mentioned and her #1 best seller is Shelter in Place.
- How about David Baldacci for my mystery thriller readers? True Blue has you covered.
- Can you really get through a summer reading list for a female majority without mentioning at least something from Nicholas Sparks? I don’t think so.
- Fish in a Tree
Many of the above titles can also be found at the local library if you are short on funds. Or maybe you just love visiting your local library like I do. It’s always a great place to spend a stormy afternoon when the beach isn’t an option.
Download and print off this super cute reading log to track books you would like to read, as well as those you have read. Write in the titles on the spines of your “want” list. Highlight them as you finish.
What else is on your reading list for this summer? We would love to hear in the comments below!