Top 10 Essential summer reads for teachers
So you’ve packed your class off for their summer holiday and the chances are you’ve optimistically thrust a reading list into their tiny little hands. A carefully researched selection of books thoughtfully chosen to account for a wide range of reading preferences and tastes. A collection to broaden horizons, expand developing minds, handpicked texts to give every student a renewed enthusiasm and confidence when they boldly step over the classroom threshold in September. Or more likely, something to lay indefinitely crumpled on the bedroom floor, stepped over daily whilst clambering to connect another phone charger to a suitable supply of electrical juice. At least the thought was there.
But this doesn’t mean your mind has to stagnate in the heat. Make sure your summer reading keeps you abreast of some of the hottest trends and topics in education. You never know, it might be you stepping into the classroom in September with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. Here’s our essential list, in no particular order.
1) Teacher Toolkit: Helping You Survive Your First Five Years by Ross Morrison McGill
Ross Morrison McGill recognises first hand the challenges faced by teachers across the country. In this book, he uses his expertise and insight to help all those in education not only survive in challenging situations but flourish in the face of adversity.
Packed with countless anecdotes, from disastrous observations to marking in the broom cupboard, Teacher Toolkit is a compendium of teaching strategies and advice, which aims to motivate, comfort, amuse and above all reduce the workload of a new teacher.
2) High Performance Learning by Deborah Eyre
This fascinating book is essential reading for anyone wanting to drive positive and meaningful improvement throughout their school. The book presents the argument and evidence for the High Performance Learning philosophy and sets out to ensure that high academic performance is an achievable reality for all students, not just a fortunate few.
It challenges all readers to rethink their expectations in the light of new discoveries in neuroscience and psychology. And most importantly, the findings of this book help to establish a framework that nurtures high performing individuals by teaching every pupil to be ‘intelligent’ and equipping them with the confidence to succeed in school.
3) When Adults Change Everything Changes by Paul Dix
This book has been doing the rounds in staff rooms for several years, so chances are you’ve already read it, but if not, you really must. Pauk Dix closely analyses the interaction between children and staff to ultimately implement a seismic shift in behaviour across the whole school. His fundamental key is absolute consistency. This creates a stable platform on which each school can build its practice. The book is filled with case studies from schools across five continents, from the most challenging inner-city schools to the most prestigious educational establishments in the world. The results are truly transformative.
4) Learning Outside the Lines by Jonathon Mooney and David Cole
Composed by two Ivy League graduates who battled with learning disabilities and ADHD, Learning Outside the Lines teaches pupils and teachers how to take control of their education and find consistent success. This book is full of brilliant and easy to implement study suggestions and tips for every single ability.
5) Teach Like Finland: 33 Strategies for Joyful Classrooms by Timothy D. Walker
Finland rocked the world in 2001 when its fifteen-year-olds scored highest on the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a set of tests designed to evaluate critical-thinking skills in maths, science and reading. And the legacy remains to this day. But how does Finnish education with short school days, light homework loads, and little standardised testing produce students who consistently better the PISA scores of children around the world? In this book, Timothy D. Walker, gathers all he has learned about the Finnish education system and reveals how any teacher can implement simple life changing practices in their classroom.
6) 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning by John Hattie and Klaus Zierer
The original Visible Learning research concluded that one of the most important influencers of student achievement is how teachers think about learning and their own role. In Ten Mindframes for Visible Learning, John Hattie and Klaus Zierer define the ten behaviours or mindframes that teachers need to adopt in order to maximize student success
7) Becoming a Growth Mindset School by Chris Hildrew
Becoming a Growth Mindset School explores the theories which underpin a growth mindset ethos and presents ideas and opportunities for embedding change at the heart of a school. It offers step-by-step guidance for school leaders to help build an approach to teaching and learning that will consistently allow children to embrace challenge, persist in the face of setback, and see effort as the path to mastery. The book isn’t about quick fixes, but an evidence-based transformation of the way we think and talk about teaching, leading, and learning.
8) The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to Coherence by Mary Myatt
Increasingly, across education, a larger focus is being devoted towards knowledge and the curriculum. In this timely new book, Mary Myatt fiercely argues that the solutions to overcoming achievement barriers lie in understanding the curriculum and in what children are meant to know. Mary uses her years of experience to sensitively guides teachers and school leaders through one of the most important debates in education.
9) The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching in Real Classrooms by Tom Sherrington
The Learning Rainforest captures different elements of our understanding of what makes a good teacher. It is a celebration of inspiring classroom practise and a reflection on the rewards that quality teaching can bring. Aimed at busy teachers, the core of this book is a guide to making teaching both effective and manageable via a three-part structure: establishing conditions; building knowledge; exploring possibilities.
10) Envoplan Journal
The Envoplan Journal is a termly newsletter packed with insights into design for schools, recent case study projects and other industry news. Request your free copy by sending an email to