“Are There Any Books That You Recommend for New Teachers?”

A few weeks ago one of my new teachers asked me if there were any books that I would recommend for new teachers. At first I was stumped by this question. It has been a while since I read a teaching specific book. Most of my recent reads have been about the creative process. After some thinking I came up with a list of three books that I would recommend for new teachers.

Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites

By Marcia L. Tate

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During my first year of teaching I participated in BTSA. While I didn’t find most of the program useful, I did have the opportunity to attend two presentations from Dr. Marcia L. Tate. At one of the presentations BTSA provided us with a copy of her book Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites. This was my classroom management bible for my first few years. In the book Dr. Tate shares 20 classroom management techniques that are based on brain research. What I really like about the book is that it  just doesn’t share a bunch of research, it also offers actionable management tips that can be implemented immediately. I highly recommend it to anyone who has never taught before.

A Whole New Mind

by Daniel Pink

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I was first introduced to Daniel Pink through his book Drive. I really enjoyed Drive so I decided to pick up one of his earlier works. This book is awesome. It really helped me open up my mind to how much design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning impact our day to day lives as educators. I would recommend this book for new teachers because it helped me think about lesson planning and designing assignments for my students.

Die Empty

by Todd Henry

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This past spring I randomly found Todd Henry’s podcast The Accidental Creative while searching the iTunes store. Being obssessed with creativity and looking for ways to improve my own creativity I immedietly took an interest in Todd’s work. Die Empty is Todd’s second book. It focuses on how to maximize your potential every day and ultimately feel satisfied with the work that you are doing. New teachers are normally overwhelmed with learning about the culture and climate of their new school, navigating the politics of education, and ultimately teaching. It is very easy in the first few years to get discouraged and give up or lose hope because you feel like you are not living up to your potential. Die Empty offers several tips for avoiding this burnout. Even as an “experienced” educator I still found this book to be extremely helpful. I have already started implementing some of the strategies Henry shares and have seen an increase in productivity and overall work happiness.

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