A 21st Century Teacher’s Summer Reading List

These books will help you become a better teacher.

Summer is finally here! While we hope you’re taking a well-deserved break, we know teachers never completely leave work behind. Many educators use the summer break to catch up on the latest education books before starting a new school year.

summer reading

That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of inspiring, enlightening (and even entertaining!) books designed to support today’s teachers as they prepare students to become tomorrow’s leaders. These books have usable advice, tips and inspiration to help you guide students to develop skills such as empathy, leadership, innovation and flexibility.

1. Learning Transformed

"Learning Transformed is both a compelling manifesto for the schools our children need now and an inspirational blueprint for how to bring them about."
—Sir Ken Robinson

One of our favorite future-ready experts to follow is Tom Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools – so naturally his new book, Learning Transformed, is on our summer reading list. Murray and his co-author Eric Sheninger outline eight keys to transforming teaching and learning to prepare students to become future leaders.

As Sir Ken Robinson wrote in a testimonial about the book, “Learning Transformed is both a compelling manifesto for the schools our children need now and an inspirational blueprint for how to bring them about.” We’ll leave it at that.

PS: While you’re reading, use the hashtag #LT8Keys to join the online conversation about Learning Transformed.

2. Spark Learning

High school chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam expands on his wildly popular TED Talk, "3 Rules to Spark Learning," in his recently released book Spark Learning. With over 2 million views of his TED Talk, it’s clear Musallam’s approach to cultivating creativity in the classroom inspires teachers everywhere.

In Spark Learning, Musallam outlines ideas for sparking curiosity in your students, strategies for helping students embrace the mess of learning, direction on effective reflection and even tips on how to use technology throughout the process.

3. Shift This

Genius hour evangelist Joy Kirr’s new book Shift This is another must-read. She gives teachers concrete ways to create a student-led classroom with a strong focus on personalized learning. Kirr’s straightforward advice will help you make gradual changes that will have a major impact in your classroom. Her blog is also a great companion to the book.

4. Disrupting Thinking

If you love a book full of “aha!” moments, you’ll love Disrupting Thinking. Authors Kylene Beers and Bob Probst outline how you can engage students in reading so “students become the critical thinkers our nation needs them to be."

This book is loaded with hands-on strategies for encouraging responsive and responsible reading, deepening comprehension and helping students become lifelong readers. Have a highlighter and a pen handy while you read — you’ll want to fill the margins with notes!

5. The Innovator’s Mindset

Get ready to be inspired when you read George Couros’ The Innovator's Mindset. Couros shows teachers how to be leaders who foster innovation, encourage critical thinking, and inspire creativity. Filled with practical examples, this book will leave you excited about teaching and learning.


Hoping to squeeze in some professional development over the summer? We have a huge selection of professional development resources you can use at your leisure. Or maybe you just want a little education inspiration? Check out our 10 Inspirational Quotes for Educators — they’ll leave you feeling motivated and energized.

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Author Bio:

Wendy McMahon is an education technology writer who has been working and writing in the edtech field for more than 15 years. She currently writes for EdSurge, EdTech Magazine and Pearson. She holds a Journalism Degree from the University of King’s College. Follow her on Twitter at @wendymcmahon.

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