8 Books That Will Challenge You As a Teacher (and Learner) This Summer

Last year I wrote a post titled, 100 Books Every Teacher Should Read. I’ve since updated that post once, but wanted to write a separate piece about 10 books I’ve read this year that challenged me professionally as a teacher and learner (and that weren’t on the original 100 list).

I read 25 pages every day. And now that I have a longer commute to work, I tend to read at least one audio book per week. As we were writing LAUNCH (my latest book) I spent a lot of time diving into books that weren’t necessarily about “education” but had a lot to do with creativity, design, marketing, and the human need to make.

A few of these books jumped out to me as great. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve learned at least something from every book I’ve ever read, but these books jumped out to me as something special. I often pair up a “non-educational” book with an educational text after I’m done reading. I see many of the same principles and ideas shared in one book, applied in another book for teachers, leaders, parents, and students.

So here are 8 books that challenged me (and will hopefully challenge you) and I paired them together. I’d suggest reading them back-to-back but that’s a personal preference 🙂

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance pair with Mindstorms by Seymour Papert


mindI’ve been fascinated by Elon Musk and his creative work for a while now, and when I saw the Ashlee Vance book was coming out I was intrigued. It did not disappoint, instead, it provided deep insight into the life and mind of one of the most successful and creative risk takers of out time. History will only tell what Elon Musk’s legacy will be, but even if he stopped now, he has made a tremendous impact on the world.

It challenged me as a teacher because Musk seeks to build capacity through his companies and teams in any way possible. In order to take big risks, you need to have a team of people that are not only risk-takers, but also willing to learn and grow as a team. Both Tesla and SpaceX are built on the idea that failure is a part of the process.

As a learner, this man does not stop. It would easy for him to act like he “knows it all” and to rest on his laurels. But to a fault, every person who works at his companies respects Musk’s ability to soak up information and continue to learn, even while being in charge.

I’d pair this up with Mindstorms by Seymour Papert for a few reasons. First, I was intrigued by this book because of what I’d heard about it. People in education like Will Richardson and Gary Stager frequently reference Papert’s work, and as I started to dive into this book published in 1993 about computers…I again did not know what to expect.

Label me a fan as well. So much of what Papert shares in this book is relevant today. The mindset, philosophy, and guiding beliefs about how computing can empower students holds true in our world today. In the Musk biography, you learn about Elon’s early days as a boy and student. His love and passion for computer programming is seemingly what sets him apart at a young age. The belief that he could “create his own future” (which he has in fact done) comes from the experiences as a boy and teen writing computer programs, creating games, and eventually using these skills to solve problems and build businesses.

We often read books about famous people and wonder what sets them apart, but also how they got to be where they are. Papert’s book is the text to read to understand how we can all harness the power of computing and programming, and maybe empower a few more students (or generation of students) to think and create like Musk.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari pair with Deeper Learning by Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath


Sapiens is one of the most fascinating books you’ll ever read. Presented as a narrative, Harari describes the entire history of humankind in this large book. I listened to it on Audible, and was captivated from opening introduction.

While I don’t particularly agree with some of Harari’s inferences, the way he tells the story of humankind from the cognitive revolution, to the agricultural revolution, and eventually to the now present scientific revolution…made me really question “how we learn” and what are the best ways to set up a learning experience and environment for students today.

I’d pair this with Deeper Learning, which is in my mind one of the books we should we talking about in education right now. Martinez and McGrath actually spent time in schools that are practicing a different type of education, one that is focused on depth not breadth, and the results are striking. If Sapiens gives us a lens into why we learn the way we do as humans, Deeper Learning provides a look into how certain schools are excelling (in unconventional ways) right now.

Originals by Adam Grant pair with The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros


mindsetI waited to read Originals. I wondered if it was going to be like a number of “pop-psychology” books I had read since the fantastic Drive by Daniel Pink. Many of those books left me feeling a bit dissapointed and hoping for more actionable and practical insight.

Then, as I listened (also did this book on Audible) I was hooked immediately in Chapter 1 as Adam Grant shares the story of Warby Parker, and why so many of the most “innovative” and original companies in the world take calculated risks. We often think that successful innovative companies and organization are on the bleeding edge and diving into creative work head first. Grant shares a different outlook, where having multiple avenues and opportunities for success makes the risk-taking doable and ok when there is a failure.

In the same way, George Couros shares his view on innovation in a different light than many educational books. Innovation is a “mindset” rather than a series of risk-taking actions. This book is rare in that it provides stories that bring you close to George, but also practical ways to lead innovation in the midst of what we have to accomplish on a daily basis as a teacher or school leader. If Originals is the research behind what drives the most innovative people, companies, and organizations in the world, The Innovator’s Mindset is the companion of how we can make this happen in our schools.

Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley pair with For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Ya’ll Too by Christopher Emdin

confidence 61DTQndHUNL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In Creative Confidence, authors Tom and David Kelley lay the groundwork for a creative revolution. Bolstered by their work starting IDEO and the Stanford d.school, the Kelley brothers share stories, inspiration, and smart ideas for how to be a more creative individual.

They also share design thinking as a framework for creative problem solving for teams (as well as companies and organizations). However, the parts of this book that really made me recommend it are the questions you’ll be challenged with about what you believe. Do you believe all students and all teachers are creative? Do you believe you are creative? Do you believe creative work has merit in all organizations and levels? Answering those questions is much easier after you’ve read Creative Confidence.

I pair this up with Dr. Emdin’s book, because it is a breath of fresh air. Emdin is as real as it gets (if you follow him on Instagram you know) and this book resonates right from the beginning. His research is solid, but it his approach of sharing ideas that are followed up with practical advice for teachers and school leaders that really grabbed me. It’s easy to say that everyone can be creative, but Emdin’s book shows how students and teachers can be innovative and creative even under the most challenging circumstances, and rise above it.

Want a free book? I’m doing a giveaway.

Leave a comment below sharing a book that you would recommend that will challenge others as teachers (and learners). Then share which book (of the above 8) you’d like to receive. In one week I’ll throw all the names into a raffle and send a copy of the specific book mentioned to 8 separate winners!

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Join the discussion 91 Comments

  • Danelle says:

    I would recommend Creative Schools by Ken Robinson. I love Ken’s take on innovation in education. It is fascinating! Here’s the Amazon summary:
    A revolutionary reappraisal of how to educate our children and young people by Ken Robinson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Element and Finding Your Element

    Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education, and his 2006 TED Talk on the subject is the most viewed in the organization’s history. Now, the internationally recognized leader on creativity and human potential focuses on one of the most critical issues of our time: how to transform the nation’s troubled educational system. At a time when standardized testing businesses are raking in huge profits, when many schools are struggling, and students and educators everywhere are suffering under the strain, Robinson points the way forward. He argues for an end to our outmoded industrial educational system and proposes a highly personalized, organic approach that draws on today’s unprecedented technological and professional resources to engage all students, develop their love of learning, and enable them to face the real challenges of the twenty-first century. Filled with anecdotes, observations and recommendations from professionals on the front line of transformative education, case histories, and groundbreaking research—and written with Robinson’s trademark wit and engaging style—Creative Schools will inspire teachers, parents, and policy makers alike to rethink the real nature and purpose of education.

    I would love to read For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood. It sounds like it would be a great read that would help us reach all learners!

    • Jessica Heising says:

      First of all, thanks for the encouraging educators to share life-changing books. What a great list! My recommendation includes many already mentioned above, but the one that I put into action this year is “Notice & Note – Strategies for Close Reading” by Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst. Also, anything by Kelly Gallagher and Donalyn Miller! Would love to read “White Teachers in the Hood” ASAP!

  • Tim Haag says:

    Disciplined Dreaming by Josh Linkner

  • Art Scrivener says:

    The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. Todd Henry explain how to grow a creative mindset. He has changed my approach to teaching. I don’t teach Physics any more. I strive to have students create solutions to problems.

  • Sara says:

    Outliers; loved it!

    Reading Sapiens right now and would love Deeper Learning!

  • Bluma says:

    I would recommend A More Beautiful Question. Would love to receive Adam Grant’s Originals.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the recommendation! It is sitting on the counter. I just finished George Couros’s book. Easy read and full of excellent suggestions for leaders. Facilitating a book study lead by campus leaders beginning Monday!

    • Karen Justl says:

      Thanks for the recommendations! A More Beautiful Question is sitting on the counter ready to roll. I just finished George Couros’s book. Easy read and full of excellent suggestions for leaders. Facilitating a book study lead by campus leaders beginning Monday! One of the best books I have read is #EDJourney by Grant Lichtman. I would like to read Deeper Learning.

  • Joe Cernak says:

    I would recommend “Learn Like a Pirate” by Paul Solarz. It will challenge the way you structure your classroom and empower your students. I just finished it and am looking forward to implementing many of the strategies in the fall.

    The book I would like to read is “The Innovator’s Mindset” by George Couros. I have heard great things about it and was going to seek it out this summer. A free copy would be great!

  • Chuck says:

    I think that we should read:
    The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by F.E. Jensen. Accessible, and full of great information for an age range that needs us to be at our best!

  • Vicki Helwick says:

    I recommend Lost at School by Ross Greene. An entirely different way to look at dealing with behavior that challenges us. We are implementing Plan B, and so far the results have been very positive.

  • Chris says:

    Reading The 4 Disciplines of Execution to better help myself, students, team, and school set and met meaningful goals. Would love to read Deeper Learning.

  • Nancy says:

    I recommend Lock In by John Scalzi. Yes, it is fiction. What I love about it is the science that needed to be developed in the story to meet a need. Our students recognize these needs in our world and can develop solutions to problems we may or may not see.

    Would love to read Elon Musk

  • The Growth Mindset! Currently reading and it has so many applications to life and the classroom. A must!

    I would love to read “The Innovator’s Mindset”.

    Thank you for these lists!

  • Carin says:

    The Growth Mindset! Changes your life and classroom!

    I’d love to read the Innovator’s Mindset.

    Thank you!

  • Chris says:

    Most Likely to Succeed!

    Interested in reading Sapiens

  • Billie Donegan says:

    Never too late to read Neil Postman’s Teaching as a Subversive Activity and pair it Glasser’s Choice Theory in the Classroom.

  • Sylvia Garcia says:

    I would recommend “Grit” the power of passion & perseverance by Angela Duckworth. It definitely is a receipe for success.

    I recently ordered “Originals & The Innovator’s Mindset.” Can’t wait to read them.

    I would like to receive “Creative Confidence” by Tom & David Kelley.

  • Recommend
    Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

    Originals by Adam Grant

  • The Ascent of Man – Jacob Bronowski

  • GeGe Drozen says:

    “Good To Great” by Jim Collins. Can a good company become a great company and if so, how? The principles that are layed out in this book can definitely be used within a school or district.

    I would love to win “The Innovators Mindset” by George Couros.

  • kathy says:

    I strongly recommend “The Geography of Genius” by Eric Weiner. It’s fascinating; I think I’d pair it with (and would like to read) “For White Folks who Teach in the Hood.” Having read “Creative Confidence” and been one of those White Folks (hence the interest), it seems like another good companion.

  • Jamie Camp says:

    I recommend Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner. It has completely changed how I look at education. To me it is a must read for an educator and parent.

    I would like to read the George Couros book.

  • Deborah says:

    I would recommend Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, or any of the Pirate books. It will challenge teachers to create engaging lesson to keep students motivated and learning! He give a lot of practical applications that teachers can try. It will force many teachers to get out of their comfort zone!

    I would like to receive White Folks Who Teach in the Hood by Dr. Emdin because I love to keep growing in my knowledge of other cultures!

  • Bri says:

    I’d recommend reading the Bible. Not a book you’d expect listed here, but when read for transformation, there is no other book like it. Keep an open mind and heart and you may be surprised.
    I’d love to receive Dr. Emdin’s book.

  • Kay Lazar says:

    I Am a Pencil written by Sam Swope is a fabulous read.
    I would enjoy reading Elon Musk please.

  • Andy says:

    I recommend MAKE JUST ONE CHANGE http://rightquestion.org/make-just-one-change/. It walks you through the Right Question Institutes QFT (Question Formulation Technique) and gives examples and explanations. You can use the QFT with any subject at any level.



  • Rachel A Nolan says:

    I’d recommend Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow paired with the Hamilton soundtrack. Listening to the cast talk about the historical figures they are portraying and how they feel it relates to the lives they live now, is inspiring. It is also completely moving how students watch Hamilton perform at The White House and how they reacted to see these amazing people of color performing the OG of Gangster stories. It motivated me to fight the battles I need to fight for my kids – there’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait .

    I would love to read Creative Confidence because I find myself struggling to motivate teachers to be creative or to see that they are already being very creative. Also I already am reading Dr. Edmin’s book, so that would finish my pair perfectly.

  • Sally Kimmes says:

    I haven’t read it yet, but it is on my summer reading list: Play : how it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul
    by Brown, Stuart L. (c2009)

    I will be adding several of these to my summer reading list as well!!!

    I would love to receive For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood.

  • Kimberly says:

    I’d recommend Catlin Tucker’s “Blended Learning” which has amazing, do-right-now ideas for blending and flipping a classroom. Great book, and really well written! The book on your list I’d like to read is Sapiens or Deeper Learning. Thanks!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ll recommend “Grit” my Angela Duckworth.
    Since I just ordered “the Innovator’s Mindset” I’d love to read “Sapiens”

  • Darshell says:

    I would offer The One Room School House by Salman Kahn and would love to read Deeper Learning!

  • Marilina Lonigro says:

    The book that was really inspiring for me both as a teacher and a learner was Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal. I found that many of the ideas in that book could help teachers in presenting their content in a much more “interesting” way but also develop some of the so called 21St century skills, such as online collaboration and digital citizenship. Read it and let me know how it inspires you as a teacher.
    The book I would like to read of the 8 above is George Couros’s The Innovator Mindset. However also Paper’s Mindstorms interests me.

  • Denee Tyler says:

    I mostly read content specific teacher books, and the one that changed my thinking the most was “In the Middle” by Nancie Atwell.
    Of these eight, I’d love to get my hands on “Deeper Learning”!

  • Karen says:

    The book I would recommend is And What do You Mean by Learning? by Seymour Sarason. I love asking this question when working with teachers and staff on difficult topics because it clarifies so much about where they are coming from. I go back and re-read it just about once a year.
    The book I really look forward to reading is Creative Confidence. I’m doing a deep dive into Design Thinking right now.
    Thanks for a great paired list!

  • Sharlee says:

    I would recommend Whole Novels for the Whole Class by Ariel Sacks. To be honest, I haven’t finished this book yet, but I’ve read quite a bit of her writings about this approach to teaching novels, and I would love to try this in my classroom!

    All of the books sound interesting, but deeper learning or innovators mindset sound like books that would feed into where I am at in my research right now!

  • Kendall Hardgrove says:

    I would recommend instructional rounds in education by Elizabeth A. City, Richard F. Elmore, Sarah E. Fiarman, Lee Teitel. It is an incredible look at how teachers should be collaborating and what makes innovative schools stand out among the rest!

    I would love to read “deeper learning” or “for white folks that teach in the hood.” Surprise me! 🙂

  • Moriah says:

    I have two recommendations, one more educationally based and one not so much:
    -Holler If You Hear Me by Greg Mitchie. Stories about a white middle school teacher working in urban Chicago at schools who have predominantly students of color (African American and Latino American). It’s stories about how to put learning in the lives of students and create a context they can relate to, but it’s also about taking the teacher role a step further into the mentor role. Really good and practical lessons.
    -Love by Leo Buscaglia. If you know anything about this man you know that he is amazing, energetic, and a radical human. The reason this has helped me grow in education is he not only demonstrates how to live authentically (which helps teachers connect with students on a basic level) but also gives examples of how authentic experiences can have a lasting impact on people, including authentic learning for students. Just an completely infectious read.

    And I am interested in reading almost all of these, but specifically Creative Confidence. Thanks!

  • Brenda says:

    I would recommend “Joyful Literacy” by Janet Mort. It really challenges and changes the way we look at early literacy, especially in Kindergarten. I would love to receive either “Sapiens” or “Deeper Learning”

  • A says:

    The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller is the book that gave me the confidence to trust myself and my “teacher instincts” and start standing up for my students. I have read it over and over and feel empowered each time in a different way.

    I would love to read ALL of the recommended books. How about a full set?

  • John Bullock says:

    I would recommend the recently released book “The Inevitable” by Kevin Kelly which is about the major technology trends that will affect us all in the next 30 years and would give teachers the power to speak to their students futures.

  • Stacey says:

    “Lost at School” by Ross W. Greene, PhD – This book really gave me concrete tools to open conversations with other teachers in a way that I haven’t been able to before.

    I’d love to read “Deeper Learning”.

  • Thanks for this article.
    Im actually doing some personal professional development on Deeper Learning to help my ön-line”class. Students in small rural schools, like ours, all over NZ

  • Madelyn Rindal says:

    I am currently listening to Sapiens on Audible. Next, I’m going to add Deeper Learning. Looks fascinating!

  • patricia Avila says:

    Thanks for asking others to offer books to read . I know have many choices for my summer days by the pool.

  • Abra Koch says:

    I loved Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner. Great book! I would love to read For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood!

  • Kathy says:

    I enthusiastically recommend Eric Jensen’s second (and first) book on engagement titled Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind. It made me think differently about engagement, particularly when teaching at risk children.
    Can’t wait to read For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood.

  • Tam says:

    I would recommend
    The End of Average: How we succeed in a world that values sameness
    by Todd Rose.
    I would love to read Deeper Learning.

  • BP says:

    Rec: Out of my Mind
    I would enjoy receiving and reading The Innovator’s Mindset.

    Thank you.

  • Karen says:

    I would recommend ‘The Power of Why’ by Amanda Lang. It’s a great book (fairly easy read too) that speaks to how curiosity and how by asking questions fuels innovation and allows us to frame our thinking differently – the context is mostly in the business world, but much of what is discussed can be applied to the classroom as well.
    I’d added both Sapiens and Deeper Learning to my summer reading list, and would love a free copy of either 😉

  • Charlotte says:

    A great book that I recommend all teachers (and learners:) is “Fires In the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students” by Kathleen Cushman. Below is a great description of the book: “An invaluable guide to teaching teenagers, featuring the uncensored advice of the students themselves, with an introduction by the best-selling educator Lisa Delpit. What’s a new teacher supposed to do when “she’s trying to be nice and they’re setting fires in the bathroom?” This innovative approach to teaching teenagers comes from the point of view of students in today’s hard-pressed urban high schools, where the teacher shortage has reached crisis proportions. It speaks to both new and established teachers, giving them first-hand information about who their students are and what they need to succeed. Forty students from three cities contributed perceptive and pragmatic answers to questions of how teachers can transcend the barriers of adolescent identity and culture to reach the diverse pupils in today’s urban schools. Their responses are grouped into chapters on increasing engagement and motivation, teaching difficult academic material, reaching English language learners, and creating a classroom cultures where respect and success go hand in hand.

    The book that I would like to receive is “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Ya’ll Too” by Christopher Emdin


  • Jenni says:

    As a regular education classroom teacher and a mommy of a special needs kiddo, classroom teachers are in no way prepared to deal with the demands and needs of SpEd students and paperwork. I highly recommend that all classroom teachers familiarize themselves with the laws that apply to them regarding FERPA and IDEA. Reading from Wright’s Law website is an excellent resource an I also suggest ‘The Complete Guide to Special Education.’ I personally own this book and it is an excellent source for the regular classroom teacher to start and learn how to navigate the world of SpEd.

    • Jenni Reeve says:

      Oh and I would LOVE to get the book For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood by Dr. Emdin because I work in an urban core school district. THANK YOU so much for such a great reading list. I even sent the link to my dad (a retired teacher).

  • Aditya says:

    I would recommend Creativity Inc. by Edwin Catmull and Amy Wallace. The book is about Edwin’s journey at Pixar. He discusses interesting points on how to create a culture of creativity and innovation in companies. It can further replicated in our classrooms.

  • Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach. I’d love to receive The Innovator’s Mindset. Thank you.

  • Tina says:

    My most exciting read for education this year was Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning in the Age of Empowerment by Bea Garvey and Charles Schwahn. It will really change what you think is possible for education to become. I would like to read The Innovators Mindset.

  • Easter Finley says:

    I just finished reading Innovative Mindset! It is a must read for all educators today. As an assistant principal, this book has helped me to rethink about how to lead the teachers under my guidance especially with empowering students, as opposed to engaging students, in their learning. Dr. Couros is on point about the characteristics of the innovative leader and what to look for in today’s classrooms. My next read is Mike’s Anderson book Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn.

    I would love to read Elon Musk; however, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Chris Emdin and his work on reality pedagogy just before his new book was released so I would also love to read his new book.

  • Cortina says:

    I would recommend Savage Inequalities.

    I would like to be in the drawing for White Folks.

  • tammie mckenzie says:

    My personal favorite is “The Innovators Mindset” by George Couras. I was fortunate enough to meet this amazing man at a conference and his way of thinking definitely left an impact.

  • Joy Kirr says:

    I always recommend CHOICE WORDS by Peter Johnston. I believe anyone who works with kids (um… and adults!) should read this book.

    I’d like to read THE ORIGINALS some day. 🙂 Hi, A.J.!

  • Kelly M says:

    I always reference my dog eared copy of Readicide by Kelly Gallagher and can’t wait for the new book I hear he’s writing with Donalyn Miller.

    I would love Creative Confidence.

  • “Launch” by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani – Dive into passion projects and find out about different ways people implement the design thinking process.

    I would like to receive the book Deeper Learning by Martinez and McGrath

  • Heather says:

    I LOVED the book You Are Not Special by McCullough and would recommend it to teachers even though its not necessarily a teaching book.

    I would love to receive For White Folks

  • Kelly says:

    Unshakeable 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Everyday by Angela Watson. This is an easy read and shares how you can get that passion for teaching back!

    I’d love to read For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood.

  • Gregg Goers says:

    Right now I am reading Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning. It focuses on achieving Gold Standard PBL practices and is excellent! Seeing that it examines alternative forms of educations, Deeper Learning seems like a book I would love.

  • Molly says:

    Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s …
    Book by Peter H. Johnston

    I would love to read For White Folks

  • Lisa Madden says:

    I’m really interested in Elon Musk after reading your post! Those kinds of books intrigue and challenge me. I really like your entire list and the variety of voices. Thank you for sharing!

  • Annie says:

    I recommend Me Teacher, Me…Please! Observations about parents, students and teachers and the teacher-learning process. I would love to read Creative Confidence and/or For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood..

  • stacey says:

    I would recommend “The Passion Driven Classroom” by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold. Although it is geared for elementary school I really embrace their desires to create what I call a “warm fuzzy” environment for all students.

    I have not read any of the books YET – summer here I come, so pickers choice if I am selected 🙂

  • Star Simpson says:

    Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart and Mark Church. I like it because it has helped me to help kids share their learning and understanding in a variety of ways,non of which involve writing sentences.
    This was my first year doing 20% time projects and I often used Elon Musk as an example so I’d love the book about him (though they all sound really good to me).

  • Mary Grissom says:

    I love the new book out Kids Deserve It! I am pairing it with your book Launch to put me in the innovator’s mindset. As a teacher of 18 years, I always felt like the black sheep. I had been innovating but afraid to let others know. I can’t wait to read Innovators.

  • Kelly says:

    I would recommend Marcia Tate’s ‘Worksheets Don’t Build Dendrites.’ She gives brain-based research evidence to encourage teachers to get their students moving, creating and demonstrating their learning in powerful ways. I work in a suburban school district, but every year I interact with more students of color from around the world and I would love to win ‘For White Folks who Teach in the ‘Hood.’

  • Greg says:

    My recommendation is a short eBook from TED titled “Why School?: How Education Must Change Learning and Information are Everywhere”

  • Joel S. says:

    I would recommend “How Children Succeed” by Paul Tough. A great read that all teachers should read, regardless of grade level, but I would more recommend it for middle and high school teachers.

    I’d love to read Creative Confidence or Originals… Or the Elon Musk one… not too picky, I’d just love to win! 😉

    Also, I’d like to add, I’m very appreciative of your blog and writings… i’m transitioning out of the math classroom for the last several years and into the science classroom and I cannot be more excited, not only for what’s to come, but to implement some of the strategies you’ve shared too! Cheers!!

  • Jagruti says:

    Drive of course!

    I would like to receive Originals by Adam Grant with The Innovator’s Mindset and Deeper Learning – just in case you decide to give away more than you promised 🙂

  • Brian Granger says:

    I would like to read The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. I’ve been reading Creativity by Ken Robinson and believe that we need to foster creativity and outside of the box thinking in our students. I would like to read and share this with my staff. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Jeanette says:

    “Catch them being good” is all about how we raise our children up with the things they are good at. It is focused on how girls are different than boys. It is a sports focused book but a great read for any teacher, coach, or parent.
    I want to read Deeper Learning.

  • Melanie says:

    I have a stack of books, some I get through completely, others I ‘browse’. I’ve enjoyed Todd Whitaker’s books; 17 Things Great Teachers Do Differently, and I heard him speak upon the release of : Shift the Monkey. I’m in a book study on Unshakeable by Angela Watson. I can read and reread, Opening Minds by Peter Johnston, Teaching with the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen who I also had the pleasure of seeing in person. Whole Brain Teaching for Difficult Kids by Chris Biffle also was a go to a couple years back. I would enjoy Deeper Learning!

  • Ellen says:

    Teacher Man by Frank McCourt takes you through the highs and lows of teaching and making a classroom making a classroom for teacher and students– Early glimpse of passion-based teaching and learning

    Book whisperer by Donalyn Miller about giving voice and choice to students in their reading gives strategies that can be applied in any classroom, genius hour etc.

    I would like Deeper Learning.

  • Alix Woznick says:

    How We Learn by Benedict Carey. Looks at all kinds of education research and then shows how it actually works or doesn’t. Carey writes for the layperson so it makes some great research very readable and understandable and he’s engaging.

  • Kelly Gallagher says:

    I would recommend “White teachers in the hood” because it’s important to see the creativity and resourcefulness of teachers teaching in unique conditions. I had the pleasure of hearing the author and it changed my thinking about education and what I can do in my own environment. I now take time to check to see what I can really do and push myself to meet my students needs.

  • Shondra says:

    I’m a big fan of Kelly Gallagher’s ‘Write Like This.” Choosing to model the writing process has been a big game changer for me.

    I’d love to read the Elon Musk book. 🙂

  • Meg says:

    Great list 🙂 Thank you!
    I recommend – Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown.
    I would love to read Deeper Learning.

  • […] a month into vacation and I still haven’t caught up with my reading.  You can also look at AJ Juliani’s Blog for some interesting suggestions. […]

  • Ximena says:

    One of the books that revolutionised my teaching is “The Hidden Life of Learners” by Graham Nuthall. Forty years of meticulous research of how and when students learn distilled into one book. Amazing!

    “What becomes clear is that just because a teacher is teaching, does not mean students are learning. ”

  • Jennifer Butler says:

    Great article! Thanks for sharing. I would most like to read Innovator’s Mindset but there are also many others I would enjoy! Jo Boaler’s Mathmatical Mindsets blew my mind and completely changed the way I teach math. Highly recommend it to anyone who teaches math at ANY level!

  • I recommend: No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process by Colin Beavan
    This book was required reading when my son started college in 2011 and I decided to check out why it was chosen by ingesting it. The whole time I read it I could not help but think of myself as “Impact Woman” and wonder what kind of impact our every decision as educators make on the children we are privileged to serve. I’ve always wondered if any of my teachers even cared that I dropped out of high school twice? And do they care about who I’ve become? Do all educators realize the depth of the impact they have on every person in the world? Know thy impact…
    I want: For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Ya’ll Too by Christopher Emdin

  • Andrew Murray says:

    Teacher Man by Frank McCourt and The Courage to Teach by Parker J Palmer are top of my list. Both exemplify our profession we have good days and bad. Love to read Deeper Learning.

  • Beth Abraham says:

    The recommendations your readers have made will keep me busy all summer. I recommend Nobody Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers and a non fiction book about the power of learning to read. The Rent Collector by by Camron Wright.

    I would like to read any of them. I am adding them to my to read list.

  • Francois says:

    I would recommend the Innovative mindset by Couros. It is essential to have the right mindset these days I would like to get the deeper learning book.


  • John Bullock says:

    I would have to say the book I recommend would be “Make Just One Change” by Dan Rothstien and Luz Santana. I love the way the format sneaks critical thinking in through the back door of people’s minds. It is a simple process with good results.

    The book I would love to recieve is Deeper Learning. It just sounds like a fascinating resource and even if I don’t win it, I will probably buy it anyway.

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