5 unexpected books every teacher should read

woman sitting in park reading a book

Like many teachers, I love a good book. There are plenty of nonfiction titles written with the specific aim of improving and informing our teaching practice but for this blog post, I’ve picked 5 unexpected books that teachers should read. I hope these must-reads inspire you as much as they inspired me.

1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This novel focuses on the daily life and struggles of the unusual and resilient 29 year old Eleanor, who spent most of her formative years in foster care and children’s homes. A brilliant book for anyone who works with children from a variety of backgrounds, and overall an uplifting read.

‘A narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness, yet with a wonderful, joyful message: it is never too late, for any of us.’ – The Guardian

2. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

This book lays out the 4 things that we need to agree to live life to the fullest and be present in the moment. If you feel that you need to speak more positively with your students, this book will help you.

‘A runaway bestseller in the United States and featured on Oprah, Don Miguel Ruiz’s common-sense key to personal development offers a concise and quietly revolutionary method to make fundamental changes to our lives.’ – Waterstones

3. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson

Who doesn’t need more quality sleep, especially during the school year?  This book is easy to read, gives lots of great tips and just makes good sense.  A book you should take your time reading to fully embrace the ideas inside.  I read it several years ago and have slept better ever since.

‘The fact is, to be happy, healthy, and productive, we need to get enough sleep. Sleep Smarter is a terrific resource for anyone who wants a great night’s rest.’ – Gretchen Rubin

4. Restart by Gordon Korman

This young adult novel is about a school bully who suffers a concussion and gets amnesia as a result.  The book follows his journey of reinvention and features school life, history, family, and change.

5. Happy Teachers Change the World by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare

The title says it all.  When teachers are happy, students are happy.  When students are happy, they flourish, learn and grow.  If you have been feeling like you aren’t a happy teacher and you want to be happier, this is the book for you.  Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most admired Zen teachers in the world, and Katherine Weare has done extensive work using mindfulness with young people and the people who care for them.

I hope you have found a few more books to add to your reading list.  Enjoy.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

About the author

Kim LaCosteKim is a kindergarten teacher, blogger and mom and has worked with children of all ages for over 30 years. She is a lifelong learner and loves to share teacher-friendly ideas with colleagues. Kim loves yoga and pilates and believes that self-care is one of the most important things in a teacher’s life.

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