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Best 2018 Summer Reads for Educators

Check out these five books geared towards educators on how to create an engaging classroom experience.

The Turnitin Team
The Turnitin Team






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As the classroom environment continues to change, teaching must change along with it. With new challenges and obstacles arising every day, it can be hard to keep up. Summer is a key time for teachers to reset and refresh, as well as learn about the latest techniques and strategies for cultivating a successful and creative classroom for their students. These books are just a few wonderful resources for teachers to learn more about themselves and their students and to help them create an engaging and nurturing classroom experience.

1. Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol:

Seasoned author Jonathan Kozol tells the story of his time spent in the inner-city Boston classroom of Francesca, a young teacher with lots of heart. While witnessing the woes and whims of Francesca's days, Kozol also gives readers a glimpse into his experience as a public school teacher himself. Letters to Young Teacher approaches important issues in education such as the implications of high-stakes testing and inequality in the urban school system. Most importantly, however, Kozol brings the joys of teaching to life through his words. He paints a picture of excitement, curiosity, perseverance, and growth, as he shows readers how truly beautiful and rewarding the teaching experience can be.

2. Multiplication is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People's Children by Lisa Delpit:

In her long-awaited sophomore book, award-winning author Lisa Delpit reveals the harsh realities that lower-class children of color face in the public school system. Delpit highlights the ways in which our system creates a continuous achievement gap between these children and the rest of the classroom population. Reflecting on decades of failed attempts at reform, Delpit sheds light on how this discrepancy leaves poor children of color feeling that higher education is out of their reach. Without ever losing sight of her unique authorial voice, she calls on us to create a more inclusive education system based on her simple yet powerful idea that education is for everyone.

3. Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar:

Teaching is perhaps one of the most stressful yet rewarding adventures on which a person can embark, and emotional resilience is a cornerstone of surviving and thriving in the educational world. In this powerful book, educational consultant and seasoned author Elena Aguilar tackles the trials and tribulations experienced by teachers and highlights the importance of self-care in their everyday lives. With teaching becoming more complex and stressful every day, Aguilar provides a resource for teachers to reignite their passion and love for education by shifting their mindset and discovering the strength within themselves.

4. Hacking School Culture: Designing Compassionate Classrooms by Angela Stockman and Ellen Feig Gray:

Compassion is a cornerstone of any successful educational environment. However, we too often see a lack of this key ingredient in our modern classrooms that lead to a struggling student population. Authors Angela Stockman and Ellen Feig Gray teamed up to seek out educators who put compassion first and are changing the education world for the better. By creating an environment in which students can gain a deeper understanding of their peers, these teachers are showing us how embracing our similarities can help us embrace our differences just the same.

5. The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners by Carol Ann Tomlinson:

Despite an ever-changing educational world, the importance of differentiated learning in the classroom remains the same. It can be difficult to cater to the many different learning styles and interests of children while still keeping them effectively engaged in the learning process. In her book, The Differentiated Classroom, educator, and author Carol Ann Tomlinson offers a comprehensive guide to help teachers navigate through these newfound challenges and discover the most effective and efficient ways to cater to the needs of all their students.

Back for her second stint at Turnitin, Whitney Boswell joined this summer as a Marketing Intern extraordinaire. An upcoming junior at the University of California Santa Barbara, she is studying Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Women, Culture, and Development. When she's not writing blogs for Turnitin, she's restaurant-hopping her way across Oakland.