Tips for Teachers and Classroom Resources

For Educators: What to Read, Watch, and Listen to this Summer!

By Jennifer Gunn

It’s summer! You made it! Take a well-deserved break. Finally, there’s a little breathing room to catch up on all the amazing books and content out there. Here’s a great list of what to read, watch, and listen to this summer.

Your summer reading list

Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms: Designing and Implementing Child-Centered Learning Environments Suggested by a teacher-student, who says: “I am passionate about creating nature-based learning environments for Early Education and getting students outside daily for more than just recess.”

For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education Columbia professor Dr. Chris Emdin combines honest storytelling and theory to challenge “educators to embrace and respect each student’s culture and to reimagine the classroom as a site where roles are reversed and students become the experts in their own learning.” A must-read for urban educators and, while you’re at it, check out Dr. Emdin’s Ted Talk too.

I Wish My Teacher Knew Book and Videos 
Suggested by a teacher: “If only we would learn to listen, how much more effective our teaching would be … and much more rewarding when we realize we can make a difference in a child’s life.”

#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, experienced the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America–with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed.”

Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Teachers Says the person who suggested this book: “super excited about this book that [she] just heard about on the Cult of Pedagogy podcast.”

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools Monique W. Morris exposes the experiences of Black girls in schools, who are largely misunderstood and often villainized, making it difficult for them to to succeed. A powerful read for teachers.

Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator Says the person who suggested this book, “I follow [the author] on Twitter and he’s from my hometown. I’ve been interested in it for awhile. Hopefully, I can read it while doing my courses and taking care of my family.” Another Cavalier, Ashley, agrees: “A fun read that can re-spark my passion for teaching!”

The 21st Century School Leader: Leading Schools in Today’s World Taking on school leadership from the school building to the district office, Dr. Denver Fowler ushers school leadership practice into the modern, digital age with practical ideas and solutions.

The Whole Brain Child Suggested a teacher-student, who wants to read this book “to support emotional growth in my classroom!”

The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator’s Creative Breakthrough Suggested by a teacher-student, who says: “I’m excited to read The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King! It’s been sitting on my coffee table waiting to be read!”

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race Think segregation is a thing of the past? Integrated high schools are still segregated inside their halls and classrooms. Read this to better understand the racial dynamics of our country and how they manifest in school spaces.

The Math Myth: And Other STEM Delusions Do we really need all that math? Andrew Hacker’s New York Times op-ed asks why we “inflict algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and even calculus on all young Americans, regardless of their interests and aptitudes?” In The Math Myth, Hacker dives into these questions and explores a path forward.

Your summer’s must-watch videos 

6th Grade Students Rap About Education We cannot underestimate the power of creativity, music, and self-expression. This adorable video of 6th graders from the midwest is an inspiration.

Ellen Meets Viral College Acceptance Brothers Ellen welcomes two teen brothers, Ayrton and Alex Little, who received full scholarships to Harvard and Stanford. The now-viral videos of their acceptance reactions are amazing.

Every Kid Needs a Champion This is an oldie, but a goodie. If you’ve never seen Rita Pierson’s TED Talk, you owe it to yourself — and your students — to give it a viewing. If you have seen it, make it a ritual to watch it each summer. It’s a thunderous call to educators to believe in their students and build authentic relationships.

How to inspire every child to be a lifelong reader In a talk that will make you rethink how we teach, educator and author Alvin Irby explains the reading challenges that many black children face — and tells us what culturally competent educators do to help all children identify as readers.

Linda Cliatt-Wayman: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard This video is perfect for school leaders and teachers alike.

Taylor Mali’s What Teachers Make This spoken word performance captures every educators passion for what they do.

This company pays kids to do their math homework Mohamad Jebara loves mathematics and his company is experimenting with a bold idea: paying students to finish their weekly math homework. Watch this thought-provoking talk.

Wright’s Law: A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons | The New York Times Jeffrey Wright uses fun experiments to teach kids about science. Check out his unique methods and his inspirational story.

Your summer podcast list  

ASCD Learn Teach Lead ASCD makes amazing education books, and the podcast is an auditory extension of the topics and ideas they provide. Featuring interviews and discussions, the podcast is a great way to get some personal PD time.

Cult of Pedagogy This is basically the radio show for educators. Guests, strategies, and real discussion on relevant topics of teaching abound.

EdSurge Hear about the latest in education technology from experts and stakeholders. Search topics and listen!

TED Podcast: Unstoppable Learning Babies and children learn fast and with natural curiosity, so why do we stifle them in school as they get older? Here’s a look at the science of learning.

Blogs, professional development opportunities, and organizations to check out 

Education Conferences That You Should Attend – Or Present At!

Being Culturally Responsive

Breathe for Change

Bored Teachers

International Society for Technology in Education

Math for America

National Education Association

National Council of Teachers of English

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Real Ways School Leaders Can Build Morale and Reduce Stress in Schools

Summer To-Do List for First-Year Teachers

Teaching Channel

Teq Online PD

Jennifer L.M. Gunn spent 10 years in newspaper and magazine publishing before moving to public education. She is a curriculum designer, teaching coach, and high school educator in New York City. She is also cofounder of the annual EDxEDNYC Education Conference for teacher-led innovation, and regularly presents at conferences on the topics of adolescent literacy, leadership, and education innovation.

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