Top Reads for New Teachers

Do you ever think about the powerful lessons you learnt through childhood play?

Around the time I started high school, I was obsessed with the PlayStation game ‘Final Fantasy VIII’. While it was an impressive game, there was one section that taught me a great lesson.

During the game you have to train by engaging in small battles to increase your skill points. Skill points allowed you to ‘level up’ a character and with a higher level it was easier for them defeat the various enemies confronted during your quest.


I arrived at a particular point in the game on an Island that had been invaded by some terrible enemy. I saved the game, ran into the city, and was about to face the next challenge.

Unfortunately for me, I had not trained enough. I tried time and time again to defeat the enemy but my characters were not strong enough. I had landed myself in a situation where there was nowhere to train and my skill level was too low to defeat the enemy.

During this moment I was very frustrated. I had played the game for hours and it was all wasted, I just couldn’t do it.

This made me realise the importance of preparation. Taking the easy route is not always the best long-term option.

It is for that reason that I have valued the extra years I have spent doing my bachelors degree part-time. Volunteering, working full time and taking every opportunity I could to learn and grow have made me who I am today.

My next challenge is starting soon. I will be starting to teach in 2015 with the Teach for Australia program.

To help me, I have asked my friends and tweeps for advice. One question I have asked it, ‘what book do you wish you had read before becoming a teacher?’

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.46.36 pm

Here is a list of answers from teachers all over the world. They come from Australia, the UK, US, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Title, Author

Conscious Classroom Management, Rick Smith

Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine

Differentiation in the Classroom, Carolyn Tomlinson

Dream Class, Michael Linsin

Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman

How Children Succeed, Paul Tough

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Faber & Mazlish

Ideology and Curriculum, Michael Apple

In The Deep Heart’s Core, Michael Johnston

Mindset, Carol Dweck

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire

Real Talk for Real Teachers, Rafe Esquith

Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques, Doug Lemov

Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire, Rafe Esquith

Teach Like A Pirate, Dave Burgess

Teaching As a Subversive Activity, Neil Postman

The Courage to Teach, Parker J. Palmer

The First Days of School, Harry Wong

The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell

With thanks to the following tweeps for sharing their advice:
@DocbobLA@PeterDeutscher@zshanbatyrova@seminyaksunset@Jessa_Rogers , @MosierArnold, @MrazKristine@Roussel_Capra@FarrowMr, @UtahTOY2014, @alford_joanne, @DanielMCarr, @nashtysmans, @snydesn2 and @.

If you have any other ideas, or opinions on the books listed, let me know by commenting below.


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