6 Best-Selling Books for New Teachers Who Want to Improve Their Classrooms

New teachers face daunting challenges, with dozens of students clamoring for attention and overwhelming advice from well-meaning colleagues about how to teach.

Hundreds of books are penned each year to assist teachers, but how do they determine what’s worth reading?

6 Great Books for New TeachersOne way to gauge the quality of books about education is to check out what people are buying. We’ve compiled a handy list of six useful books based on recent Amazon sales rankings for the Schools & Teaching: Education Theory and Educational Certification & Development categories.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

This book covers the full range of pre-K through 12 education. It focuses on character and other personality traits that help children persevere and succeed, while deemphasizing to some extent the relevance of test scores to student success.

Author Paul Tough is an established best-selling nonfiction book writer and professional journalist who has covered education, parenting, poverty and politics for the “New York Times Magazine.”

The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, 4th Edition

Considered by school leaders across the United States as a practical must-have guide for new teachers, this book offers straight-forward advice on how to create productive learning environments through well-managed classrooms.

Authors Dr. Harry Wong and his wife, Rosemary Wong, Ed.D., have been writing articles, books, blogs and posts for three decades, while presenting workshops to help new teachers manage classrooms effectively.

Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level

As educators and special education experts recognize the importance of identifying dyslexia and mild reading disorders early, the value of learning about dyslexia is becoming crucial to all teachers – especially those in pre-K through fourth grade, making this book a must-read for all teachers.

Author Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., is a professor at the Yale University of Medicine, where she’s currently a co-director of the school’s Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and serves on numerous education councils and committees.

Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning

Aimed at a broad audience of parents, teachers, school leaders and policymakers, this book provides evidence on the importance of exhaustive pedagogy research for teaching and learning styles instead of turning to the “flavor of the month” in a given school year. Author John Hattie provides links to established research on teaching methods and checklists for education best practices.

Hattie, professor of education and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute in Australia, is internationally recognized for his work in quantitative analysis to measure educational outcomes.

Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools

Focusing on attitudes over test scores, this book emphasizes the importance of changing mindsets among students through the power of positive thinking. The book guides teachers to bring out the best in students and help them fulfill their potential. Chapter titles that focus on “differentiated, responsive classrooms” and how students “learn from failure” reinforce the author’s positive approach to teaching — and learning.

Author Mary Cay Ricci, M.Ed., was coordinator of gifted and talented education for Baltimore County Public Schools and has a master’s degree in education, administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University.

Essential Linguistics, Second Edition: What Teachers Need to Know to Teach ESL, Reading, Spelling, and Grammar

This book focuses on basic linguistic concepts and how theories about everyday language can be put into practice in the classroom. The new edition explores complex, scientific-based concepts, including English phonology, morphology and syntax. The co-authors emphasize the importance of linguistics to teaching – from early childhood development through high school.

Authors Dr. David Freeman and Dr. Yvonne Freeman, professors emeriti at the University of Texas at Brownsville, have co-written several books on languages aimed at students with learning disorders as well as speakers of English as a second language (ESL).

Add these to your must-read list

New teachers searching for reading materials will be off to a good start with this list. The authors offer stellar credentials and expertise on a diverse range of educational subjects.

Although numerous challenges for new teachers remain, they can take some comfort in knowing others have paved the way to help them succeed in the classroom.

What are your thoughts on the books listed here? Did we miss anything? Let us know your favorite books by contacting us at editorial[at]online.stu.edu!