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If we educators believe in anything, its reading. Ask a group of teachers for book ideas, and they will surely put together a good list for you, on the spot, with categories, genres, and thematic suggestions. They are on it.

Ask a group of teachers about a book that changed and improved their teaching practice, and each one will surely have an answer. Malcolm Gladwell, Harry Wong, Malala Yousafzai? Each will have a favorite story that changed them for the better.

What about you? And what about this summer?

Here are three reads sure to change your perspective and get you energized for the coming school year:

3. For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education by Dr. Christopher Emdin

Emdin is famous for his #HipHopEd movement, which is as engaging as it sounds. This book is described as “something like a WuTang Clan meets Madeline Hunter mashup with dash of STEM thrown in for good measure. The book is challenging, relevant, funny, and at times extremely practical. Even if you don’t work with urban youth or in an urban setting, the call to relevance is for all educators”

Reviews include:

“The most important work of pedagogy I’ve read in ten years…Dr. Emdin’s humane, and more importantly, effective practices, filled me with great hope and excitement to keep engaging with the community in which I teach.”
—John Warner, Inside Higher Ed

“Dr. Chris Emdin…inspired me to become fearless while teaching for social justice. His commitment to young people showed me that integrity, humility and hope are three of the greatest principles a person can possess.”
—Bryan Mooney, contributor PBS NewsHour’s Education Lounge

“As the cries to recognize the relevance of Black lives in this country grow louder…Emdin’s advice about how to more effectively serve students (people) of color is a reminder that recognizing their humanity is a critical first step.”
—Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

2. The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters by Tom Nichols

If this year’s news hasn’t already convinced you that your students (and the rest of the country) need help determining the difference between FAKE and REAL news, then this book will lead the charge.

It isn’t just about real or fake news, and it isn’t just about pedagogy or lesson panning…..its about how we process new information and integrate understanding of new paradigms. A critical read.

Reviews Include:

“Nichols has issued a sadly necessary and urgent call… but it helps that his righteous indignation is coated in a healthy dose of wit.” —Mark Hemingway, The Federalist

“We live in a post-fact age, one that’s dangerous for a whole host of reasons. Here is a book that not only acknowledges this reality,but takes it head on. Persuasive and well-written, The Death of Expertise is exactly the book needed for our times.”–Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group

“Americans are indifferent to real journalism in forming their opinions, hoaxes prove harder to kill than a slasher-flick monster, and the word ‘academic’ is often hurled like a nasty epithet. Tom Nichols has put his finger on what binds these trends together: positive hostility to established knowledge. The Death of Expertise is trying to turn back this tide.” —Dan Murphy, former Middle East and Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, The Christian Science Monitor

“Tom Nichols does a breathtakingly detailed job in scrutinizing the American consumer’s refutation of traditional expertise. In the era of escapism and denial, he offers a refreshing and timely book on how we balance our skepticism with trust going forward.”--Salena Zito, national political reporter for The Washington Examiner, CNN, The New York Post, and RealClearPolitics

1. Code in Every Class: How All Educators Can Teach Programming
Kevin Brookhouser, Ria Megnin

I’ll admit that I am one of those people who is intimidated by the idea of learning to code. I was never into that kind of thing, and I can understand why, as a teacher, you may look at this book and feel overwhelmed as well.

Fear not! Brookhouser and Megnin require no prerequisite training or expertise in order to engage students with this important work. It isn’t about hooking up the “tech kids” with the electronics class, its about realizing that embedding this kind of instruction into every subject is what is needed for the future. 

Reviews Say:

You’ll learn…

Too many students have never been shown how to take control of computers and other digital devices. They’re stuck as consumers, when they should be learning how to use tech tools to be creators and problem-solvers. Code in Every Class will allow you to open a world of opportunities to your students, one lesson at a time.

Without a doubt, these three books will enliven your teaching practice next year! 


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