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Summer Reads for Teachers


With only a matter of weeks until the summer holidays, it’s time to plan how you’re going to spend your well-deserved break. After a challenging academic year, it’s time to relax, unwind, and get stuck into a good book.

Whether you’ll be bronzing on the beach, lounging by the pool, or putting your feet up in the garden - we’ve selected 9 books that we believe will challenge, motivate, and entertain you this summer.

Professional development
The right book, at the right time can make a big difference. Hopefully, these titles will help you to reflect, enhance your skills, and inspire practical ideas that can be used in your classroom come September:

  • Why Don't Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom
    by Daniel T. Willingham

    “Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book aims to help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn.”
  • This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education
    by Jose Vilson

    “José Vilson writes about race, class, and education through stories from the classroom and researched essays. He calls for the reclaiming of the education profession while seeking social justice.”
  • Seven Myths About Education
    by Daisy Christodoulou

    “In this controversial book, Daisy Christodoulou offers a thought-provoking critique of educational orthodoxy. Drawing on her recent experience of teaching in challenging schools, she shows through a wide range of examples and case studies just how much classroom practice contradicts basic scientific principles.”

Teacher wellbeing is often overlooked, with many teachers feeling under-appreciated and overworked. Do you feel as though your passion for teaching is fading? If so, don’t worry, we’ve highlighted a few reads that you may find helpful:

  • The Elephant in the Staffroom
    by Chris Eyre

    “The Elephant in the Staffroom is the survival guide that every busy teacher needs for practical advice on teacher wellbeing. Written in an informal, conversational style, the book is divided into 40 bite-size chunks, covering a range of essential topics from understanding and avoiding burnout, to successful working patterns, and even surviving the school holidays.”
  • Live Well, Teach Well: A Practical Approach to Wellbeing that Works
    by Abigail Mann

    “Stressed? Overworked? Drowning in marking? This book has it covered. To secure the best possible outcomes for your pupils, you must look after your own wellbeing, and ‘Live Well, Teach Well’ is jam-packed with 90 practical ideas and strategies to help you do just that.”
  • A Practical Guide to Teacher Wellbeing
    by Elizabeth Holmes

    “This is a practical guide that will help trainee teachers prepare for what is, undoubtedly, a demanding job. It supports new teachers to be aware of themselves and to understand the schools and teaching sector, so they better anticipate pressures and find their own way forward.”

Just for fun
Sometimes your brain longs for a break from the classroom. Forget about work, check out from reality, and immerse yourself in fantastic fiction this holiday. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
    by Gail Honeyman

    “Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than fine?”
  • Normal People
    by Sally Rooney

    “Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can't.”
  • Sweet Sorrow
    by David Nicholls

    “Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.”

Discover Welsh-language publications

There is a wealth of critically acclaimed Welsh-language novels available, from fiction to biographies and memoirs. Are you familiar with the Welsh Books Council’s Gwales website? (http://www.gwales.com/intro/) It includes links to new Welsh-language releases available this summer, as well as forthcoming titles.

What are you reading right now? Have you read any great books that aren’t on our list and feel other teachers would enjoy?

Why not tweet us @wjec_cbac and share your reading suggestions.