April 15, 2024


Technology and Age

eight book recommendations for teachers – Mr. Hill’s Musings

eight book recommendations for teachers – Mr. Hill's Musings

The summer break is once again upon us! This is a time to relax, recharge and (for many of us) read some exciting teacher books to inspire the year ahead.

Like every year, I have added eight recommendations below. Five of them are ones that I have read already and personally recommend. The other three make up my own reading list for this summer and have been recommended by other teachers.

For more recommendations, check out my lists from previous years. Over the years, I have recommended some fabulous summer reads! Click here to see.

Here are my eight recommendations. Please note that these affiliate links will direct you to Amazon.

My five recommendations:

Creativity is Everything: Rethinking Technology, Schools and Humanity by Sean Thompson, 2020

The title of this book perfectly captures how I feel about teaching and learning. Creativity really is everything, and this belief has inspired my philosophy of education and teaching practices (especially since the pandemic). In this book, Sean Thompson shares ideas and implications for schools, but I also took some personal lessons from it. It’s an easy read and a book that I will pick off the shelf and refer to regularly.

“If you have a creative outlet you will be a happier person.”

Sean Thompson

Hidden in Plain Sight: Realizing the Full Potential of Middle Leaders by Michael Iannini, 2019

I recently participated in Michael’s course, Leading Effective Teams: For New and Aspiring Teacher Leaders, and it included a Hidden in Plain Sight book study. It’s a book that I wish I had read years ago when I first stepped into middle leadership. Even though I have access to the digital book, I bought a physical copy because I love it so much. For leaders at any level, I can’t recommend this book (or the course) highly enough.

“Middle leaders are the true change agents in our schools. With their buy-in and front-line perspective, they are the engines that drive transformational collaboration.”

Michael Iannini

Work Less, Teach More: How to be an effective teacher and live a life you love by Daniel Jackson, 2021

This book comes from the brilliant mind of Dan Jackson, my Certified Innovator Academy teammate! Dan’s book offers personal reflections and invaluable advice on what really matters. The book helps teachers to prioritise those things and live a balanced, happier life. It also made me reflect on my actions as a leader. I need to ensure that my expectations allow others in my care to live a balanced life also.

“This book is for teachers who want to continue to positively impact their students while also enjoying a life outside of school.”

Daniel Jackson

The Microsoft Infused Classroom: A Guidebook to Making Thinking Visible and Amplifying Student Voice by Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith, 2020

My move to China means that I need to transition from primarily Google products to Microsoft. I’m familiar with some of the tools but I have a lot to learn. I bought this book for the overview of tools but also to learn about integration best practices. While learning about the various Microsoft platforms, I appreciated the book’s emphasis on pedagogy and the aim of adding value to learning.

“In this book, we will examine how we can infuse some of the very powerful Microsoft tools to make student thinking and learning visible and empower education in magical ways.”

Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith

Hard Conversations Unpacked: The Whos, the Whens, and the What-Ifs by Jennifer Abrams, 2016

Our relationships and successes depend largely on our willingness to have hard conversations, and to navigate those conversations skillfully. This is especially true for leaders. In this book, Jennifer Abrams unpacks these conversations (as the title suggests) and provides a framework for the planning and facilitation of them. This is a book that I will refer to regularly, especially when the need for such conversations arises.

“We all need to have a sense of collective responsibility to learn how to speak professionally in our workplaces.”

Jennifer Abrams

My summer reading list 2022:

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek, 2011

I’m a huge fan of Simon Sinek and his important messages. I’ve read some of his other books, watched many of his talks and continue to learn a lot from him on social media. But I’ve never actually read Start with Why (the idea that he’s probably best known for). As we open a brand new school this summer with a brand new team, it seems like the perfect time to read this.

Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking by Matthew Syed, 2020

This was actually a gift from a friend last summer but I was reading something else at the time. I then forgot about it and it has been waiting on my bookshelf ever since. I regret not reading it sooner because it sounds brilliant! Rebel Ideas is about harnessing ‘cognitive diversity’ to strengthen teams and tackle challenges – perfect for the role that I’m about to step into!

Getting Personal with Inquiry Learning: Guiding Learners’ Explorations of Personal Passions, Interests and Questions by Kath Murdoch, 2022

Last year, I was part of an online course with Kath Murdoch all about personal inquiries. You can read my reflections here. It was a brilliant learning experience and I have since applied many of the takeaways to my practice. I’m sure that this book is equally brilliant and I look forward to diving in.

I hope that these recommendations are useful! What books would you add? Please drop them in a comment below and let’s grow the list! Also, let me know if you end up reading one or more of these. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Finally, don’t forget to check out my recommendations from previous years (click here to see).

Have a wonderful summer and stay tuned for more posts from me!