Using the Summer to Improve Myself Through Books

6:00 AM

The first few days of summer, I try to make a list of 5-10 books I want to read and dissect, to improve myself, my teaching, my mental health, etc.  The picture above doesn’t include all of them that I hope to get to the next few weeks of summer.  I have broken some of my reads into categories below, I hope you find something you might want to read, and after looking at my lists, please drop some suggestions and your thoughts below in the comments.

{Note: Links are included to items on Amazon, where I do receive a small affiliate earning if you purchase.}

Personal/Just for Fun Reading

To be honest, my To Be Read list of “fun books” is never ending, so over the summer try to pick 1 or 2 to move to the top of my list and complete. 

This summer I decided to join the Book of the Month Club and will get a new book June, July and August (and longer, if I continue the program!) I am hoping this helps me focus on making time for ME and reading for pleasure, as my self-care outlet.  This month, they sent me The Last Flight by Julie Clark.  There are 5 choices of books to choose from, you read the synopsis of each before making your selection and then they ship it to you.

I also have really been enjoying books by Megan Miranda lately, have devoured each of these three in only a few days.


I plan to pick up this one by her from the library soon:

I also follow LaLaLifeBookClub on Instagram and I have saved almost every post of hers for book suggestions.  Leslie is a teacher and we have very similar tastes in authors/genres!

Some others on my TBR list:
The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine
A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManias

Personal Growth Reading

With all that is happening in the US and world right now, I am embarrassed that I haven’t read these earlier or checked my own white privilege or biases sooner.  I have heard that White Fragility is a good read, but also written by a wealthy white woman, so might not be the best read on this topic.  I ordered it before knowing this tidbit, but I plan on still reading it as a springboard.

This Book is Anti-Racist is being sent to me by a friend and is another book I have seen floating around Instagram as a book to read and even share with young people.  As a 2nd grade teacher I don’t know what excerpts from the book I might share but will look at sharing my learnings from it with students and really embodying the lessons into my everyday classroom and life.

Other Books I hope to get to:
Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey
At Mama’s Knee by April Ryan
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Black Indians by William Loren Katz

You can click the titles listed to get them from Amazon but I suggest going to Mahogany Books first to find titles you are interested in!  I do get a small affiliate for books purchased on Amazon--any affiliate earnings I receive from these books will be donated to Black Lives Matter organizations.

Professional/PD Reading

The Ramped-Up Read Aloud has been in my Amazon cart forever, after I saw Jen Jones post about it on Instagram and talk about it at one of her Hello Lit Con conferences.  So excited to learn more about picture books and using them purposefully in the classroom without worksheets and making the teaching boring.  I love sharing stories and new books with my students, and I think this PD book will point me in the right direction.

Fearless Learners by Christy Sutton and Kristin Westberry has a warning on the back, “Reading this book may result in a reignited love of teaching as well as a classroom filled with students who are motivated, engaged, and happy.”  I mean, this book has to be good, right?  My district is striving for more personalized learning and really giving student ownership over their learning and WHAT they are learning about, so I thought I would start with this read and figure out how to incorporate some of the ideas into my classroom this fall.

I actually saw this on Instagram a few times and saved it from @teachinginbliss before purchasing it.  Surprise, surprise…. I was never formally trained in guided reading before being plunged into it as a primary teacher.  I grabbed this book to give me a framework on how I can help reach every reader in my classroom and see their reading skills grow.

Do you have any books on your MUST READ list this summer, in any of these categories: Personal/Just for Fun, Personal Growth, or Professional/PD?  Although my own list is extensive, way more than I can get to in the next few weeks, I am always adding to my piles and looking for more books to fill my time!  Feel free to share your thoughts, comments, or TBR lists below.

by Sara from Draz's Class

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