Teaching is not an easy job. You need a lot of dedication, patience, and know-how to get the results that you want. Sometimes, you might feel that what you’ve learned in college is not enough to bring out the best in your students and help them learn. Thankfully, there are resources out there that can help you do just that. In this post, we will list the 10 best books for teachers in 2020.

best books for teachers in 2020

Best Books for Teachers in 2020

1. Positive Mindset Habits for Teachers: 10 Steps to Reduce Stress, Increase Student Engagement and Reignite Your Passion for Teaching

Do you want to increase student engagement and have more effective classroom management? How about reducing teacher stress? Or going home without dragging a cart full of lesson plans and papers to grade in tow? If your answer to these questions is yes, then Positive Mindset Habits for Teachers is for you.

Based on research in positive psychology and more than 15 years of real-world experience in the classroom, this book provides teachers a practical roadmap to reduce stress, improve student behavior, and how to be happier inside and outside the classroom.

These positive mindset habits discussed in this book will train you to flex your “happy muscle” and:

• Eliminate overwhelm and stress
• Leave school each day energized and fulfilled
• Connect with students in a way that turns every group into a “dream class”
• Rediscover the excitement and passion that made you want to become a teacher

Written in a conversational tone, this book will put a smile back on your face and laughter back in your classroom – elements that are critical for teacher fulfillment and student success.

2. I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids

Third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz asked students to fill-in-the-blank in this sentence: “I wish my teacher knew _____.” The results astounded her. Some answers were humorous, some were heartbreaking, but all were profoundly enlightening and moving. The results opened her eyes to the need for teachers to understand the unique realities that their students face in order to create a safe and supportive place in the classroom.

When Schwartz shared her experience online, #IWishMyTeacherKnew became an immediate viral phenomenon. This book tells the story of #IWishMyTeacherKnew, including students’ emotional and insightful responses. It is an invaluable guide for teachers, parents, and communities.

3. Educated: A Memoir

Born to a survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 when she first set foot in a classroom. Her family was isolated from mainstream society. When one brother got himself into college, Tara decided to have a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her across continents, to Harvard, and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she had traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Beautiful and propulsive, this book is an unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

4. Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy and Responsibility Using Restorative Justice

Are you frustrated with detention rooms, carrots and sticks, and suspension – school discipline practices that simply don’t work with students of today? Kids have complex needs, and we should empower them with restorative practices that not only change behaviors but transform students into productive learners, accountable for their own actions.

In this book, Brad Weinstein and Nathan Maynard demonstrate how to eliminate punishment and build a culture of responsible students and independent learners. You will learn how to:

• Reduce negative behaviors
• Build student self regulation and empathy
• Identify the cause of negative behaviors
• Enhance communication and collaboration
• Use restorative circles to reflect on behaviors and discuss impactful change

This book is packed with practical takeaways, strategies, and reflections to foster social-emotional and academic success.

5. How Children Succeed

Why do some students succeed while others fail? The usual perception is that success comes to those who score high on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in this book, author Paul Tough argues that qualities that matter more have to do with character – perseverance, self-control, and optimism.

How Children Succeed introduces a new generation of educators, who use the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories and the stories of children they’re trying to help, the author reveals how this knowledge can transform children’s lives. He also provides insights on how to improve the lives of kids growing up in poverty. This provocative book will not only inspire readers; it will also change your understanding of childhood itself.

6. The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers

In The Reading Strategies Book, author Jennifer Serravallo collects 300 strategies to share with readers in support of 13 goals – everything from fluency to literary analysis. Each strategy is cross linked to skills, genres, and Fountas and Pinnell reading levels to give you just right teaching, just in time. Read this book to learn how to:

• Develop goals for every reader
• Give students step-by-step strategies for skilled reading
• Adjust instruction to meet individual needs
• Guide readers with prompts aligned to the strategies
• Craft demonstrations and explanations
• Learn more with Hat Tips to the work of teacher-authors

With this book, you’ll learn ways to help readers make progress every day. You can rely on it to plan and implement differentiated instruction for individuals, small groups, and whole classes.

7. Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom

Exploring and inspiring creativity opens pathways for students to use creative expression to demonstrate content knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving that will serve them best. This book offers ideas and activities for bringing creativity to every lesson.

Teachers, parents, and students can benefit from this book. Authors Amy Burvall and Dan Ryder explore ways in which academia can embrace creativity, provide tools, and take that further with exercises that empower readers to put these ideas into practice. Read this book if you are looking for ways how to support and better incorporate creativity into your school.

8. The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education: Fostering Responsibility, Healing, and Hope in Schools

The Little Book of Restorative Justice

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This is a handbook for administrators and teachers on creating just and equitable learning environments, building and maintaining healthy relationships, healing harm, and transforming conflict.

Much more than a response to harm, restorative justice nurtures interconnected school cultures. It is being welcomed at a time when zero tolerance and exclusionary discipline policies are recognized as perpetuating student apathy and disproportionality.

Relying on the authors’ extensive experience as classroom teachers and the daily experiences of educators, this book guides the growth of restorative justice in education into the future. Incorporating activities, stories, and examples, the important aspects of restorative justice are explained and applied.

9. Go See the Principal: True Tales from the School Trenches

Written by an elementary school principal and famous YouTube personality, Go See the Principal will provide humor and inspiration for educators to tackle the challenges they face day in and day out.

Author Gerry Brooks is an elementary school principal turned YouTube personality who entertains educators and parents across the country. He tells jokes with the kind of mocking humor that gets a laugh, yet can be shared safely in school. After all, even great schools have bad days – when kids throw temper tantrums, disgruntled parents complain, lesson plans fall through, and of course, dealing with the dreaded assessments.

Ranging from practical topics such as parent-teacher conferences and social media use in the classroom to more lighthearted sections, this book offers comic relief, advice, and inspiration to those who need it most.

10. The School of Life: An Emotional Education

Emotional intelligence affects every aspect of life – relationships, inner resilience, and success. It’s arguably the single most important skill for surviving the 21st century. One decade ago, Alain de Botton founded The School of Life, an organization dedicated to understanding and improving emotional intelligence.

Now, he presents the gathered wisdom of those 10 years in an innovative compendium of emotional intelligence. Using a mixture of analysis and anecdote, practical wisdom and philosophical insight, he considers how we interact with each other and with ourselves, and how we can do so better.


11. Future Driven: Will Your Students Thrive in an Unpredictable World?

In Future Driven, David Geurin describes how to conquer the status quo, create authentic learning, and help your students thrive in an unpredictable world. He shares how to simultaneously be more committed to your mission while being more flexible with your methods. You’ll discover strategies to help students learn transferable skills. And you’ll find ways to inspire creative, adaptable learning. Ultimately, you’ll invest in tomorrow by helping your students become world changers today.


Whether you are a new teacher looking for advice or a veteran educator seeking inspiration, these 10 best books for teachers in 2020 will help ignite your love of teaching and learning. Would you like to know the Top 10 Books of 2019 (click here).

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