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Both new and experienced educators often try to learn more about their profession in order to improve classroom management and student engagement. But with millions of books written on education, where can a teacher start?

A recent thread on Reddit frequented by teachers asked, “What books should every teacher read?” The answers from educators were varied, but several books were mentioned repeatedly, with further recommendations from others.

Below, we’ve highlighted 10 books that every teacher should read. See more book recommendations here.

1. The Art of Teaching: Big Ideas, Simple Rules by Alan Haigh

the art of teaching cover

“The curriculum is UK-centric but it’s broken down into bite-sized chunks and the classroom management section was and is a great inspiration for me.” – RandomActPG

2. Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

pedagogy of the oppressed cover

 “Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire is a book I return to at least once a year. It keeps me reminded of why I do this job and why it’s important, and I always find some important reflection on my practice comes from it.” – SimonHarrisTD

3. A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne

framework for understanding poverty

“The single most insightful book I read on the subject.” – bobadil78


4. Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Millan

be the pack leader cover

“I’m actually being serious…useful guide for classroom management.” – Charlemagne920

5. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

the art of war

“My classmates thought it has nothing to do with teaching. You can relate so much to the classroom.” – Reach-n-Teach

6. Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56 by Rafe Esquith

teach like your hair is on fire cover

“More so than any book I’ve read, I value the lessons and experiences of my peer teachers. I was fortunate to work as a sub and as a full time teaching assistant in the years leading up to my current job, and my most valuable guidance comes from the real, relatable stories of people who work with the kids I know teaching the curriculum that I’ll be teaching, and have firsthand experience with the external conditions in my area that may affect learning.” – coreyshep

7. Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family/School Partnerships by Anne T. Henderson

beyond the bake sale cover

 “(Suggested) for the too often neglected family engagement component in education.” – Carl_Schmitt

8. Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools by Jonathan Kozol

savage inequalities cover

“I came hear to say this…Savage Inequalities is one of the most important books written in the 20th century.” – futureformerteacher

9. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto


“Looking through that book often makes me question (why) I’m doing (what I do) every day.” – papershivers

10. 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny: Life Lessons from Teaching by Phillip Done

32 third graders and one class bunny cover

 “(The book is) on the lighter side. I read it every year before school starts.” – ShareaCokewithMe

Did we miss your favorite book? Let us know in the comments!


About The Author

Rachael is the Online Marketing Specialist for the American Board. She enjoys blogging, social media, and DIY.