Back to School Books

Summer in the Philippines is almost over and we know what this means – it’s back to school for most of our teachers! To revive our #ShelfieWednesday campaign with Every Teacher A Reader and Read4Fun, here are five books to jumpstart your school year!

1. The First Days of School 

Harry Wong

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“The number one problem in the classroom is not discipline; it is the lack of procedures and routines.” – Harry Wong

This classic book by Harry and Rosemary Wong is perfect for newbie teachers. From setting classroom routines to tips on dealing with parents, this book has all the basic answers. If the first day of school is giving you the jitters, Harry and Rosemary Wong will teach you how to plan from day one until the school year is over.

Recommended for: new teachers, teachers who need to improve classroom management skills

2. How to Talk So Kids Can Learn at Home and in School


“How parents and teachers talk tells a child how they feel about him. Their statements affect his self-esteem and self-worth. To a large extent, their language determines his destiny.” – Haim Ginott

“My students don’t listen!”

“My students are rude!”

“I can’t get him / her to follow me.”

“My students won’t open up to me.”

“How can I get to know my students more?”

Do those lines sound familiar to you? If you find yourself complaining and thinking about the same issues, then this book is for you. Addressing student behavior and emotions is key to helping students learn and grow.

This book challenges teachers to rethink and use words more carefully and strategically. A change in perspective and a few phrases can be the difference between developing student champions versus encouraging defiant behavior.

Recommended for: homeroom advisers, guidance counselors, disciplinary officers

3. Teaching with Poverty in Mind


“Encourage teachers to feel empathy rather than pity; kids will appreciate your ability to know what it’s like to be in their shoes.”- Eric Jensen

Many children all over the world grow up in poverty. Research tells us that poverty has adverse effects on an individual’s overall development.The good news is, these effects are reversible. Eric Jensen’s book gives educators a better understanding of poverty, its effects on the brain, and specific ways to help children overcome it.

Recommended for: teachers with students from low socio-economic status backgrounds, government employees who work in the education sector, social workers, guidance counselors

4. The Student Leadership Challenge


“Leadership development is fundamentally self-development.” – James Kouzes and Barry Posner

As a reflection of the quote above, if you break down the skills of a leader, you will notice that all these are simply skills that will help an individual become a better person – an individual who can live up to his or her own potential.

Kouzes and Posner break the concept of leadership into 5 components. What proves to be helpful with their framework is that they list down specific traits and observable actions. The book also includes a Leadership Practices Inventory, which may help a student assess herself or himself with the help of a mentor or coach.

Recommended for: guidance counselors, staff in the office of student affairs, mentors, coaches

5. Six Thinking Hats


“With the Six Hats method the emphasis is on ‘what can be’ rather than just on ‘what is,’ and on how we design a way forward – not on who is right and who is wrong.” – Edward De Bono

Feeling stuck and in need of a fresh perspective? Six Thinking Hats offers a new model for thinking and getting out of that rut. De Bono presents the idea of parallel thinking by “putting on different hats.” This method allows a person to view a situation from multiple perspectives and on the other hand, it also teaches a group of people to view a situation from a single perspective. As he describes it, “Parallel thinking means that at any moment everyone is looking in the same direction.”

This method is beneficial for collaboration and teaching problem-solving skills. Apart from shifting perspectives, it also teaches empathy, stimulates creativity and encourages healthy optimism.

Recommended for: teachers who want to teach critical thinking skills, school administrators




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