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A Zen Summer Reading List for Teachers

A collection of titles to help teachers find that mind, body, soul connection.

image:A woman reading.

By now, we hope you are deep in the trenches of enjoying your summer. The end of the last school year is a blur and the beginning of the one to come is starting to make a fuzzy appearance on your radar. Our Relax, Recharge, & Reawaken Your Inner Child post reminded us of the importance to continually reignite the literary spark that makes us lifelong readers. With our Zen reading list, you can do just that as you replenish the mind, body, and soul before summer’s end!

We’ve picked a couple of titles for each zen-like category. Choose one or dive into all six selections. Soon you’ll be well on your way to feeling the restorative power that can only come from falling in love with a new read or reconnecting with an old favorite.


The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

Students have to read; there’s no other option. Making students want to read is where it all gets magical. Miller shares her own journey of turning on the intrinsic drive for reading in her students. We as teachers have to be accountable for holding our students to a higher standard, and when it comes to reading, building a passion within our kids will come as they reach to attain those standards. This passion won’t come from book projects, worksheets, and AR tests. Through dedicated reading time and individual choice, Miller outlines how to instill that spark for reading. Her book also includes a variety of resources and printables to assist on this journey.

A Repair Kit for Grading: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O'Connor

While this is an oldie; it’s still a goodie. I would be remiss to not include the book that spurred the personal game changer for my renewed outlook on grading practices. If points and zeroes are wearing you down and having your students check out from learning, this book will help you put things into perspective. Sometimes a complete overhaul can be daunting, so take some time to reflect this summer and choose the fixes that can make a difference for you this school year. Whether you choose five or all fifteen, you’ll be on your way to making a sound difference in the feedback you give and the learning environment that’s created from it.


7 Minutes to Fit: 50 Anytime, Anywhere Interval Workouts by Brett Klika

The number one excuse for not fitting in exercise is time. With this compilation of 7 minute intervals, there are no more excuses! The other beauty within this compilation is there’s no need to hit the gym. Grab a seat, but not for sitting, and let a chair and a timer be the only extras required for these workouts. If you’re looking for even more convenience, you can download the 7 Minute Workout Challenge app and track your progress on the smart device of your choosing. Get in the routine this summer and carry it through the school year.

Crock-pot Busy Family Recipes by Editors of Favorite Brand Name Recipes

Heading to sites like allrecipes.com is a great way to find your next meal idea, but the ability to browse the pages of an actual cookbook can do a lot for putting together long-term meal ideas and menus. As busy teachers, it can be hard to find the time for preparing elaborate meals, and take-out menus can be an easy and costly go-to solution. With this collection of savory crock-pot creations, you can get dinner started before you head out the door and have the satisfaction of knowing that a home-cooked meal will be on the table tonight! Summer is a great time to try out and pinpoint your favorites in this collection. The spiral binding makes for a hassle free reference as you prepare the next family favorite.


The Teach Kindness Project by Angela Stockman

Kindness is something the world could use a little more of these days. This online read found on the Hack Learning app lays the foundation for starting a kindness project in your own building or other venue where you see a need. As you peruse the pages, you’ll find ideas for quick singular acts of kindness, ideas that deepen relationships and show a true appreciation for the recipient, and tips for building a kind culture. There’s a lot more to kindness than smiles and pleasantries. Another plus to be had with this read is the continuing conversation on the subject that can be found at #TeachKindess.

Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day…No Matter What by Angela Watson

We were all drawn to this profession for a variety of reasons, but a big part of staying in it is to ensure that we continue to enjoy what we do. Some days that enjoyment factor can be harder to muster than others. This read from Angela Watson puts a plan in place for regaining that intrinsic motivation to be the best teacher you can be. It’s a quick read that has an enjoyably conversational tone. It will help you reconnect and intertwine the passion you first brought to teaching with the ins and outs of everyday life in the classroom. If you need a little boost, this book will help you get back to the big picture and enjoy every day with your students.

Our collection of summer reads focuses on the teacher as a whole. With our Zen Summer Reading List, you can return to school with an overall recharge that will keep you going throughout the year. Bubble bath or hammock suggested, but not required!

If you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas shared here, check out the trainings and tools (for teachers and for families) that we offer.

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