Outside the Classroom

October’s Top 7 New Books for Educators

With school underway, schools and administrators are shifting their focus to supporting students and teachers in the classroom, whether it be online or in person. The unique education experience in 2020 challenges educators to expand their technique, knowledge, and skills. We have compiled seven recently published books for educators looking to improve that experience through practical instruction, personal growth, and communication practices. Check out our picks for October’s top 7 new books for educators below!

A Little Guide for Teachers: Teacher Wellbeing & Self-Care
Adrian Bethune and Emma Kell

Teachers can’t teach effectively if they’re demotivated and exhausted; and they shouldn’t they have to! A Little Guide for Teachers: Teacher Wellbeing & Self-Care explains how wellbeing is essential to effective teaching and gives teachers practical tools to take back control of the classroom.

The Little Guide for Teachers series is little in size but BIG on all the support and inspiration you need to navigate your day-to-day life as a teacher.

  • Authored by experts in the field
  • Easy to dip in and out of
  • Interactive activities encourage you to write into the book and make it your own
  • Fun engaging illustrations throughout
  • Read in an afternoon or take as long as you like with it!

The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents: How to Support Your Child’s Academic, Social, and Emotional Development in Any Setting
Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie

We are in this together and will get through this together.

Parent involvement has always been a vital part of any child’s education, but the pandemic and resulting remote instruction require that parents and educators partner at a deeper level.

Following the tremendous success of The Distance Learning Playbook, K-12, education authorities Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie have teamed up with New York Times bestselling author and parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman to bring you the consummate guide to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional development in any learning environment—while not overwhelming you in the process.

This essential guide will arm you with the tools and insight to

  • Create an environment conducive to learning, establish routines, and most importantly, take care of yourself and your child
  • Maximize the time you spend supporting learning by focusing on what is proven to work best in education
  • Help your child develop the cognitive attitudes and habits that foster creativity, critical thinking, and increased responsibility for their learning
  • Support the development of your child’s social and emotional learning skills, including the ability to navigate social interactions, build friendships, and regulate emotions at a time when they have never been more important to have, and more challenging to maintain

The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents outlines supportive strategies for navigating virtual environments to ensure effective and impactful learning that aligns the needs and expectations of teachers, parents, and students alike.

Engaging Learners through Zoom: Strategies for Virtual Teaching Across Disciplines
Jonathan Brennan

Keep your virtual students focused and meaningfully engaged with this invaluable teaching resource.

Engaging Learners through Zoom delivers numerous practical strategies and helpful advice on how to engage students virtually. Many of the tools are also applicable in face-to-face and hybrid environments. Backed by cognitive neuroscience research, this book is a collection of dozens of active, synchronous online learning structures that can be used in any discipline—perfect for K–12 through higher education.

This book provides teachers, college educators, administrators, and trainers the antidote to Zoom fatigue! Transform Zoom (or any video-conferencing platform) into an ideal environment for students to focus more fully, learn more effectively, and have more fun!

Dr. Brennan, accomplished author, professor, and distance education expert, improves learner performance and addresses equity in education with:

  • Over 150 active learning strategy examples with step-by-step directions
  • Ideas for including diverse content across 83 different disciplines
  • Multiple examples for 26 of the most commonly taught courses

Engaging Learners through Zoom belongs in the collection of every educator who wants to motivate and inspire their students to excel in a virtual learning environment.

Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It
James M. Lang

Keeping students focused can be difficult in a world filled with distractions—which is why a renowned educator created a scientific solution to one of every teacher’s biggest problems.

Why is it so hard to get students to pay attention? Conventional wisdom blames iPhones, insisting that access to technology has ruined students’ ability to focus. The logical response is to ban electronics in class.

But acclaimed educator James M. Lang argues that this solution obscures a deeper problem: how we teach is often at odds with how students learn. Classrooms are designed to force students into long periods of intense focus, but emerging science reveals that the brain is wired for distraction. We learn best when able to actively seek and synthesize new information.

In Distracted, Lang rethinks the practice of teaching, revealing how educators can structure their classrooms less as distraction-free zones and more as environments where they can actively cultivate their students’ attention.

Brimming with ideas and grounded in new research, Distracted offers an innovative plan for the most important lesson of all: how to learn.

Moments that Matter in the Learning and Development of Children: Reflections from Educators
Kelly Ann Kolodny

Moments that Matter in the Learning and Development of Children: Reflections from Educators explores the significant moments that unfold for young people in their schooling from the perspectives of teachers and school staff. Educators often reflect on “moments” as being a critical piece of their work with children. They can help make things better for students and produce a difference in their lives. They are meaningful for young people, as well as consequential for teachers and school staff as they reflect on the outcomes of their efforts. Yet, as they are difficult to define and capture, these moments often are not studied for the value they offer. This book promotes awareness of these moments, as well as their connected meanings and possibilities. Recognizing the significance of moments extends an opportunity to situate schooling in broader contexts and to understand learners as whole embodied beings, engaged in social interactions, making sense of their surrounding world, and generating transformations in it. When educators reflect deeply about the possibilities connected to the moments they share with children, they recognize the multitude of opportunities that support their learning and development. They become “awake” to some of the moments’ promises.

The Overly Honest Teacher: Parenting Advice from the Classroom
Meredith Essalat

The Overly Honest Teacher: Parenting Advice from the Classroom is narrative non-fiction written from the perspective of an educator, speaking to the modern-day parent community. Its premise is quite simple—tools and tips, anecdotes, and advice, from one side of the desk to the other. Providing a means for teachers and parents to establish a healthy working relationship, the book goes on to define a way for these parents to extend successful classroom techniques for molding and shaping students of character into the at-home environment, allowing for a cohesive educational experience each day, all day. Witty, honest, and wise throughout, The Overly Honest Teacher: Parenting Advice from the Classroom is a fresh take on child-rearing and development.

The New Teacher’s Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges: Curated Advice from Award-Winning Teachers
Anna M. Quinzio-Zafran and Elizabeth A. Wilkins

This practical, hands-on guidebook offers support for your first years in the classroom by presenting strategies to overcome ten common challenges. Expertly curated by experienced educators, this book delivers quick access to timely advice, applicable across a range of educational settings. With contributions from National Board-Certified Teachers, National Teachers of the Year, and other educators involved in robust induction and mentoring programs, The New Teacher’s Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges provides:

  • Wise and practical tips from accomplished veterans and successful new teachers from across rural, suburban, and urban settings;
  • Web access to an online teacher community and customizable resources created by the book’s authors that can be quickly downloaded for immediate use in the classroom;
  • Newly commissioned material that addresses the shift to remote learning brought about by the world pandemic.

Accessible and stimulating, this book is designed for a wide range of users, including PK–12 school districts that offer new teacher induction programming, traditional and alternative teacher preparation programs and teacher cadet programs, and individual in-service teachers. Don’t face the challenges alone—learn from those who have been there!

Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see September’s top books for educators.

About the Author


Where Learning Clicks

Since 1998, Edgenuity has been creating products and services that help all students achieve their full potential. As an extension of our efforts, we also produce Where Learning Clicks to share meaningful and timely ideas about trends, developments, and changes in education, as well as how to further incorporate technology into today’s classrooms.