Outside the Classroom

September’s Top 7 New Books for Educators

As schools begin to start back up, whether in-person or online, it is difficult to ignore the changes happening around us and how they have impacted our approach to education in 2020. Not only are school and district administrators focused on supporting virtual and hybrid learning, but now they are also facing the increased emotional needs of their students head-on. To help, we’ve combed through some of the new book releases for September and put together a top list for educators.

Learn more about these topics in our recommendations for September’s top 7 new books for educators.

Sparking Student Motivation: The Power of Teachers to Rekindle a Love for Learning
Eric M. Anderman

Be the change that lights the learning fire.

Facing a classroom of attentive, focused, and ready-to-learn students is a teacher’s dream. Nevertheless, this is not always the reality, and pulling students along when they don’t seem interested is frustrating. Too often, a teacher’s daily experience does not align with the dream.

This book is here to show how you, as a classroom teacher, can generate enthusiasm, confidence, and joy in your students. You can affect motivation and make a difference in their lives. Delve into the what, why, and how by reflecting on your own experiences and unpacking multiple factors that affect motivation. Then, learn how to spark motivation using practical, research-informed strategies that address how to:

  • Hone student grouping, rewards, technology, and competition for positive impact
  • Confront and disarm testing conflicts to make assessments a pleasant student experience
  • Examine and empower teacher–student relationships
  • Rethink rules and procedures to improve behavioral outcomes

Read this book and you’ll come away prepared to implement strategies that rekindle a love for learning.


Teaching in the New Normal: Surviving and Thriving in the Online Classroom
Doug Lemov

A timely guide to online teaching strategies from bestselling author Doug Lemov and the Teach Like a Champion team.

School closures in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic resulted in an immediate and universal pivot to online teaching. More than 3.7 million teachers in the US were suddenly asked to teach in an entirely new setting with little preparation and no advance notice. This has caused an unprecedented threat to children’s education, giving rise to an urgent need for resources and guidance. Teaching in the New Normal is a just-in-time response to educators’ call for help. Teaching expert Doug Lemov and his colleagues spent weeks studying videos of online teaching and they now provide educators in the midst of this transition with a clear guide to engaging and educating their students online.

Although the transition to online education is happening more abruptly than anyone anticipated, technology-supported teaching may be here to stay. This guide explores the challenges involved in online teaching and guides educators and administrators to identify and understand best practices. It is a valuable tool to help you and your students succeed in synchronous and asynchronous settings this school year and beyond.

  • Learn strategies for engaging students more fully online
  • Find new techniques to assess student progress from afar
  • Discover tools for building online classroom culture, combating online distractions, and more
  • Watch videos of teachers building rigor and relationships during online instruction

Teaching in the New Normal features real-world examples you can apply and adapt right away in your own online classroom to allow you to survive and thrive online.


Rigor in the Remote Learning Classroom: Instructional Tips and Strategies

Barbara R. Blackburn and Melissa Miles

Learn how to keep the rigor and motivation alive in a remote learning or hybrid K–12 classroom. In this essential book, bestselling author Barbara R. Blackburn shares frameworks and tools to help you move online without compromising the rigor of your instruction. You’ll learn…

  • how to create a remote culture of high expectations;
  • how to scaffold so students reach higher levels of learning;
  • how to have students collaborate in different settings; and
  • how to provide virtual feedback and deliver effective assessments.

You’ll also discover how common activities, such as virtual field trips, can lack rigor without critical thinking prompts. The book provides practical strategies you can implement immediately to help all students reach higher levels of success.


Learning to Connect: Relationships, Race, and Teacher Education
Victoria Theisen-Homer

Learning to Connect explores how teachers learn to form meaningful relationships with students, especially across racial and cultural differences. To do so, the book draws on data from a two-year ethnographic study of No Excuses Teacher Residency (NETR) and Progressive Teacher Residency (PTR), and teachers that emerge from each program. Each program is characterized in rich complexity, with a focus on coursework relating to relationships and race, as well as fieldwork. The final part of the book explores how program graduates draw upon these experiences in their first year of full-time teaching. Two very different visions and approaches to teacher-student relationships emerge—one instrumental, the other reciprocal, with implications for the students ultimately served by each approach.

Through engaging portraits and illustrative case studies, this rigorously researched yet eminently accessible book will help teacher educators (and likely other scholars, teachers, and policymakers, too) to better conceptualize, support, and practice the formation of meaningful relationships with students from all backgrounds. Ultimately, Learning to Connect offers a hopeful path forward as educators become better equipped to model meaningful human connections with students, which might be especially necessary in today’s deeply divided society.


Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles
Steven M. Constantino

Reach beyond theory and engage every family in student success.

Why haven’t we been more successful in engaging every family in the educational lives of their children? Why do we still struggle with the notion of engaging every family as a conduit to improved student learning?

This book outlines a pathway and process to engage every family, including those families that have been traditionally disengaged or disenfranchised. Updates to this second edition include updated research to ensure a firmer foundation for each of its five simple principles as well as:

  • Reflections about implicit bias, equitable learning outcomes, and the role family engagement plays
  • A deeper dive into the idea of family efficacy, or empowering families to work alongside teachers for improved learning
  • A nuanced switch from building to developing relationships, and how trust is at the core of that subtle difference

Join Dr. Steve Constantino as he shares what he has learned and how he has improved the Five Simple Principles for family engagement and its powerful effects upon student achievement.


Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom, Second Edition: Promoting Mental Health and Academic Success
Barbara A. Gueldner, Laura L. Feuerborn, and Kenneth W. Merrell

This trusted resource—now in a thoroughly updated second edition reflecting the tremendous growth of the field—provides a best-practice guide to planning and implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) in K–12 classrooms and schools.

The authors present a roadmap to help practitioners choose exemplary programs and strategies, integrate SEL with academics and mental health interventions, create culturally affirming programming for diverse students, use assessment to guide data-based decision making, and support educator SEL. In a convenient large-size format, the volume includes illustrative vignettes and 24 reproducible worksheets and other practical tools. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.

New to this edition:

  • Chapter on educators’ social and emotional competence and teacher wellness.
  • Expanded coverage of implementation and systems issues, strategies for weaving SEL into the school day, applying SEL within a multi-tiered system of support, and professional development.
  • Numerous new and revised worksheets—now downloadable—including new educator reflection activities in each chapter.
  • Timely topics and themes infused throughout—such as culturally responsive and trauma-informed practices, teacher–family–community partnerships, and relationships as a foundation to SEL success—plus updated SEL resources.


Mindfulness in the Classroom: An Evidence-Based Program to Reduce Disruptive Behavior and Increase Academic Engagement
Joshua C. Felver and Nirbhay N. Singh

Based on the popular Soles of the Feet program, this groundbreaking resource for teachers offers a proven-effective, mindfulness-based intervention to reduce disruptive behavior in the classroom—so everyone can get back to learning.

As a teacher, you know that some kids need extra help staying focused in the classroom. You’ve probably also lost countless hours of precious learning time in class due to student disruption. Whether kids are suffering from stress, a behavior disorder, or emotional issues–the good news is that there are real tools you can use to help children manage their feelings, stay on task, and reach their full potential. This book will show you how.

In Mindfulness in the Classroom, two experts in the field of mindfulness research, child psychology, and school psychology offer a mindfulness-based intervention to help support a healthy learning environment. Based on the authors’ Soles of the Feet program, this book provides an evidence-based strategy to help you put a stop to disruptive behavior in the classroom, and help kids be their very best.

Without early intervention for disruptive behaviors, many students will maintain these behaviors as adults. The Soles of the Feet program not only decreases disruptive behavior and increases teaching time, it also improves the long-term outcome for children experiencing behavior challenges–so they can thrive well into adulthood.

Did you miss last month’s recommendations? Check out the Top 7 Education Books for Back-to-School 2020 now.

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.