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July 9, 2021

2021 Summer Reading List for Educators

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    Professional Learning
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      Picture this: you’ve anchored the umbrella, lathered a generous amount of sunscreen, and reclined for a well-deserved breather after a year unlike any other. But, you think, as you listen to lapping waves and bickering gulls, something is missing—something in the back of your mind says, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could use this time to learn about classroom technology? Would it hurt to brush up on my SEL lesson-planning? And, how can I learn to prioritize so I don’t feel overwhelmed come fall?”
      If your consciousness works this way during vacation—and even if it doesn't (which is totally normal and healthy, by the way)—we have you covered. Reading, after all, is the gateway to a better version of ourselves, and the past few years’ worth of ASCD book content has knowledge you do not want to miss.
      For your reading and learning pleasure, we’ve compiled a book list to revolutionize your teaching practice this summer while you casually ruminate on the shape of the clouds.
      Cultural Competence Now: 56 Exercises to Help Educators Understand and Challenge Bias, Racism, and Privilege by Vernita Mayfield
      What will it take to create equitable educational opportunities for all students? Cultural Competence Now responds to the urgent need to build the cultural competency of educators with 56 exercises to engage in during the school year—for the sake of children and in the interest of supporting and retaining educators.
      Social and emotional learning (SEL) can help you develop caring, joyful communities of learners whose experiences and skills can contribute to a better world. Jeffrey Benson draws from his 40-plus years of experience as a teacher and an administrator to provide step-by-step guidance on incorporating SEL into K–12 lesson planning.
      Feeling constantly overwhelmed? You don't have to just accept it as normal. In this book, you'll learn how to reduce curricular and organizational distractions in the interest of clarity. By prioritizing clear success criteria, intentional design, meaningful feedback, and a shared purpose, you can focus on what matters most and discard the clutter.
      Challenging behavior is one of the most significant issues educators face. How can teaching from the heart translate into effective supports and practices for students who disrupt the classroomr? This book represents a paradigm shift from a punitive mindset to a strengths-based, loving approach and encourages the radical act of creating more inclusive and caring schools.
      Though many districts will return to in-person instruction this fall, education technology is here to stay. The power of classroom technology resides not in any particular application, website, or device, but rather in how educators employ these tools to advance student learning. In this guide, Monica Burns helps teachers take full advantage of edtech's potential.
      Have you been stumped by a student's failure to learn? What if there were a process that would help you pinpoint the student's specific need and design an action plan to swiftly remedy the problem? This book offers just that. The authors outline how to use five whys to uncover hidden barriers to student achievement when learning isn't improving.
      Author Lori Helman offers education leaders a comprehensive and accessible guide to supporting students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in a school environment that embraces equity. The book shares practical tips for where to start in supporting emergent bilinguals in the classroom and presents dozens of online resources for further exploration.
      Students and educators alike are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress. How can we create calmer classrooms, and improve concentration and positive feelings? Author Thomas Armstrong offers a compelling answer in the form of mindfulness. Learn the benefits of mindful practices, how to integrate them into regular school subjects, and how to adapt them for different grade levels.
      Learning does not have to stop with these books. If you would like to connect with other educators on these important subjects and more, visit the new ASCD Professional Learning Community. This is your space to share and grow at your own pace. Create your own unique journey that is in harmony with your needs and those of your students and school. We can’t wait to help you flourish! Get started today.
      But, most importantly, relax, breathe, and congratulate yourself for overcoming the challenges of the past year.

      Esteban Bachelet is the associate writer of Educational Leadership magazine.

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