Summer Reading: Books by teachers about teaching

I recently was contacted by a fellow English language teacher about promoting a book he wrote. I’m always happy to help and will buy it and review ( Teaching with Chopsticks: TEFL from the frontline ). However, it got me thinking about books by teachers about their own classrooms and teaching. Got me thinking about the list I give out to my “teachers to be” each year and also the books I really love in this genre.

See my list below and please comment and add your own recommendation. A book written by a teacher that is autobiographical, about their life and times as a teacher. No essays, no philosophy and rants about the educational system – just relating what happened to them as teachers and how they felt about it.

One of the “homerun” books that really got me to be a teacher was A.S. Neill’s Summerhill (get a preview copy here in our Essential Books category). He spoke in his own voice and that spoke to me. I felt like I was at the school and stepping through the hallways with him and his students.

Here’s the list I give to my students to start the year (see many in detail on my Goodreads list). Maybe something will inspire you to do some summer reading!


Teachers About Teaching


More of Eflclassroom’s books »

Book recommendations, book reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Educating Esme – Esme Raji Codell
Teacher Man – Frank McCourt
Freedom Writers Diary – Zlata Filipovic
Finding Mrs. Warneke – Cindi Rigsby
Tomorrow is School- Don Sawyer
The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read – John Corcoron
The Accidental Teacher – Eric Mandel
I become a teacher – Cratis Williams
Losing My Faculties – Brendan Halpin
The Emergency Teacher – Christina Asquith
There are no shortcuts Rafe Esquith
Teach like your hair is on fire – Rafe Esquith
Letters to a young teacher – Jonathan Kozol
Summerhill – O’Neill
Cries from the corridors – Peter McLaren
The Students Are Watching – Theodore Sizer
Ms Hempel Chronicles – Sarah Shun-Lien
Among Schoolchildren – Tracy Kidder
The Passionate Teacher – Robert Fried
The Courage to teach – Parker Palmer
Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key – Jack Gantos


Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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5 Responses

  1. Mark Chapman says:

    Which of these are EFL teachers?

  2. ddeubel says:


    Quick answer – not one (except for the one I mentioned at the beginning). Says something about how TEFL is on the pecking order of education me thinks. Still, lots to learn from these teachers.

  3. Luke says:

    Well that’s inspired me….Not sure I can find the time to write a whole book but I’d like to write a collection of blogs about my experience of teaching language –

    Thanks David


  4. David says:

    Hi Luke,

    thanks for dropping in! I’m having my coffee and enjoying your blog this morning – making a connection prior to the games. Hope you enjoy the craziness over there…


  5. ldbrown1 says:

    I started a book a year ago during my summer break and looking at this list made we wander if I could actually finish or at least resume my writing.

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