The Best Summer Reads of 2023

best summer reads of 2023

Are you a teacher on summer break looking for the perfect book to read while lounging under a tree with a cold drink in your hand? Look no further! This guide has got you covered for the best summer reads of 2023. We’ve got heart-pumping thrillers, heart-warming romances, and everything in between. Take your pick and get ready for an adventure!

The Importance of Choosing the Right Book

When you’re picking a summer read, it’s super important to choose the right one. The perfect book can take you on a wild adventure, make you feel all the feels, and leave you wanting more. But if you pick the wrong one, it can be a total snoozefest. You’ll be bored out of your mind and regretting your choice. So, take your time and find a book that really speaks to you. Try out different genres and see what you like. Happy reading, folks!

Types of Summer Reads

When you’re trying to find the perfect summer read, there are plenty of genres to choose from. Maybe you’re into heart-pumping thrillers or maybe you prefer heart-warming romance. Whatever your fancy, I’ve got you covered. Let’s check out some of the popular genres for summer reading.

Fiction Novels


Are you someone who thrives on excitement and suspense in your reading? If so, you might want to consider picking up a thriller novel this summer. With their intricate plots and unpredictable turns, these books are sure to keep you engaged and entertained for hours on end. Not to mention the thrill of trying to solve the mystery before the protagonist does! So why not take a chance on a fast-paced, heart-pounding read that will leave you breathless and always wanting more?


Romance novels are the perfect way to spend a lazy summer day. They take you on emotional rollercoasters and tug at your heartstrings. You can get lost in a tale of love and passion and root for the swoon-worthy hero or captivating heroine as they navigate the ups and downs of their relationship. With so many options to choose from, you can go for sweet and wholesome or steamy and seductive. So, why not just kick back, relax, and indulge in a world of love and romance this summer?

Science Fiction and Fantasy

If you’re looking to escape the boring monotony of everyday life, science fiction and fantasy books are where it’s at! You can dive into immersive and fantastical worlds, complete with magic, technology, and adventure. You’ll get to go on epic quests, unravel political intrigues, and meet all sorts of amazing creatures. The characters are usually super complex, with all sorts of different motivations. Basically, science fiction and fantasy books offer endless possibilities for anyone who wants to get lost in a great story.

The Best Fiction Summer Reads for 2023

Fourth Wing

Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, 1)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Yarros, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 512 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Entangled: Red Tower Books (Publisher)

Violet Sorrengail, a twenty-year-old, was supposed to live a quiet life in the Scribe Quadrant. However, her mother, the commanding general, orders her to become a dragon rider. This is a problem for Violet because she is smaller and more fragile than everyone else. Dragons don’t bond with fragile humans, they incinerate them. With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. Violet suspects leadership is hiding a terrible secret. At Basgiath War College, everyone has an agenda and only two ways to leave: graduate or die.


Identity: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Roberts, Nora (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages – 05/23/2023 (Publication Date) – St. Martin’s Press (Publisher)

Morgan Albright is settled in a nice neighborhood near Baltimore, with help from her friend and roommate Nina and her job as a bartender. But when she hosts a dinner party and a man named Luke shows up, her life is turned upside down. Luke is actually a con artist named Gavin who steals from women and then kills them. After Nina is killed, Morgan learns that she was Gavin’s target all along. She flees to her mother’s home in Vermont and meets a new man named Miles, but Gavin is still out there hunting for her.

The Collector

The Collector: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Silva, Daniel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 07/18/2023 (Publication Date) – Harper (Publisher)

Art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon teams up with a master thief to find the world’s most valuable painting. Their mission takes a dangerous turn as they race to prevent a conflict between Russia and the West. Silva’s novel is a must-read for his fans and newcomers alike.

Flash Point

Tom Clancy Flash Point (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Bentley, Don (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages – 05/23/2023 (Publication Date) – G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Publisher)

Jack Ryan Jr. is in trouble after a routine surveillance mission goes wrong. He finds himself fighting against an unknown enemy who wants to destroy the Campus. Jack follows the trail to the South China Sea, where a midair collision between rival nations threatens the region. Back at the Campus, a devastating attack leaves Jack as the only operator left standing. As tensions grow and China prepares to invade Taiwan, Jack and his team must prevent a war between the world’s superpowers. But their enemy is still at large, and the Campus is in danger. The cost of their mission is high, and the bill may be too much to pay.

Only the Dead

Only the Dead: A Thriller (6) (Terminal List)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Carr, Jack (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – Atria/Emily Bestler Books (Publisher)

In 1980, a congressman was killed in Rhode Island, causing shock in Washington that still resonates today. Now, a group of global elites wants to take control during a time of war, inflation, division, and assassinations. They believe they’ve eliminated the final obstacle to domination, but they’re wrong. Secrets from the past are coming to light, and former SEAL James Reece is on a mission to stop them. He’s on a warpath, and no one is safe when he’s armed with his tomahawk and sniper rifle.


Yellowface: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kuang, R. F (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – William Morrow (Publisher)

June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. After Athena’s death, June steals her just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I, and sends it to her agent as her own work. She becomes a bestseller under the pseudonym “Juniper Song”. But emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s success down around her, forcing her to protect her secret at all costs.

The Five-Star Weekend

The Five-Star Weekend
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hilderbrand, Elin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages – 06/13/2023 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

Hollis Shaw has a seemingly perfect life as the creator of a popular food blog and the wife of a heart surgeon. But after a heated argument with her husband, he dies in a car accident, revealing the cracks in their marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter. Hollis decides to host her own “Five-Star Weekend” on Nantucket, similar to a trip organized by a friend. However, the weekend is far from joyful. Hollis’s childhood friend’s husband arranges for Hollis’s first love to attend, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, another friend, Dru-Ann, is struggling to save her career after making online comments about a client’s mental health issues. Brooke is dealing with her husband’s inappropriate relationship with a colleague, and a stranger, Gigi, with many secrets, has reached out to Hollis through her blog.

Meet Me at the Lake

Meet Me at the Lake
  • Fortune, Carley (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Berkley (Publisher)

Fern Brookbanks has spent a lot of time in her adulthood thinking about Will Baxter. They met for just one day in their early twenties but connected deeply over shared secrets and dreams. They promised to meet again in a year, but Will never showed up. Now, at thirty-two, Fern’s life is not what she imagined: she’s back home running her mother’s resort and doesn’t know where to start to fix it. Will arrives nine years late, offering to help, but Fern doesn’t know if she can trust him. He seems like a different person and is hiding something. Can Fern return the favor of the help Will gave her ten years ago?

The Ferryman

The Ferryman: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Cronin, Justin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 560 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Ballantine Books (Publisher)

Prospera, an archipelago hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating world, is home to lucky citizens who enjoy fulfilling lives until their physical and psychological monitors fall below 10%. They retire themselves to the Nursery, where their bodies are renewed, memories wiped clean, and they restart life afresh. Proctor Bennett, a ferryman, shepherds people through the retirement process and enforces it if necessary. But Proctor’s monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast, and he’s been dreaming – impossible in Prospera. When he’s summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a cryptic message, he questions everything he once believed. Meanwhile, the Support Staff, who keep Prospera running, are questioning their role. Unrest is building, and a resistance group, the Arrivalists, may be fomenting revolution. Proctor finds himself on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece: A novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hanks, Tom (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages – 05/09/2023 (Publication Date) – Knopf (Publisher)

In 1947, a troubled soldier meets his five-year-old nephew and disappears for twenty-three years. In 1970, the nephew reconnects with his uncle, draws a new version of a comic book they saw together, and becomes an underground comic book artist in Oakland. In the present day, a director discovers the 1970 comic book and turns it into a contemporary superhero movie, with a cast that includes a difficult male star, a wonderful leading lady, an eccentric writer/director, a producer, and a production assistant.

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale
  • Hardcover Book
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 608 Pages – 09/06/2022 (Publication Date) – Scribner (Publisher)

Charlie Reade is a high school kid who excels at baseball and football and is a decent student. But he has been through a lot. His mom died in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and his dad turned to alcohol to cope with the grief. Charlie learned to take care of himself and his dad. When he is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her owner, Howard Bowditch, who lives in a big house on a hill with a locked shed in the backyard. Strange sounds sometimes come from the shed. Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and falls in love with Radar. When Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape with a story that no one would believe. Bowditch had kept a secret his whole life: inside the shed is a portal to another world.

Non-fiction Books

Biographies and Memoirs

Biographies and memoirs let us peek into the lives of people who have made significant contributions to the world. We can learn from their experiences, decision-making skills, and leadership styles. These books can inspire us to achieve our goals and make a positive change in the world. By reading biographies and memoirs, we can learn about the challenges and triumphs that shaped the lives of remarkable people, and we can be encouraged to follow our dreams with passion and perseverance.

Self-Help Books

Summer is a great time to work on yourself, and self-help books can help you do just that! They can give you awesome tips on how to be more productive, develop better habits, and improve your relationships with others. By taking time to read and think about the advice in these books, you can learn more about yourself and the world. So why not use the warm months to invest in your own growth and happiness?

Travel and Adventure

Summer is the perfect time for travel and adventure, but not everyone can go on a trip. Luckily, books can take you on a journey from the comfort of your own home. Travel and adventure books can give you a unique perspective on different cultures and customs, and let you broaden your horizons. Whether you want to escape the monotony of daily life or get inspired for your next adventure, there are tons of exciting books out there to take you to far-off lands. So, kick back, relax, and let your imagination run wild with the captivating world of travel literature.

The Best Non-Fiction Summer Reads for 2023

The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths

The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths
  • Hardcover Book
  • Fox, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – Astra House (Publisher)

This interesting story starts in 1930 when two men entered a tiny steel ball and were lowered 1,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. From that point on, the experiences of naturalist William Beebe, engineer Otis Barton, and biologist Gloria Hollister, who transmitted Beebe’s observations via telephone line, become even more surreal and awe-inspiring.

Beautiful Trauma: An Explosion, an Obsession, and a New Lease on Life

Beautiful Trauma: An Explosion, an Obsession, and a New Lease on Life
  • Hardcover Book
  • Fogg, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 04/04/2023 (Publication Date) – Avery (Publisher)

This memoir is about Rebecca Fogg’s struggle to recover after a freak accident left her with a partially amputated hand in 2006. Her fascination with the science of recovery led her to write a book that details her emotional journey and explores topics such as nerve regeneration and pain processing. The memoir is both educational and engaging, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the science of recovery and personal growth.

Don’t Call Me Home

Don’t Call Me Home: A Memoir
  • Hardcover Book
  • Auder, Alexandra (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Viking (Publisher)

Alexandra Auder was born at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, where her mother, Viva, one of Andy Warhol’s superstars, lived. Her father, filmmaker Michel Auder, captured the moments on film. Alexandra had a whirlwind childhood and teenage years, mostly spent on the road with her mother, who had mercurial moods. They lived in Connecticut and Tribeca before moving back to the Chelsea Hotel. Alexandra’s teenage years were spent with her mother’s conservative family. In her book, “Don’t Call Me Home,” Alexandra reflects on being raised by two counterculture icons. She shares stories of walking a pet goat around Chelsea, joining the Squat Theatre Company, co-parenting her younger sister, Gaby, and partying in East Village nightclubs. Alongside her current life as a yoga instructor, actress, mother, wife, and Instagram provocateur, Alexandra weaves a moving and hilarious portrait of her family. She describes the journey from being her mother’s daughter to becoming her own person.

Edison’s Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History’s Greatest Geniuses

Edison’s Ghosts: The Untold Weirdness of History’s Greatest Geniuses
  • Hardcover Book
  • Spalding, Katie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 05/16/2023 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

In her book, Edison’s Ghosts, Katie Spalding argues that genius is not always what it seems. While we may never become an Einstein, there are likely things we can do that he couldn’t. Spalding explores famous prodigies who were quite strange, including Thomas Edison, who believed he could communicate with the undead and created a Spirit Phone; Marie and Pierre Curie, who slept next to radioactive material and strapped it to their arms; Lord Byron, who brought a bear to university; Isaac Newton, who looked at the sun without eye protection and was blinded for three days; and Tesla, who fell in love with a pigeon. The book is filled with examples of humanity’s best doing some really dumb things.

The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality

The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality
  • Hardcover Book
  • Clark, Andy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 05/02/2023 (Publication Date) – Pantheon (Publisher)

The traditional view that our senses provide direct access to reality has been challenged by new discoveries in neuroscience and psychology. A new theory suggests that the brain actively predicts reality instead of passively perceiving it. Philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark explores this theory, which suggests that reality is a synthesis of sensory information and expectation. Clark illustrates how the predictive brain shapes all human experiences, and how chronic pain and mental illness can result from malfunctioning predictions. The boundary between ourselves and the outside world dissolves, revealing our entanglement with our environments and our perceptions as controlled hallucinations. The Experience Machine offers insight into this significant development in our understanding of the mind.

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration
  • Hardcover Book
  • Heisman, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 03/14/2023 (Publication Date) – Harper (Publisher)

For the past century, scientists have been studying bird migration. Birds travel thousands of miles across the earth each fall and spring, fascinating humans with their navigational abilities. Recently, scientists have made significant breakthroughs in understanding these migrations. Flight Paths tells the story of how scientists from across generations, continents, and disciplines came together to study bird migration. The book traces the development of techniques used for tracking migratory birds, from marking individual birds to using DNA markers. Through their work, scientists have made significant discoveries about the flight paths and behaviors of migratory birds. Flight Paths is a fascinating look into the exciting moments of discovery and the power of science when people work together towards a common goal.

The Power of Language: How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds

The Power of Language: How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds
  • Hardcover Book
  • Marian, Viorica (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 04/04/2023 (Publication Date) – Dutton (Publisher)

This groundbreaking book delves into the workings of language in our minds and how we can utilize its vast potential. Dr. Marian explains that our brains can accommodate multiple codes of communication beyond just one language. Learning new languages can improve brain health, creativity, and cognitive control.

Each new language we learn shapes our perception of the world, and how we remember, feel, think, and make decisions. Language is a powerful tool for organizing, processing, and structuring information, leading to remarkable progress.

Research shows that learning a new language can enhance executive function, boost creative thinking, develop critical reasoning skills, delay Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, improve decision-making under stress, and alter our attention and memory.

Under the Eye of Power: How Fear of Secret Societies Shapes American Democracy

Under the Eye of Power: How Fear of Secret Societies Shapes American Democracy
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dickey, Colin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 07/11/2023 (Publication Date) – Viking (Publisher)

The United States has a long history of paranoia, from the American Revolution to modern-day conspiracy theories like the Illuminati and QAnon. These beliefs are not just on the fringes of society but are woven into the fabric of American democracy. Cultural historian Colin Dickey explores this history in his book, Under the Eye of Power, and explains why people, even those in positions of power, continue to subscribe to conspiracy theories. Dickey argues that belief in conspiracies can be comforting in the face of the chaos and unpredictability of history and democracy. By understanding this cycle of paranoia, we can work to break it.

Unlikable Female Characters: The Women Pop Culture Wants You to Hate

Unlikeable Female Characters: The Women Pop Culture Wants You to Hate
  • Bogutskaya, Anna (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages – 05/09/2023 (Publication Date) – Sourcebooks (Publisher)

Female characters have historically been expected to be likable, leading to cautionary tales for those who show their messy side. Today, unlikeable female characters are becoming more popular in film, TV, and pop culture, being accepted by audiences and receiving industry awards. This shift shows that we are finally acknowledging women as fully-fledged human beings. Unlikeable Female Characters explores the evolution of these memorable characters, examining their popularity and audience reactions, as well as how pop culture is allowing us to celebrate the complexities of womanhood. Film programmer and broadcaster Anna Bogutskaya takes us on a journey through popular media to explore whether society is ready to embrace complicated women.

Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World

Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World
  • Hardcover Book
  • Harris, Malcolm (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 720 Pages – 02/14/2023 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

The history of Silicon Valley, from railroads to microchips, is an extraordinary story of disruption and destruction, told comprehensively in this narrative. Palo Alto is a city with temperate weather, educated and enterprising people, and ambitious corporations that have changed the world. However, it was built on stolen Indian burial grounds and is a haunted toxic waste dump. PALO ALTO, the first comprehensive, global history of Silicon Valley, explains how and why Northern California evolved in its particular way, tracing the ideologies, technologies, and policies that have been engineered over the course of 150 years of Anglo settler colonialism. It tells the story of how a small American suburb became a powerful engine for economic growth and war, leading the world into a surprisingly disastrous 21st century. Palo Alto is a visionary history of how we live now, ending with a clear-eyed, radical proposition for how we might begin to change course.

Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Summer Read

Know Your Reading Preference

When it comes to finding the perfect summer read, it’s important to know what you like. Are you all about fast-paced thrillers, or do you prefer heartwarming romance? Maybe you’re into inspiring biographies. Whatever it is, understanding your preferences can help you pick books that you’ll love. If you’re into thrillers, you might like books with intricate plots and suspenseful twists. If romance is your thing, stories that tug at your heartstrings might be more up your alley. And if you love biographies, stories of people overcoming adversity might be right up your alley. So, figure out what you like and get ready for some awesome summer reading!

Consider the Book Reviews

Book reviews are super helpful when you’re trying to decide what to read. They tell you what the book is about and what the author’s writing style is like. Plus, they can give you an idea of whether the book is any good or not. Basically, if you want to find awesome new books to read, you gotta check out some reviews.

Choose Books from Different Genres

Don’t be afraid to branch out when it comes to reading! Trying different genres can add some variety to your reading list and give you new perspectives. It’s especially helpful if you’re feeling stuck in a reading rut or not getting as much out of your reading as you used to. Plus, exploring different genres can help you discover new authors and books you might not have found otherwise. So go ahead and take a chance on something new – you might be surprised at how much you end up liking it!


Choosing the perfect summer read is a deeply personal and enjoyable process. It involves understanding your preferences, exploring different genres, and considering others’ reviews. In the end, the best summer read is one that captures your interest, matches your mood, and takes you on a memorable journey. Happy reading!


1. How can I find the best summer reads? Knowing your reading preferences, considering book reviews, and exploring different genres can help you find the perfect summer read.

2. Can non-fiction books be good summer reads? Absolutely! Biographies, memoirs, self-help books, and travel books can all be engaging summer reads.

3. Should I stick to one genre for my summer reading? Not necessarily. Exploring different genres can add variety to your reading list and expose you to new perspectives.

4. What if I don’t enjoy a book I’ve chosen for my summer reading? That’s okay! Not every book will resonate with you. If a book doesn’t hold your interest, feel free to switch to another.

5. What are some popular genres for summer reading? Thrillers, romance, science fiction, fantasy, biographies, and travel books are all popular choices for summer reading.

Thanks for reading. This site is a completely reader-supported publication. The best way to support it is to check out my recommendations or become a paid subscriber.

The Ultimate Summer Self-Care Guide for Teachers: 15 Invaluable Tips

The Ultimate Summer Self-Care Guide for Teachers: 15 Invaluable Tips

Teaching is both a demanding and rewarding profession. Even before the onslaught of COVID-19, teaching was incredibly demanding. Now that we’re in the post-COVID world, teaching is even more difficult.

Face it; you need a break.

As the school year comes to an end, it’s important to recognize the hard work and dedication that all teachers put into their jobs. You all spend countless hours preparing lesson plans, grading assignments, and supporting students. Despite facing many challenges, teachers persevere and continue to make a difference in the lives of their students. Taking a well-deserved break to recharge and prepare for the next school year is crucial.

Here are a few ideas to help you get the most out of your summer break, resting and recharging before the new school year:

1. Set Boundaries

Just as you set boundaries in the classroom, it’s essential to establish boundaries between your professional and personal life. Turn off email notifications after work hours, and use your free time to focus on your interests.

180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators (A 36-Week Plan of Low-Cost Self-Care for Teachers and Educators)
  • Tina H. Boogren (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages – 09/20/2019 (Publication Date) – Solution Tree Press (Publisher)

2. Unwind with a Book

Summer is the perfect time to delve into that book you’ve been meaning to read. Reading is an excellent way to exercise your mind, expand your vocabulary, and gain new knowledge. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, there is a book out there for everyone. If you’re not sure where to start, consider exploring different genres such as mystery, science fiction, or romance. Reading also has the added benefit of reducing stress, as it allows you to escape into a different world and forget about your worries for a while. So, take advantage of the warm weather and find a cozy spot to curl up with a good book this summer.

3. Prioritize Physical Health

Taking care of your physical health is an essential part of self-care. Engaging in regular physical activity not only helps to maintain a healthy body but also promotes mental wellness. Consider incorporating activities such as yoga, jogging, swimming, or cycling into your routine. Additionally, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet can provide the necessary fuel to keep you energized throughout the day. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other healthy fluids. In summary, prioritizing physical health can have positive impacts on both your physical and mental well-being.

4. Nurture Your Mental Health

It’s important to remember that teachers’ mental health is just as important as their physical health. To perform their best, teachers should do things that help them relax and reflect, like meditation, yoga, or just spending some alone time. It’s also important to create a supportive environment where teachers can talk about any challenges they’re facing. By taking care of their mental health, teachers will not only be happier and healthier, but they’ll also be better at teaching their students.

5. Invest in Learning

Professional development is an ongoing process that requires effort and dedication. One way to continue growing your skills and knowledge is to take advantage of the summer break. This time can be used to attend workshops, webinars, or online courses that focus on specific areas of interest. You can also use this time to immerse yourself in industry-related reading material, such as journals, magazines, or books. Another great way to develop professionally during the summer is to network with other professionals in your field. Attend conferences, meetups, or connect with colleagues on social media platforms. By doing so, you will expand your knowledge, gain new perspectives, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Remember, investing in your professional development is an investment in your career success!

6. Foster Creativity

Being creative has been shown to have a positive impact on our mental health. By engaging in creative activities, we can reduce stress and anxiety and enhance our overall sense of well-being. In addition to painting, gardening, and cooking, there are many other ways to be creative, such as writing, playing music, or dancing. These activities can provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which can boost our self-esteem and confidence. Furthermore, being creative can help us to develop new skills, learn new things, and expand our horizons. It allows us to express ourselves in unique and meaningful ways, which can be incredibly fulfilling. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your mental health and boost your happiness, why not give creativity a try?

7. Build a Self-Care Routine

Establishing a routine can help you stick to your self-care goals. It has been shown that those who have a regular self-care routine are more likely to maintain good physical and mental health. Dedicate specific time slots for your self-care activities, such as practicing mindfulness, going for a walk, or taking a relaxing bath. You can also try incorporating self-care into your daily routine by taking breaks throughout the day to stretch or meditate. Remember that taking care of yourself is important and can lead to a happier and healthier life overall.

8. Embrace Nature

Nature is a fantastic healer that can help you relax and rejuvenate both your mind and body. Spending time in nature has been proven to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve overall well-being. So why not plan a hiking trip to explore a nearby trail, pack a picnic to enjoy with your loved ones, or simply start your day with a cup of coffee in your backyard? You’ll not only get a great dose of fresh air and exercise, but you’ll also have the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

9. Indulge in Guilty Pleasures

Whether it’s binge-watching your favorite TV series, having a luxurious spa day, or eating your favorite dessert, indulging every once in a while is important for maintaining a healthy balance in life. Taking some time to decompress and pamper yourself can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase overall well-being. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, but it’s important to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring joy and relaxation. So go ahead, treat yourself to that extra slice of cake, or take a day off to lounge in bed and catch up on your favorite shows – you deserve it!

10. Nurture Relationships

Spending time with loved ones and friends is an important aspect of self-care. It helps us to relax, recharge, and connect with those who matter most to us. You can also consider reconnecting with old friends or making new ones. Sometimes, spending time alone can also be rejuvenating. This could mean indulging in activities like reading, taking a walk, or simply relaxing in a quiet place. Whatever it is that brings you peace and happiness, make sure to carve out some time in your busy schedule to do it.

11. Limit Screen Time

Summer break is a fantastic opportunity to disconnect from digital devices and immerse yourself in the world around you. As you spend less time in front of screens, you can spend more time exploring and experiencing the world in new ways. Take a hike in nature, go for a swim in a nearby lake, or simply take a walk around your town or city and discover new things you may have never noticed before. With so much to see and do, there’s no reason to miss out on the beauty and excitement of the real world during your summer break!

12. Embrace New Experiences

There are many ways to broaden your horizons and gain a fresh perspective on life. One way is to try something new, such as learning a new skill or exploring a new hobby. For example, you could try learning a new language, which can help you better understand and connect with people from different cultures. Likewise, trying a new sport can help you stay fit and healthy while also providing a fun and exciting challenge. Finally, exploring a new city can be a great way to learn about different cultures and history, while also satisfying your sense of adventure. By trying new things, you can expand your knowledge and experiences, which can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life.

13. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is an essential aspect of our mental and emotional well-being. It is the practice of recognizing and appreciating the positive aspects of our life, no matter how small they may seem. By doing this, we can cultivate positive feelings and improve our overall quality of life.

One way to incorporate gratitude into our daily routine is to keep a gratitude journal. This involves writing down things that we are thankful for, such as the people in our lives, the experiences we have had, or the opportunities that have come our way. By doing this, we can train our minds to focus on the positive aspects of our lives and develop a greater sense of appreciation for what we have.

In addition to keeping a gratitude journal, there are other ways to cultivate gratitude in our lives. We can make a conscious effort to express our gratitude to others, whether it be through a kind word or a thoughtful gesture. We can also take time to appreciate the beauty of nature or the simple pleasures in life, such as a good meal or a warm hug.

Ultimately, gratitude is a powerful tool for improving our mental health and well-being. By incorporating this practice into our daily lives, we can cultivate a greater sense of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment.

14. Volunteer

Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience that not only helps others but also has numerous positive impacts on your own life. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to connect with others and develop meaningful relationships, which can increase your sense of belonging and social support. Additionally, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, as you are contributing to a cause that you are passionate about. This can boost your mood and self-worth, and even improve physical health by reducing stress levels. So take some time to research local charities or causes that align with your interests and values, and consider giving back to your community through volunteering.

15. Plan for the Upcoming School Year

As summer comes to an end and the new school year approaches, it’s a good idea to start getting ready. While it’s tempting to kick back and relax, taking some time to plan and organize for the upcoming term can really pay off in the long run. Check out your class schedule, textbooks, and syllabus to see what you’ll be learning and what you need to do to succeed. There are tons of online resources available to help you get ahead, too. Consider making a study plan and setting achievable goals for each week leading up to the start of school. That way, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and crush it when classes begin.

Teachers, take this summer to refresh and rejuvenate. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish. It’s a necessity. Here’s to a happy, healthy summer!

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10 Things Teachers Shouldn’t Do Over the Summer Break

10 Things Teachers Shouldn’t Do Over the Summer Break

Summer break is a time when the school hallways empty and the classrooms quiet down. As a teacher, you’ve probably been eagerly anticipating this time, haven’t you? But remember, this period is not just about taking a breather; it’s also about preparing for the upcoming year in an effective, balanced way. It’s crucial to use this time wisely and avoid some common pitfalls.

Mistake 1: Overplanning for the Next Year

One of the most common mistakes that teachers make is overplanning for the next academic year. While it’s crucial to prepare for the upcoming school year, it’s also important to take breaks and enjoy your summer vacation. Engrossing yourself in textbooks and lesson plans throughout the summer may lead to burnout even before the school year begins. So, how about striking a balance between planning and relaxation? You could use your summer break to explore new hobbies or take a trip to recharge your batteries. Additionally, you could use the time to reflect on your teaching methods and make any necessary improvements. All in all, remember that a well-rested teacher is a better teacher, so don’t forget to take care of yourself!

Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving
  • Headlee, Celeste (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 06/01/2021 (Publication Date) – Harmony (Publisher)

Mistake 2: Bringing Work Home

Another common mistake is bringing work home, which can lead to a lack of work-life balance. Sure, there might be some work to do during summer break, but don’t get carried away with it! It’s important to find a balance and not let work take over your whole break. When you bring work home, make sure to have a designated area for it and set a schedule for yourself. This way, you can keep a healthy balance between your work and personal life, and your home can remain a relaxing space for you to recharge.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Schulte, Brigid (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 369 Pages – 03/11/2014 (Publication Date) – Sarah Crichton Books (Publisher)

Mistake 3: Ignoring Self-Care

One important mistake to avoid during the summer is neglecting self-care. Teachers give a lot of themselves, so it’s super important to take care of yourself! Don’t forget to prioritize your own well-being. While this can take many forms, there are a few ideas to consider. For example, starting a fitness routine can be a great way to take care of your physical health and relieve stress. Additionally, practicing mindfulness through meditation can help you stay centered and focused. Finally, picking up a new book that isn’t related to work can be a wonderful way to recharge your mind and prevent burnout.

Read More: The Ultimate Summer Self-Care Guide for Teachers: 15 Invaluable Tips

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Mistake 4: Not Setting Personal Goals

Setting personal goals over the summer is a great way to make the most of your time. Not only do goals give you direction and a sense of accomplishment when achieved, they can also help you grow as a person. In fact, there are countless goals you can set for yourself this summer, depending on your interests and aspirations.

For instance, why not consider learning a new language or instrument? Not only can this be a fun and engaging way to spend your time, but it can also enhance your cognitive abilities and open up new avenues of communication. Alternatively, you could set a goal to hike a particular trail or visit a new city. Both of these activities can be great ways to explore the world around you and broaden your horizons.

Of course, setting goals isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to know where to start or how to stay motivated over the long term. However, by breaking your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps, and by tracking your progress along the way, you can make it easier to stay on track and achieve success. So why not take some time to set some personal goals for yourself this summer? You never know where they might take you!

Discipline is Destiny
  • Hardcover Book
  • English (Publication Language)

Mistake 5: Not Taking Time for Professional Development

One mistake to avoid is not investing enough time in professional development. While it may seem like a daunting task, dedicating time to enhancing your skills and keeping up with the latest teaching methods is crucial for success in the field of education. There are many ways to do this – for example, you could consider taking a short course or attending a workshop to learn new techniques. Another option is to engage with educational podcasts or blogs to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. Additionally, you could consider joining a professional organization or networking group to connect with other educators and learn from their experiences. By investing time in your own professional development, you’ll be better equipped to meet the challenges of the ever-changing world of education and provide your students with the best possible learning experience.

Don’t Just Survive, Thrive: A Teacher’s Guide to Fostering Resilience, Preventing Burnout, and Nurturing Your Love for Teaching (Books for Teachers)
  • Herrboldt, SaraJane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages – 03/02/2021 (Publication Date) – Ulysses Press (Publisher)

Mistake 6: Neglecting Family and Friends

It is important to keep in mind that relationships with family and friends are a key component of our lives, and should not be neglected during the summer months. While it can be tempting to immerse oneself in various activities, it is essential to make time for loved ones and nurture these connections. One way to do this is to plan a family vacation, which can be a great opportunity to create lasting memories and strengthen bonds. Alternatively, visiting friends or even just enjoying a meal together can be a rewarding experience. By taking the time to bond with those closest to us, we can enrich our lives and create meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.

Mistake 7: Not Exploring New Hobbies

Failing to explore new hobbies can be a missed opportunity for personal growth and relaxation. It’s important to remember that trying something new doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Instead, it can be a chance to broaden your horizons and discover new passions. For example, if you’re interested in gardening, you might want to start by learning about different plants and their specific needs. Or, if you’re drawn to painting, you could start by experimenting with different mediums and techniques until you find the style that suits you best. Similarly, if writing sparks your interest, you could start with short stories or poems, and gradually work your way up to longer pieces. Whatever hobby you choose, the key is to approach it with an open mind and a willingness to learn. By doing so, you may find that exploring a new hobby is not only refreshing and fulfilling, but can also lead to new friendships, new experiences, and a deeper sense of self-discovery.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
  • By artist and writer Austin Kleon
  • A collection of positive messages and exercises to realize your artistic side
  • A New York Times Best-seller
  • 10 Things nobody told you about being creative!
  • ERROR:#N/A

Mistake 8: Avoiding Travel

Avoiding travel is another common mistake. While it is important to take precautions during the pandemic, we should not let fear stop us from experiencing new places and cultures. Traveling broadens our horizons and rejuvenates our minds, allowing us to gain a new perspective on the world around us. Even a short road trip to a nearby city or a hike in a local nature reserve can do wonders for our mental health and overall well-being. Not to mention, supporting local businesses and tourism is more important now than ever before. By taking the necessary safety measures, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, we can still enjoy the benefits of travel while keeping ourselves and others safe.

Mistake 9: Skipping Reflection

Failing to take the time to reflect on the past academic year is not only a missed opportunity but also a disservice. Reflection is an essential tool that helps us identify areas of improvement and growth. There are many ways to reflect, such as keeping a journal, meditating, or simply pondering while taking a walk in the park. It is by reflecting on our victories and challenges that we are able to gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Through reflection, we are able to see how far we have come, what we need to do to continue growing, and what we need to avoid. Therefore, it is crucial that we make time for reflection and not let the hustle and bustle of daily life take over. So, take a moment to reflect, and you may be surprised at what you discover.

The Art of Talking to Yourself: Self-Awareness Meets the Inner Conversation
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Vironika Tugaleva (Author) – Vironika Tugaleva (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/31/2018 (Publication Date) – Soulux Press (Publisher)

Mistake 10: Failing to Recharge

One of the most common mistakes that teachers make is failing to recharge. Being a teacher is tough, both mentally and physically. Don’t forget that during summer break! In order to maintain a high level of productivity and enthusiasm, it is essential to take the time to recharge your batteries. There are plenty of ways to recharge over summer break! You can watch your favorite movies, spend time in nature, or catch up on your sleep. Just make sure you take the time to do things that relax you and fill you with energy, so you’re ready to tackle the new academic year ahead. By taking the time to do things that relax you and fill you with energy, you will be able to approach your work with renewed focus and vigor.

  • Pang, Alex Soojung-Kim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 06/12/2018 (Publication Date) – Basic Books (Publisher)


In conclusion, the summer break is a valuable period that should be utilized wisely. Avoid these common mistakes and ensure a healthy, productive, and rejuvenating break. Remember, you owe it to yourself and your students to come back recharged and ready for the new academic year.

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How Teachers Can Identify and Support Grieving Students

woman in green trench coat covering her face with her hands
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

Understanding the Concept of Grief

Before teachers can identify and support grieving students, they must first understand what grief is. Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering one feels when something or someone the individual loves is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. For children, especially, navigating through these emotions can be confusing and isolating.

Signs That a Student May Be Grieving

Emotional Signs

Children may not express their grief in the same way as adults. They might seem disinterested, upset, or unusually quiet. They might have bouts of crying, display anger, or show unusual fear or anxiety.

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral signs may include a decline in academic performance, changes in social interactions, increased absences, or even disruptive behavior in class.

The Grieving Student: A Guide for Schools
  • Schonfeld M.D., David J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages – 04/29/2021 (Publication Date) – Brookes Publishing (Publisher)

The Role of Teachers in Identifying Grieving Students

Active Observation

Teachers, being on the frontline, can play a significant role in identifying grieving students. Through active observation, you can spot changes in a student’s behavior, academic performance, or social interactions that may indicate they are dealing with grief.

Engaging in Conversations

Teachers can also engage students in conversations to help identify grief. Let them know you’re there to listen if they ever need to talk.

How to Support Grieving Students

Provide a Safe Space

Emotional Support

Providing emotional support is crucial. Create a safe, non-judgmental space where students feel comfortable expressing their feelings. Empathy goes a long way in helping students cope.

Academic Support

Academic support is equally important. Make accommodations for grieving students to ensure their academic performance doesn’t suffer during this difficult time.

Involving Professionals

Don’t hesitate to involve school counselors or psychologists if a student’s grief seems to be overwhelming or lasts a long time. They are equipped with the necessary skills to provide professional support.

Teaching the Class About Grief

Consider age-appropriate lessons about grief. Teaching students about grief can foster a supportive environment, helping grieving students feel less isolated.

Keeping Communication Open with Parents

Finally, ensure to keep an open line of communication with the parents. They can provide insight into what the student is experiencing and how best you can support them.


In conclusion, teachers play a pivotal role in identifying and supporting grieving students. By understanding grief, observing, engaging, and providing the necessary support, teachers can help students navigate through this challenging time.


  1. What is grief? Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering one feels when something or someone the individual loves is taken away.
  2. How can teachers identify grieving students? Teachers can identify grieving students through active observation and engaging in conversations.
  3. How can teachers support grieving students? Teachers can support grieving students by providing a safe space for emotional expression, academic support, involving professionals when necessary, teaching the class about grief, and keeping communication open with parents.
  4. Why is it important to teach the class about grief? Teaching students about grief can foster a supportive environment, helping grieving students feel less isolated.
  5. What role do parents play in supporting grieving students? Parents can provide insight into what the student is experiencing and how best the teacher can support them.

Thanks for reading. This site is a completely reader-supported publication. The best way to support it is to check out my recommendations or become a paid subscriber.

Unveiling the Power of Technology in Education: A Comprehensive Guide

photo of people doing handshakes
Photo by fauxels on

The Indispensable Role of Technology in Learning

Today, we’re witnessing a transformative phase in the educational landscape, significantly driven by technology. From creating engaging and immersive learning experiences to empowering educators and students with access to limitless resources, technology plays an indispensable role in modern education.

The progression from traditional chalk-and-board classrooms to interactive digital learning environments is not just a shift in teaching methods. It’s a change that enhances student engagement, collaboration, and personalized learning while opening avenues to global knowledge repositories.

Technology Integration and High Possibility Classrooms: Building from TPACK
  • Hunter, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 204 Pages – 03/05/2015 (Publication Date) – Routledge (Publisher)

Technological Integration: A Step-By-Step Implementation Guide

For any educational institution planning to embrace technology, it’s crucial to understand the implementation process. This will ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of technology integration.

Step 1: Establish Clear Goals

Begin with a clear vision of what you wish to achieve. Establish the learning outcomes and the ways technology can enhance those. Whether it’s increasing student engagement, encouraging collaboration, or personalizing learning experiences, having clear goals will guide your technological integration.

Step 2: Assess the Infrastructure

Assessing the existing infrastructure is the next critical step. Determine the state of current resources, including hardware, software, and internet connectivity, and identify areas of improvement. This will ensure that the technology integration aligns with the institution’s capabilities.

Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning: (A Quick Guide to Educational Technology Integration and Digital Learning Spaces) (Solutions for Creating the Learning Spaces Students Deserve)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McLeod, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 80 Pages – 09/21/2018 (Publication Date) – Solution Tree Press (Publisher)

Step 3: Professional Development for Teachers

Equip teachers with the necessary training to navigate the new technology. Professional development programs ensure teachers are comfortable using the tools, making their teaching more effective.

Step 4: Evaluate and Choose the Right Technology

Research and identify the technologies that align with your goals. Whether it’s learning management systems (LMS), interactive whiteboards, or student response systems, evaluate each based on their utility and compatibility with your institution’s needs.

Step 5: Gradual Integration and Constant Evaluation

Integrate technology gradually into the learning environment and constantly evaluate its effectiveness. This will ensure that the technology enhances the learning experience as intended.

Teach and Learn with Technology: Theory and Application of Classroom Technology Integration
  • Outka-Hill, Jill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 244 Pages – 11/15/2022 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)

The Impact of Technology on Student Engagement and Collaboration

The integration of technology in education can greatly enhance student engagement. Interactive tools and multimedia content cater to various learning styles, making the learning process more engaging and inclusive.

Additionally, technology fosters collaboration among students. Digital platforms enable students to collaborate in real-time, irrespective of their geographical location. This cultivates a sense of community and encourages peer-to-peer learning.

Technology and Personalized Learning

One of the significant benefits of technology in education is the opportunity for personalized learning. Digital platforms provide adaptive learning experiences tailored to individual students’ needs, thereby making learning more effective and enjoyable.

The Way Forward

With the growing influence of technology in education, it’s important for educational institutions to adapt and evolve. While the path to technological integration may seem daunting, it promises a future of enhanced learning experiences, better student engagement, and personalized education.

The future of education is undoubtedly intertwined with technology. It’s time to embrace this change and leverage the endless opportunities that technology presents to enhance learning experiences. With a strategic approach to implementation, we can ensure that technology serves as an effective tool in our mission to educate and inspire the next generation.

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It Takes Practice to Become an Expert

"Whether professionals have a chance to develop intuitive expertise depends essentially on the quality and speed of feedback, as well as on sufficient opportunity to practice." (Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

To become an expert at something, you have to practice that something.

Doctors and lawyers often use the term “practice” to describe their daily work.

Educators are the same. We practice every day. And we get a little better every day.

So do our students. Provided we allow them to practice.

This idea is at the heart of student-centered instruction. We serve to guide them along their path; they choose the path.

And they choose how long they stay on that path. The more passion they have, the longer and harder they will work.

The more we walk all over their practice time with test prep and meaningless teacher talk designed to keep us in control, the less engaged our students will be.

Less engagement means they practice other things. And so begins the cycle.

Let them practice; let them learn.

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Trust and Vulnerability in Schools

"We need to trust to be vulnerable, and we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust." (Brené Brown, Dare to Lead)

“We need to trust to be vulnerable, and we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust.”

Brené Brown, Dare to Lead

Trust and vulnerability are two essential elements for a productive and effective learning environment. In schools, teachers, coaches, and administrators must establish trust with their students and colleagues to achieve academic success. Trust is a crucial element in creating a positive and safe learning environment. It can be defined as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. When teachers trust their students, they provide them with the freedom to take risks and make mistakes without fear of judgment. Vulnerability, on the other hand, is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. When teachers are vulnerable with their students, they create a connection that can lead to more profound learning experiences.

Why Teachers Must Trust Students and Be Vulnerable

Establishing trust with students is critical in creating a positive and safe learning environment. When teachers trust their students, they provide them with the freedom to take risks and make mistakes without fear of judgment. Students who feel trusted are more likely to take academic risks, which can lead to deeper learning experiences. Trust also allows students to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, which can help teachers better understand their students’ needs and respond accordingly.

A student who trusts their teacher is optimistic that the teacher will act in a certain way even though the student does not know whether the teacher will do so. If the student knew that this would occur, no trust would be necessary. The intriguing thing about trust is that it makes us rely on other people without knowing whether this reliance is warranted. We often find ourselves in situations in which trust is needed. This is also true for students at school. In many cases, students do not know whether what the teacher teaches is worth knowing. They simply trust that the teacher will select relevant content and appropriate learning methods for their lessons. Also, when it comes to testing their intellectual competences what they have learnt in class, students trust that the teacher will provide them with helpful and encouraging feedback, that the teacher will not make fun of their errors and that the teacher will recognise the effort and progress that the students have made.

Monika Platz, Trust Between Teacher and Student in Academic Education at School

Additionally, teachers who are vulnerable with their students create a connection that can lead to more profound learning experiences. By sharing their own experiences and struggles, teachers can help students understand that it is okay to make mistakes and that learning is a process.

Your students need to see you struggle. They need to know that it’s ok not to know everything. When I’m visiting classrooms, the number one idea I try to convey to students is that it’s perfectly fine not to get “it” right on the first try. There is a benefit to the productive struggle.

This can help students develop a growth mindset, where they believe that they can improve their abilities through hard work and dedication.

The Significance of Teachers Trusting Other Teachers

Trusting other teachers is crucial in building a strong professional community. In a school setting, teachers should be able to rely on each other for support, brainstorming, and collaboration. When teachers trust each other, they are more likely to share ideas and resources, and they can provide each other with constructive feedback. This collaboration can lead to improved teaching practices, increased student engagement, and, ultimately, better academic outcomes.

When teachers trust other teachers, they are more likely to seek out feedback and support. When the #observeme movement began, it was all about teachers being open and vulnerable with each other. It wasn’t some teachers believing that they had it all together and were experts.

They genuinely wanted feedback from their peers. You can’t get better professional learning than this. Peer-to-peer feedback is a huge boost to your teaching practice.

Whether teachers are working on instruction, developing curriculum, or discussing students, they value the opportunity to collaborate. In our school, the literacy coach held periodic workshops with teachers from all departments. These volunteer workshops focused on different techniques and were always full. Teachers saw the workshops as an opportunity to work with colleagues from other departments and to learn new strategies and protocols. In an atmosphere of trust, they were willing to take the risks that new learning requires. Once teachers experienced the value of this kind of collaboration, they began to use the new strategies in their own classrooms with their students.

Jane Modoono, The Trust Factor

Vulnerability can lead to a culture of continuous improvement, where teachers are constantly looking for ways to improve their practice. This can lead to better academic outcomes for students, as teachers constantly seek to improve their teaching practices.

The Importance of Coaches and Administrators Trusting Teachers and Being Vulnerable

Coaches and administrators play a vital role in creating a culture of trust and vulnerability within a school. When coaches and administrators trust their teachers, they give them the autonomy to make decisions that benefit their students. This can lead to a sense of empowerment among teachers, which can lead to better academic outcomes for students.

Additionally, when coaches and administrators are vulnerable with their teachers, they create a space where teachers can share their thoughts and feelings without fear of repercussions. I am the first person to admit I don’t have all my ish together at times. Especially when trying something new. I’m learning right alongside the teachers and students I work with most of the time. Communicating your own faults opens so many doors with others.

This communication can lead to improved teaching practices, increased teacher satisfaction, and, ultimately, better academic outcomes. When coaches and administrators are vulnerable, they demonstrate that it is okay to make mistakes and that learning is a process. This can lead to a culture of continuous improvement, where teachers are constantly seeking to improve their teaching practices.


In conclusion, trust and vulnerability are essential components of a productive and effective learning environment. Teachers must establish trust with their students and be vulnerable to create a safe and positive learning environment. Trusting other teachers is critical in building a strong professional community, while coaches and administrators must trust teachers and be vulnerable to create a culture of open communication and collaboration. By prioritizing trust and vulnerability in schools, we can create an environment where everyone can learn and grow together.

As educators, it is our responsibility to create a culture of trust and vulnerability in our schools. By doing so, we can create an environment where students feel safe to take academic risks, and teachers feel empowered to improve their teaching practices. When prioritizing trust and vulnerability, we can create an environment where everyone can learn and grow together.

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Would AIs make better professionals than humans?

Doug Johnson posits:

One quality that AI may put to extremely positive use would be objectivity – a lack of personal biases or prejudices. Properly programmed, my financial advisor AI should not be advising me to invest in areas where the advisor would get the biggest fee, but where I would stand to make the biggest return at the lowest risk. Would my AI dentist or doctor only recommend those procedures and medications that have proven rate of effectiveness not the most kickback from pharmaceutical companies? Would an AI intelligence agent be more likely to uncover double-agents in the office?

Of course, the burning question in education is “Would AIs make better teachers than humans?”

The Power of Commonplace Books: A Timeless Tool for Educators

As educators, we are constantly bombarded with new ideas, insightful quotes, and pieces of information that can inspire and improve our teaching practices. The challenge is finding a way to capture and organize these gems so that they can be easily accessed and applied when needed. Enter the commonplace book, a time-honored tool for doing just that.

Saving the minutiae of everyday life isn’t a new thought. People have been doing it for thousands of years and continue to do it even today (Pinterest, anyone?).

As Seneca said,

“We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”

What is a Commonplace Book?

A commonplace book is a personal repository where individuals collect and organize quotes, ideas, anecdotes, and other pieces of knowledge they come across in their daily lives. It’s not just a diary or journal, it’s something you can refer to over and over again. It is a space for reflection, inspiration, and creativity.

Commonplace books take many shapes and forms, both physical and digital. Whether you keep a journal, binder, scrapbook, or even a Tumblr blog (yep, it’s still around!), the commonplace book can be an essential part of your life. Heck, even this blog is a form of commonplace book.

By keeping a commonplace book, educators can harness the power of the thoughts and ideas they encounter, making it an invaluable resource for personal growth and professional development.

Enhance Memory and Recall

Educators are lifelong learners who are constantly processing new information. Writing down ideas, quotes, and insights in a commonplace book allows us to engage with the material on a deeper level, enhancing memory and recall. This practice can be particularly beneficial for educators who want to remember important concepts and strategies they can use in their classrooms.

Foster Creativity and Innovation

Commonplace books are a breeding ground for creativity and innovation. As you collect and organize ideas, you naturally begin to make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts, sparking new insights and approaches. Educators can use these connections to develop innovative teaching strategies, create engaging lesson plans, or solve problems they face in their daily work.

Encourage Reflection and Personal Growth

By curating a collection of thoughts and ideas that resonate with us, we can create a personalized roadmap for reflection and growth. Educators can use their commonplace books to explore their own philosophies, values, and beliefs about teaching and learning. This practice can lead to greater self-awareness and help educators grow both personally and professionally.

Facilitate Collaboration and Networking

A well-maintained commonplace book can serve as a conversation starter and a networking tool. Educators can share their collections with colleagues, fostering collaboration and camaraderie. A shared passion for learning and growth can create strong professional bonds, leading to more productive and enjoyable working relationships.

Cultivate a Culture of Learning

By keeping a commonplace book, educators model a commitment to learning and growth for their students. This practice can help create a culture of curiosity and intellectual exploration within the classroom, fostering a love of learning in students that can last a lifetime.

Famous Keepers of Commonplace Books

  1. Leonardo da Vinci: The renowned artist, scientist, and inventor kept a series of notebooks that can be considered his version of a commonplace book. He filled these notebooks with sketches, observations, ideas, and notes on various subjects, from anatomy and engineering to art and philosophy. These notebooks were instrumental in shaping da Vinci’s genius and groundbreaking work.
  2. Isaac Newton: The famed mathematician and physicist maintained a commonplace book where he recorded his thoughts and ideas, including early notes on calculus and the laws of motion. Newton’s commonplace book was an essential tool in his intellectual development, allowing him to process and explore complex concepts that would later become the foundation of modern physics.
  3. Thomas Jefferson: The third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence kept a commonplace book for much of his life. Jefferson’s book contained literary passages, political thoughts, and philosophical ideas that influenced his beliefs and actions as a statesman.
  4. John Locke: The influential philosopher and “Father of Liberalism” not only kept a commonplace book himself but also wrote a detailed guide on maintaining one. He believed that commonplace books were essential for organizing and retaining knowledge, and his own book featured a wide range of subjects, including politics, religion, and science.
  5. Virginia Woolf: The renowned author and essayist used a commonplace book to record quotes, passages, and ideas from her reading. This practice allowed her to engage with the works of other writers more deeply and inspired her own writing. Woolf’s commonplace book was an essential tool for her creative process and intellectual growth.

How to Get Started with a Commonplace Book

Creating and maintaining a commonplace book is a simple yet powerful practice. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose a format: Decide whether you prefer a physical notebook, a digital tool, or a combination of both. Choose a method that works best for you and your lifestyle.
  2. Develop a system: Create a system for organizing your entries, such as by topic, date, or source. This will make it easier to locate and revisit specific ideas.
  3. Make it a habit: Set aside time each day or week to review your notes, add new entries, and reflect on your collected ideas.
  4. Share your insights: Don’t keep your commonplace book a secret. Share your favorite entries with colleagues, friends, or students, and encourage them to start their own.

In conclusion, a commonplace book is an invaluable tool for educators, offering numerous benefits that can enrich their professional lives. By capturing, organizing, and reflecting on the ideas and insights they encounter, educators can cultivate a more creative, innovative, and self-aware approach to their work. So why wait? Start your own commonplace book today!

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Students need freedom to develop critical skills with edtech

My first question when working with teachers and the technology they have available in their classrooms is, “what do you want the kids to create?”

And when we look at the 4 Shifts protocol, this question from the technology infusion section is also essential:

Does technology add value so that students can do their work in better or different ways than are possible without technology?

– 4 shifts protocol

When students can use technology to create, I hope they have been equipped with the necessary training to use that technology effectively. Otherwise, there’s trouble.

I’ve come to the realization that technology will have its greatest impact in the classroom when educators allow learners to use digital technology as a self-directed learning tool. This means not just providing students with laptops and online resources, but ensuring they have the necessary skills to find, validate, apply, and curate the vast amount of information now available to them.

Rick Cave, eSchool News