8 Books to Inspire Authentic Teaching

Hey Educators & Friends!

I haven’t written a post about teaching in awhile because I’ve been totally immersed in full time parenting. It’s been such a beautiful & ever-changing journey, with many challenges and many moments that I wish I could just freeze and bask in forever.

With some of you having over a month until your Spring Break, I was thinking you may need some inspiration to keep on keeping’ on. Especially with the news of our newly appointed Secretary of Education.

Here are some of my favorite books at the moment, some that inspire, and others that take a look at the whole child and how they learn best:

Books for Elementary School Teachers

Awakening Joy for Kids by James Baraz & Michele Lilyanna

This unique compilation of mindfulness practices nourishes both kids and adults. Actually, my “Parenting from the Heart” Master’s project is greatly influenced on this book. Packed with practices and activities that James and Michele have gathered over their many years of working with thousands of adults and children in retreats, workshops, and the classroom, Awakening Joy for Kids is imbued with compassion and delight


Transformative Teaching by Kathleen Kryza, Maryann Brittingham, and Alicia Duncan

Transformative Teaching guides teachers as they transform their teaching practices & embrace their role as teacher heroes. Transformative Teaching highlights six learning foundations including: 1) a safe learning environment 2) procedures & routines 3) growth mindset 4) student talk 5) student self-assessment 6)mindfulness


Gandhi the Man by Eknath Easwaran

Such an inspiration to those working in service to others. Gandhi’s life inspires those to continue to serve. Easwaran gives a vivid account of the turning points and choices in Gandhi’s life that made him an icon of nonviolence. I learned a ton about Gandhi through reading this book. Highly recommend! [Since reading this book, I’ve learned much more about Gandhi and his racism. Make sure to read various perspectives on Gandhi to gain a full picture of what he was like]


The Hundred Languages of Children by Edwards, Gandini, and Foreman

“The teachers need only to observe and listen to the children, as they continuously suggest to us what interests them, and what they would like to explore in a deeper way.”–Malaguzzi

Heard of Loris Malaguzzi?! He is absolutely brilliant and the mind behind Reggio Emilia, which began in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This approach to teaching and learning is recognized as one of the best systems of early childhood education in the world. Although this innovative approach is used for children ages birth to age six, educators working with children of all ages can find inspiration in this book.

One of my favorite takeaway messages is that it’s impossible to just take a brilliant method and drop it into a country which does not have a community or society that supports the educational philosophy. “It can be a great mistake to us, to think that we can just somehow import the Reggio experience…”


Books for Early Childhood Teachers

Nature Preschools & Forest Kindergartens by David Sobel

“Environmental education expert David Sobel joins with a variety of colleagues to share their experiences and steps for creating a successful forest kindergarten program. Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens walks you through the European roots of the concept to the recent resurgence of these kinds of programs in North America.”


The Garden Classroom by Cathy James

Jam packed with AWESOME ideas for your own children or classroom. Love, love, love!!! Bring the classroom outside.

“Promote science and math, reading and writing, imaginative play, and arts and crafts through GARDEN BASED Activities…..a whole year of outdoor play and learning ideas for children 4-8 years old.”


The Language of Art by Ann Pelo

Being inspired by Reggio led me to this fabulous book for early childhood educators.

“If you are an early childhood teacher intrigued by the Reggio approach but without expertise, support, or extra resources, this book is for you. Pelo shares a wealth of examples of how teachers with no art background can invent ways to deepen children’s learning with different art media to represent their ideas”


Meditations for Children by Maureen Garth

These meditations can be used with children from toddler to upper elementary. Help  children settle down at night or find a peaceful moment within the hustle and bustle of the day. Master the art of “non-doing.”


What are your favorite books at the moment? Share with me in the comments!

With heart always,



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