What do a first-year teacher and a 30-year veteran have in common?
Both experience classroom management frustrations.
Many may dismiss classroom management as a rookie issue, but even teachers with years of experience need help with classroom management.
That being said, the help that a new teacher and an experienced teacher need is quite different. While one needs to build fundamental skills, the other can benefit by a reframing of perspective.
The following are my favorite books on classroom management. Because different teachers need different things, I have separated the 3 books by category: New Teacher, First Three Years, and Veteran Teacher.
For New Teachers- The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher
The First Days of School by Harry Wong and Rosemary Wong is one of my favorite books to recommend to teachers new to the classroom. The authors lay out procedures for a well-managed classroom from before the students enter the room and onward. Everything is accounted for in this book, helping new teachers demystify how to have a well-managed classroom. The First Days of School is a must-read for all teachers.
For the First 3 Years- Teach Like a Champion 2.0
Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov has received mixed reviews from teachers. Many contend that is not sensitive enough the diversity in schools. Regardless, I feel there are a lot of great techniques in this book that can supplement those in The First Days of Schools. I recommend this book to teachers looking to add to their classroom management toolbox once they have mastered those in The First Days of School.
For Veteran Teachers: Discipline with Dignity
Admittedly, I have used this book with both new and veteran teachers in professional development, inspiring this word of caution: This is NOT a book for new teachers. Unlike the two books above, Discipline with Dignity does not offer the fundamental techniques that new teachers need to be successful. That being said, it is the perfect book for veteran teachers who have found themselves in a classroom management rut. The authors guide you through a re-examination of your perspective and offer suggestions for those especially tough children who do not respond to typical classroom management strategies. It is a fantastic book to choose for a book club composed of veteran teachers.
No matter which stage of your teaching career you are in, you no doubt spend a lot of time dealing with classroom management. While the three books above are my top picks, there are certainly others out there that I have yet to discover. With that in mind, I’d like to ask…
What is your go-to classroom management book?
Let me know in the comments below!