Image of a student reading in the library.
Education Collection

EdWeek's Back-to-School Reading List

30+ Must Reads to Help You Start the 2022-23 Year Right

Every new school year is a time to reset, rethink, and get re-inspired.

This back-to-school reading list is full of fresh ideas, advice, and inspiration for anybody heading back to school, whether they want to calm student first-day jitters or develop a thriving school culture.

Enjoy, and get more insights into how to start the year strong at EdWeek’s Aug. 18 K-12 Essentials Forum. Learn more and register.

Browse by topic:

Inspiration

Illustration of empty teacher desk.
Nadezhda Deineka/Getty
Teaching Opinion 10 Non-Standard Ideas About Going Back to School
One teacher spent days preparing for the first day. Her husband wouldn't prepare at all. It's hard to say who was the better teacher.
Nancy Flanagan, August 6, 2016
5 min read
Teaching Profession Video Here’s What’s Drawing Aspiring Teachers to the Field
Four student-teachers explain what’s drawing them to the field despite its steady stream of challenges.
Lauren Santucci & Madeline Will, June 14, 2022
3:11
Danna Thomas, a kindergarten teacher at Windsor Hills Elementary School in Baltimore, and the founder of Happy Teacher Revolution, smiles and snaps her fingers while a fellow teacher shares a good moment from earlier in the day.
Danna Thomas, a kindergarten teacher at Windsor Hills Elementary School in Baltimore, and the founder of Happy Teacher Revolution, smiles and snaps her fingers while a fellow teacher shares a good moment from earlier in the day.
Erin Irwin/Education Week
Teaching 7 Things Teachers Can Quit Doing This Year
Want to shake up your teaching mindset this year? Here are seven habits teachers have cast off in the spirit of becoming a better educator.
Stacey Decker, August 9, 2018
3 min read
Nelba Marquez-Greene's 6-year-old daughter Ana Grace, who was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012.
Nelba Marquez-Greene's 6-year-old daughter Ana Grace, who was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012.
Courtesy of Nelba Marquez-Greene
School Climate & Safety Opinion A Sandy Hook Parent's Letter to Teachers
After her daughter Ana Grace was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Nelba Marquez-Greene wrote about the courage of teachers.
Nelba Marquez-Greene, September 6, 2013
3 min read
E07F694D 7BEA 4D8A BE43 013FC1415807 1 201 a
Peter DeWitt
Teaching Profession Opinion Find What Matters. Get Rid of What Doesn't. Your Mental Health Depends on It
COVID should have taught us what's important. Did you make any changes in your life or the life of your classroom in the last two years?

Peter DeWitt, July 17, 2022
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Handini_Atmodiwiryo/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion I Don't Have to Love My Students to Be a Good Teacher
Treat teachers like the professionals we are rather than expecting endless and selfless sacrifice, writes one educator.
Jherine Wilkerson, March 4, 2022
3 min read

Tips for Setting Up Your Classroom

Image of an empty classroom.
Burak Sür/iStock/Getty
Teaching Video: Setting Up the Classroom for the First Day of School
Education Week filmed teachers setting up their classrooms for the first day of school, capturing the whirlwind of excitement and nerves.
Madeline Will, September 1, 2017
1 min read
Teaching Setting Up a Classroom Is Hard. See the Creative Ways These Teachers Did It
We asked, and you answered: See the classroom setups readers shared with the #SeeMyClassroom hashtag.
Sarah Schwartz, September 7, 2018
4 min read
Two students read together in teacher Justin Minkel's classroom at Jones Elementary School in Springdale, Ark.
Two students read together in teacher Justin Minkel's classroom at Jones Elementary School in Springdale, Ark.
All photos provided by the author
Reading & Literacy Opinion 4 Steps to a Magnificent Classroom Library
Teachers need to look closely at the range of reading levels, experiences, and genres represented in their classroom libraries.
Justin Minkel , June 13, 2018
6 min read

Strategies to Transform Your Teaching

Image of a teacher in a classroom full of kids.
Getty
Teaching Teacher Leaders Network Teaching Secrets: Get to Know Students Through Seating Challenges
Sandy Merz writes that engaging his students in seat-selection activities sets a positive collaborative tone from the first day of school.
Sandy Merz, June 27, 2012
5 min read
Image of a goal.
z_wei/iStock/Getty
Teaching What the Research Says 3 Counterintuitive Findings About Motivation That Teachers Can Use
New research suggests small changes teachers can make to get students more engaged.
Sarah D. Sparks, April 24, 2022
4 min read
Teaching Profession Video: Second-Year Teachers Share Some Advice for Rookies
Education Week asked two second-year teachers to share some advice for new teachers—and to reflect on their own first year in the classroom.
Madeline Will, September 13, 2017
1 min read
conceptual illustration of a classroom with colorful roots growing beneath the surface under the teacher and students
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty Images
Teaching Explainer What Is Culturally Responsive Teaching?
Here's what it means to be a culturally responsive teacher and where critical race theory ties in—or not.
Madeline Will & Ileana Najarro, April 18, 2022
17 min read
Illustration of father and child working on computer.
Getty
Science Opinion Science Teachers, Be Honest About What Science Still Can't Explain
The universe is full of questions waiting to be solved. So why teach science like all the discoveries have already been made?
Alexander Bell, March 27, 2019
4 min read
Image of a teacher and students.
nadia_bormotova/iStock/Getty
Teaching 3 Ways to Get Students Engaged in Their Learning
Students should be able to trust that their voices are heard in the classroom, said experts and educators in an online discussion.
Williamena Kwapo, July 14, 2022
2 min read
Young boy using laptop
Courtney Hale/E+/Getty
Teaching Teaching Tips for Reaching Introverts and Extroverts
Teachers can look to technology for help in reaching big talkers and their quieter peers.
Alyson Klein, June 29, 2022
4 min read
Danna Thomas, a kindergarten teacher at Windsor Hills Elementary School in Baltimore, and the founder of Happy Teacher Revolution, smiles and snaps her fingers while a fellow teacher shares a good moment from earlier in the day.
Danna Thomas, a kindergarten teacher at Windsor Hills Elementary School in Baltimore, and the founder of Happy Teacher Revolution, smiles and snaps her fingers while a fellow teacher shares a good moment from earlier in the day.
Erin Irwin/Education Week
Teaching Profession Happy Teachers Practice Self-Care
Teachers must develop their own social-emotional competencies, before they can effectively model these skills to students.
Madeline Will, June 7, 2017
7 min read

Advice on Building Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

school cropped 1221435875
E+
Teaching Profession Opinion Calming Those Back-to-School Jitters
The first day of school can be scary. Nancy Barile shares five ways teachers can help alleviate their new students’ fears.
Nancy Barile, August 2, 2017
5 min read
teacher diverse classroom
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Opinion Build Student Trust by Sharing Stories on the First Day
Seán Arthurs writes how sharing his background and values with students on the first day fosters connection.
Sean Arthurs, August 15, 2018
4 min read
African American Girl holding book and reading in an elementary school lesson
Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Dear White Teachers: You Can't Love Your Black Students If You Don't Know Them
It isn't enough to "love all students," writes the University of Georgia's Bettina L. Love.
Bettina L. Love, March 18, 2019
4 min read
A young white school boy sits with his Black teacher in a one to one reading session. He reads to her and is smiling clearly enjoying the book. The teacher is smiling too. In the background a diverse group of kids sit around a classroom table.
Getty<br/>
Teaching Profession Opinion 4 Ways to Build Relationships With Your Students All Year Long
A teacher writes about how to cultivate strong relationships, not just during the first few weeks of school, but throughout the entire year.
Justin Minkel , November 13, 2019
5 min read
Girl runner in start position before sprint.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teaching Opinion The Difficult (and Satisfying) Run of Teaching Defiant Students
The best way to work with students who struggle behaviorally is to build a trusting relationship, even when it is difficult.
Allison Riddle, September 26, 2016
3 min read
Junior Edgar Nahum Camarena poses for a photograph at Downtown College Prepatory Alum Rock in San Jose, Calif. on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
Junior Edgar Nahum Camarena poses for a photograph at Downtown College Prepatory Alum Rock in San Jose, Calif. on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
James Tensuan for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Mispronouncing Students' Names: A Slight That Can Cut Deep
When people come across Michelle-Thuy Ngoc Duong’s name, they often see a stumbling block. The 17-year-old sees a bridge.
Corey Mitchell, May 10, 2016
7 min read
Arial view of people sitting on chairs in a circle with a listening ear in the center.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and Getty
Student Well-Being Really Listening to Students Has an Academic Payoff, New Research Finds
When students see their schools as "responsive" to their feedback, they are likely to have better grades and attendance, new research finds.
Evie Blad, June 16, 2022
5 min read

School Leadership Must-Reads

Illustration.
Kubkoo/iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety Opinion The #1 Factor That Determines a Toxic or Thriving School Culture
When it comes to the success of an entire school, nothing is more important than the relationship of the adults in the building.
Alex Kajitani, April 27, 2016
3 min read
Carrie P. Meek/Westview K-8 Center principal Marchel Woods, center rear, greets parents dropping off their children for class on Oct. 5, 2020, at the Carrie P. Meek/Westview K-8 Center in Miami.
Carrie P. Meek/Westview K-8 Center principal Marchel Woods, center rear, greets parents dropping off their children for class on Oct. 5, 2020, at the Carrie P. Meek/Westview K-8 Center in Miami.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
School & District Management 10 Bold Ideas Principals Can Embrace This School Year
Principals, want to change things up this school year? Here are 10 suggestions—big and small—for rethinking what you do and how you lead.
Stacey Decker, August 10, 2018
3 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Melinda Beck for Education Week
School & District Management Opinion What It Takes to Be a Human First and a Principal Second
Leadership is a test. One very busy principal explains how he learned to pass.
Paul Kelly, November 27, 2018
4 min read
Natasha Harris, principal of Lynn Hale Elementary School in Arlington, Tex., is an alum of the Holdsworth program for school leaders.
In a photo taken July 8, 2021, Natasha Harris, principal of Lynn Hale Elementary School in Arlington, Texas, interacts with a student.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week
School & District Management 6 Tips for Principals to Survive—and Thrive
We asked principals about their biggest challenges. Here are strategies for tackling six common issues, from school leaders and experts.
Lesli A. Maxwell, October 18, 2018
3 min read
Image of diverse hands in a team huddle.
melitas/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Administrators Can Make or Break School Culture. Here’s How to Spot the Best Ones
Educator Mary Alicia Lyons shares her experiences working with administrators who’ve spanned the spectrum from frustrating to fantastic.
Mary Alicia Lyons, August 8, 2018
6 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Advice for Principals: Empower Your Teachers
When principals develop partnerships with teachers, it helps them both.
Larry Ferlazzo, May 31, 2022
9 min read
Group of diverse adults sitting in a circle for a discussion.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management What the Research Says How Principals Can Boost Effectiveness of Instructional Coaches
Instructional coaches are not substitute teachers or administrative clerks, a study says, and they shouldn't be deployed that way.
Sarah D. Sparks, May 3, 2022
3 min read
Image of an adult and student talking as they walk down a school hallway.
kali9/E+
School & District Management Opinion The 6 Relationships That Characterize Great Schools
A former director of High Tech High Media Arts examines ways that schools can develop relationships that make learning meaningful.
Robert Kuhl, June 16, 2017
4 min read
Image of a leader reflecting on past and future.
akindo/DigitalVision Vectors
School & District Management Why Principals Must Focus on SEL, School Climate Right Now
Principals need support in focusing on SEL, academic development, school climate, and community engagement, a new report argues.
Denisa R. Superville, June 30, 2022
6 min read
Conceptual image of balanced weighing the pros and cons.
Cagkan Sayin/iStock
School & District Management From Principals, a Primer on Delivering Bad News
COVID and the upheavals of the last two years have raised the ante on often-emotional conversations with staff and parents.
Denisa R. Superville, January 24, 2022
9 min read