Summer Reading For Those Who Teach Writing

It remains ever important to continue to build a knowledge base around your pedagogy. For those charged with the responsibility to teach writing it is important to seek out books deepen understanding. Books that provoke thought about the most effective ways to go about the role of being a writing teacher and a teacher who writes.

Investing in one's professional self, ensures a better outcome for student learners. After more than four decades in education I continue to feed my need to know. 


Teachers tell me how each summer they put aside time to read at least one professional book. It's a choice, but it's also a statement of intent. You only do it when you are ready to receive. The fog of the classroom has cleared and your vision for what's possible improves.


Teachers also ask, what should I be reading? So, to assist in that direction I will share with you some books I have found invaluable in recent times. Books that were both affirming and thought provoking. Books that offer practical and theoretical support. Books I believe may bring some joy to you as well. I present them in no particular order. May you be inspired to narrow the gap between your intentions and actions.

Happy Summer reading...



The term, 'independent writing' is widely used, but the reality is often closer to entrenched dependency on the teacher to provide the way forward. True independence is some way off in the distance.I like Leah's book because it provides a framework for encouraging the emergence of self directed writers in our classrooms. Setting up the writing environment to encourage independent writing action is supported with many practical actions to move students in the right direction. 




Colleen's book presents the challenges of being a writing teaching with frank honesty. At the same time the reader is offered a wealth of ideas to more effectively cope with these apparent obstacles. It is how we respond that makes the difference. This book will assist you to be a braver teacher of writing as well as a more knowledgeable one too. 



In this very practical book by the widely respected British poet, Michael Rosen, he shares writing tips, analysis of classic poems, poetry website and a heap of support ideas for both teachers and children. This is a must have book if you wish to put more pizzazz into your poetry. A personal favourite.


In this latest title from renowned author and consultant, Ralph Fletcher, advocates carving out classroom writing time which is choice driven, authentic, and informal. He presents suggestions for helping students to build writing stamina and passion by expressing themselves through playful, low stakes writing.


In this beautifully crafted and inspiring book, Colum McCann presents a series of short pieces dealing with matters such as authorship, the joy of truthful writing. This book presents as a pep talk with messages that are practical and profound. It was for me a joyous read. It is a book I feel I can constantly revisit for inspiration and affirmation. I keep it within easy reach. If you write, this book is an essential read.



Amy Krouse-Rosenthal mixes elements of the alphabet and encyclopedias to convey the multifarious elements of her life into a funny, informative and quite unique memoir. Short entries (frequently cross referenced) arranged from A to Z capture the details, observations and episodes of her life. Such a stimulating read and such a springboard for writing. A must have book. So glad I followed the recommendation of a fellow writer.

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