Top 5 Books on Instruction: Secondary Teacher Interview Prep

Last week we responded to an EDU Edge friend regarding our Top 5 Books on Instruction for Elementary Student Teachers / New Teachers.  Those postings have been read by hundreds and quickly the Secondary Education folks were wondering about our Secondary recommendations.  This blog post is for EDU Edge friend Katie via Twitter (@kates89).  Again, we are thrilled that you are asking these types of questions because reading professional literature is crucial to becoming a great teacher and highly correlated to success during your teacher interview.

Here are The EDU Edge’s Top 5 Books on Instruction for candidates preparing for a teacher interview in secondary education:

  • ©2006 Inspiring Active Learning: A Complete Handbook for today’s Teachers by M. Harmin and M. Toth – This book answers new teachers fundamental teaching questions and gives over 250 practical strategies on how to transform your classroom into communities of active and responsible learners.
  • ©2002 Working on the Work by Philip Schlechty – This book shows teachers how to improve the quality of the work that students are asked to do and then shows them how to properly reflect on the work that students produce.
  • ©2001 Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by Marzano, Pickering and Pollock– This book promotes teaching strategies that have positive effects on student learning: Identifying similarities and differences, Summarizing and note taking, Reinforcing effort and providing recognition, Homework and Practice, Nonlinguistic representations, Cooperative learning, Setting objectives and providing feedback, Generating and testing hypotheses.
  • ©2001 How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms by Carol Ann Tomlinson – This book provides practical examples to begin to differentiate instruction in your classroom. Strategies include curriculum compacting, “sidebar” investigations, entry points, graphic organizers, contracts, and portfolios.
  • ©1997  Kagan Cooperative Learning by Spencer Kagan – This is a must have resource for the new teacher.  Use of sound cooperative learning structures not only is good instruction but it IS classroom management.

And don’t forget to read the essential interview handbook for anyone headed into teaching, ©2012 The Insider’s Guide to the Teacher Interview.  In this book we tell you exactly what to expect when you go in front of an interview committee.  It really will give you the edge over other candidates.

Good luck to all of you following The EDU Edge.  Please come back and let us know if you enjoyed these books and if our advice benefited you and your goal of becoming a full time teacher that makes a difference in your students’ lives.  We want to know because we want to grow and learn with you along the way.

Yours in a Partnership in Learning,

The EDU Edge

(Please feel free to contact us with additional questions … we’re on Blogger, Twitter, Facebook and you can email us at  Tell us what interview obstacles you’re dealing with and trying to overcome.  We’ll do our best to respond and we welcome dialogue from others going through the same process.)

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