Read All About It: Books For Teachers

This is a blog for journalism teachers. Today I will stress the TEACHER part. If you are still new to teaching (five years or less of experience), then these books are for you.

The First Days of School: By Harry Wong. This is a book that every first year teacher should read and many who have taught for a few years can still learn from. Lots of great advice about how to run your classroom and stay organized, planned, focused and maintain discipline.

The Truth About Teaching: By Coleen Armstrong. Short book about what it really is like out there in a real classroom.

South of Heaven: By Thomas French. A Pulitzer Prize winning novel (non-fiction) about real kids in high school. The book focuses on how today’s kids get through their daily lives in a modern high school. Great read.

On Writing: By Stephen King. The master of horror has a great book about how to write. His method is easily adapted to journalistic style and in fact he was both and English teacher and a one time newspaper reporter.

There Are No Shortcuts: By Rafe Esquith. Former National Teacher of the Year from Los Angeles, this inspiring story of how Mr. Esquith and his students refused to let the school, the district and local poverty stop them from learning.

The Radical Write: By Bobby Hawthorne. Mr. Hawthorne is the former head of the Texas ILPC (Interscholastic League Press Conference) and a great teacher, speaker and journalist. I’ve had the pleasure to listen to, meet and even eat lunch with him. He is a great guy and his book is sprinkled with real stories written by student journalists (both good and bad examples). He has great chapters on all the important segments of journalism.

Friday Night Lights: By H. G. Bissinger. This book is a great example of in depth journalism that even your students can understand and enjoy. Mr. Bissinger spends an entire year with a football team at one of Texas’ elite public football high schools – Odessa Permian High. It is a treat for both fans of football and journalism.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens: by Sean Covey. This book is a great resource for anyone who works with kids, but especially if you work with a yearbook, newspaper or broadcast staff that has to produce a product. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It helps me personally and professionally every day.

AP Styleguide: If you are a journalist or teacher of journalism, then you must have at least one copy of the AP Styleguide in your classroom.

The Elements of Style: A great resource for grammar and punctuation, plus basic rules for good writing.

Happy reading for the rest of your summer.

Mr. C



  1. What about Survival Kit for New Secondary Teachers? This book is just about the most comprehensive resource and help for brand new teachers that you can get. It definitely provides more specific strategies and ideas than “The First Days of School”. Just my opinion. Thanks!

  2. I will be teaching a journalism class this year to ninth graders and adding a course each year. I have no idea where to begin? There are so many places to “begin”. The students are my pilot class and I want to create a syllabus that gives them a good dose of reading, writing, and thinking. Do you have any suggestions for this novice journalism teacher?

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