I never did a PGCE, nor did I ever gain QTS – but I did teach successfully for 7 years in the top academic independent schools of London. As such my choice of books below might be slightly esoteric. I basically think that the best way to learn about teaching is to do it in a school with supportive colleagues, to try to learn from your mistakes and reflect on what you’ve done. But I get asked a lot for book recommendations, so decided to make this page with books that I have read and enjoyed about teaching, or that I think could be useful. On reflection, I think books about teaching become a lot more useful a few years into a teaching career!
All the images contain Amazon links so please use them to buy the books if this has been useful to you!
Many of these books are also great as Audiobooks – get a free trial of Audible here:
Let That Be a Lesson – Ryan Wilson
Full of anecdotes about the joys and frustrations of teaching, this book will leave you laughing out loud but also raging about educational inequality and how tough life can be for the teachers who give so much of themselves every day in the classroom.
You can tell this book has been written by an excellent teacher as it so clearly models great teaching in its delivery. There’s a masterfully told story here in diary sized chunks that can be dipped into or read cover to cover. Full of enough personal insight that you want to keep reading it as a story, but each entry also reflects on some important facet of education, from more everyday dilemmas to much deeper questions of educational policy.
New and experienced teachers alike will see a lot they recognise shared with honesty and humour but although clearly written for them in some sense it’s message is much broader. A model in how to write to persuade by entertaining, this funny book with a serious message should also be essential reading for anyone with school aged children or any interest in education.
A compendium of mathematical methods – Jo Morgan
From the creator of the excellent resourceaholic blog, this book goes through different methods for solving school level maths. I’d imagine this would just as helpful for new teachers looking to brush up as for experienced teachers wanting to consider the merits of different approaches, or to improve their students confidence by arming them with multiple methods to solve particular problems.
How I Wish I’d Taught Maths: Lessons learned from research, conversations with experts, and 12 years of mistakes: Reflections on research, conversations with experts, and 12 years of mistakes – Craig Barton
A long title, if you include the subtitle, but it is very descriptive of the contents of this book!
Making Every Maths Lesson Count – Emma McCrea
52 high impact strategies to help you navigate the complex world that is the mathematics classroom!
Philosophy of the Teacher – Nigel Tubbs
Not a teacher training book, but honestly I found this more helpful than anything else available when I was starting out as a teacher. Because teaching is not just a set of techniques and best practices – it it a complex and evolving relationship between teacher and students that approached from the right starting points can be transformative and inspirational for all involved.