You’ve completed the PGCE (or you’re considering applying to complete one) you’ve applied for a job on Edustaff and secured a work placement for September and your wardrobe is decked out in lots of new, smart work wear.

It’s important that besides the rules and curriculum heavily imposed upon you that you take some time to familiarise yourself with what the experts say about teaching and how you can incorporate their tried and tested methods into your classroom.

As you wait to set up your desk and meet the children who you will influence and encourage for a year, take some time and inspiration from these must read books for anyone who is aiming to go into primary teaching or already working in a role.

1 Letters to a New Teacher by Jim Burke

In this book, aimed at those who are considering going into teaching, the reader gets to experience letters that occurred between the author and a teacher she was mentoring and highlights how important having a mentor can be to a new teacher.

2 Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit

This book takes a look at cultural differences that must be taken into consideration by both teachers and their students. With at least 1.1million pupils speaking English as a second language in the UK this is a relevant issue that requires teachers to be more understanding of their student’s needs.

3 See Me After Class by Roxanna Elden

This light-hearted look at the crazy scenarios some teachers find themselves in with their students is an interesting read and provides some insight – for those new teachers or people considering teaching – into what makes a classroom work.

4 The Tough Kid Book by Ginger Rhode, William R. Jenson and Kenton Reavis

As much as you want the children to love you like Miss Honey’s Matilda or John Keating from the Dead Poets Society (although Albus Dumbledore was actually crowned the best fiction teacher in a poll last year) there will always be one or two who don’t want to be in your classroom and will do their best to disrupt the lesson.

The Tough Kid Book is a go to manual for new teachers with techniques and tactics on how to deal with disruptive children.

5 Choice Words by Peter Johnston

It’s important the classroom is an encouraging and inspiring environment for children and this book takes a look at how teachers can incorporate appropriate language in the classroom that encourages students and never belittles their thoughts or development.

Bonus! Read what your children will be expected to read. Whether it’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Alien in my Belly Button it’s important that you know the books by heart so you can help your students through. It’s also a good idea to look through any course books in length, not just plan per page. If you know them well enough you’ll make your job and your student’s learning experience a whole lot easier.


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