10 Books to Read When You Feel Stuck in Your Job

C’mon baby, light that fire!

10 Books to Read When You're Stuck in Your Job

Being a teacher is a privilege. We get to see results daily and know that we are making a difference. But sometimes you can also find yourself feeling stuck in your job.

Constantly changing expectations can make you feel like you need to run to keep up. Combine this with a difficult class, or school year, and you might feel ready to throw in the towel.

If you’re feeling dejected by the prospect of the next school year, take the last few weeks of summer to rest, relax, and read. Choose some of these inspiring takes on education and life that will have you itching to get back in the classroom:

1. If you’re feeling a disconnect…

Other People's Children - 10 Books for When You Feel Stuck in Your Job

Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit

Many of the causes of teacher burnout are made worse by a disconnect between the work done in the classroom and how it is perceived by parents and students. This book illuminates the cultural gap between home and school which happens in many communities. The book is told from a personal perspective with many anecdotes which can help teachers see their lessons through the eyes of their students and their parents.


2. If you need a good laugh…


Not Quite Burned Out - 10 Books for When You Feel Stuck in Your Job

Not Quite Burned Out, But Crispy Around The Edges by Sharon M. Draper

The stories in this book don’t shy away from the truth that teaching can be a demanding. As all of them are real teachers memories and thoughts, they create an honest yet uplifting view of life in the classroom. (We love the title, too.)


3. If you’re feeling discouraged by your students’ enthusiasm around learning…

Why Don't Students Like School - 10 Books for When You Feel Stuck in Your Job

Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham

This book is written by a cognitive scientist who aims to shed light on how students brains work and the process of learning. It includes research-backed tips that you won’t be able to wait to try in your class.


4. If you find yourself wondering why you chose teaching in the first place…

Today I Made a Difference: A Collection of Inspirational Stories from America’s Top Educators by Joseph W Underwood

When you’re overworked and underpaid it can be a huge boost to hear why other people have chosen to teach and to keep teaching year in and year out. This collection includes insight from 28 “Teacher of the Year” nominees.


5. If you need advice from someone who really understands…

See Me After Class by Roxanna Elden

Sometimes all you need to feel motivated again is to hear from a veteran teacher who has been there. In this book, hundreds of recollections from decades of teaching experience have been brought together in humorous tales from the front line.


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6. If you need to put things into perspective …

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

Sometimes we need to be reminded not to take everything so seriously, and to find little slices of happiness in everyday life. This book is full of simple pleasures like flipping your pillow over and feeling the sensation of the cool side against your face, or the almost addictive joy that is popping bubble wrap.


7. If you feel like you’re the one standing in your way…

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

If your disillusion is more personal than professional this book can help you to learn confidence-boosting tricks to make you feel more capable both in school and in your general day to day life.


8. If you’re an introvert (or you teach one)…

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Sometimes teachers can be left feeling underwhelmed when they feel that they haven’t understood their students or connected. This book will help you to see that  being an introvert is not necessarily a state that needs to be corrected.


9. If you need inspiration…

 I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzi

This inspiring true story of a girl who risked everything to be able to go to school will make you remember why you wanted to be a teacher in the first place. Malala reminds us all that education can be a lifeline and that it is an essential human right.


10. If you want to escape into a fantasy world…

Any of the Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling

Even though some of Hogwarts former professors were less than stellar educators, the series is centered around a school full of mostly dedicated and caring teachers who sacrifice everything for the young witches and wizards in their charge. It’s enough to make you feel proud!