Mr Kemp NZ

The Top 8 Professional Reads for Educators 2016 (plus more)

The Top 8 Professional Reads for Educators (plus more) as voted by you for your Summer reading list!

After sending out a survey over the space of 2 weeks on Twitter and through other Social Media Platforms, we had 258 book suggestions from 123 educators from 13 different countries around the world, spanning several continents and every corner of the globe. The global reach here has magnificent and the professional reading shared was detailed and diverse. I know you are going to love this list and be totally inspired by it.

The Top Ed-Reads

Summer is almost here (for those in the Northern Hemisphere). If you are like most educators, this is your time to rest, relax and for many, delve into some professional reading and learn about all those exciting strategies and resources that will reinvigorate learning in your classroom when you return after the break.

After the suggestions were tallied these are the top 8 reads for educators that you simply can not miss.

1. The Innovators Mindset by George Couros

In ‘The Innovators Mindset‘, George Couros encourages teachers and administrators to empower their learners to wonder, to explore—and to become forward-thinking leaders. If we want innovative students, we need innovative educators. In other words, innovation begins with you. Ultimately, innovation is not about a skill set but about mindset. There is a reason why this is your number 1 book for this summer. Get your copy today and make the most of your summer vacation!

1The Innovators Mindset

2. Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess

Based on Dave Burgess’s popular “Outrageous Teaching” and “Teach Like a PIRATE” seminars, this book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. This groundbreaking inspirational manifesto contains over 30 hooks specially designed to captivate your class and 170 brainstorming questions that will skyrocket your creativity. Once you learn the Teach Like a PIRATE system, you’ll never look at your role as an educator the same again. Add this to your summer reading list now!

2Teach Like A Pirate

3. Drive by Daniel Pink

The New York Times bestseller that gives readers a paradigm—shattering new way to think about motivation. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live. This has perfect links into the Education paradigm and was your number 3 voted book to read over the summer. This is one of the ones on the top of my amazon list!


4. Creative Schools by Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education, and his 2006 TED Talk on the subject is the most viewed in the organization’s history. Now, the internationally recognized leader on creativity and human potential focuses on one of the most critical issues of our time: how to transform the globe’s troubled educational system. Filled with anecdotes, observations and recommendations from professionals on the front line of transformative education, case histories, and groundbreaking research—and written with Robinson’s trademark wit and engaging style—Creative Schools will inspire teachers, parents, and policy makers alike to rethink the real nature and purpose of education. Add this to your staff’s list of must read books for the break!

4 Creative Schools

5. The Power of Inquiry by Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch is known around the globe as one of the leading voices in inquiry learning (and one of my favorites). The Power of Inquiry is an inspiring and comprehensive guide to the implementation of quality inquiry practices in the contemporary classroom. Organized around ten essential questions, each chapter provides both a theoretical and practical overview of the elements that combine to create learning environments rich in purpose and passion. After my many online conversations with Kath and utilizing her model of inquiry in classrooms for years, this is a read that I can guarantee will influence your teaching.

5 The Power of Inquiry

6. Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller

I love engaging with educators that have their ‘foot in the door’ when it comes to Education and Matt Miller is that guy! I love his work and always keep a close eye on his Social Media shares. In this book, Matt shows you how to choose and incorporate teaching practices that are:

  • Different from what students see daily.
  • Innovative, drawing on new ideas or modifying others’ ideas.
  • Tech-laden with the use of digital sites, tools and devices.
  • Creative, tapping into students’ original ideas as well as your own.
  • Hands-on, encouraging students to make and try things on their own.

Packed with practical advice, specific recommendations for tools, and the encouragement you need to revolutionize your classes, Ditch That Textbook will inspire you to create relevant teaching that gets student buy-in so they’ll enjoy learning.

6 Ditch that Textbook

7. 50 Ways to Use Google Classroom by Alice Keeler

Alice Keeler is one of those Educators that you just can’t help but be inspired by. For me, Alice is one of those people who constantly inspires me through EVERYTHING that she does! In 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom, Keeler and Miller shorten the learning curve by providing a thorough overview of the Google Classroom App. Part of Google Apps for Education (GAfE), Google Classroom was specifically designed to help teachers save time by streamlining the process of going digital. Complete with screenshots, 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom provides ideas and step-by-step instruction to help teachers implement this powerful tool. If you are a Google school or plan to be, then this is the summer text for you and your colleagues!

7 50 things in a Google Classroom

8. Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner

In this book, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovatorsCreating Innovators features its own innovative elements: more than sixty original videos that expand on key ideas in the book through interviews with young innovators, teachers, writers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, including Thomas Friedman, Dean Kamen, and Annmarie Neal. Produced by filmmaker Robert A. Compton, the videos are embedded into the ebook edition in video-enabled eReaders and accessible in this print edition via QR codes placed throughout the chapters or via Definitely, a highly recommended text to look at over your break.
8 Creating Innovators

An important note, and in my mind the 9th entry on this list, is the shift away from written texts and the movement towards using hashtags that many of you pointed out. I know I use hashtags for the majority of my professional learning and Twitter Chats offer a fantastic way to get involved.

So after being inspired by the potential of these top 8 books (as voted by you), some people are still sitting here wishing for more. Don’t worry, I don’t disappoint! I have it for you ….

For more of your favorite edu-reads follow this link where I have collated all responses to the survey. Click here to read more about the almost 100 other edu-reads recommended for you to check out over the summer (and into the new school year).



To celebrate the number 1 book (as voted by you), George Couros is going to be giving away 3 copies of his book “The Innovator’s Mindset”. All you have to do is Tweet out the reason you deserve a FREE copy of George’s book and tag myself (@mrkempnz) and George (@gcouros) into your tweet along with the link to this blog post. All tweets will go into the draw and must be received by Thursday 16 June 2016 at 8.30pm and on Thursday 16 June 2016 at 9pm, EST we will randomly draw our 3 winners and announce them on Twitter. You have got to be in it to win it so get tweeting now!

Back to the books ……

Instead of spreading yourself too thin, pick one or two of these books, lock in some time to read and learn and as you read, share your experiences through Social Media or even blog about it. Be sure to tag me in so I can hear your thoughts and share them out to the “Edu-World”.

Have a fantastic Summer Vacation for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and for those of you are mid-year and still working away to inspire the leaders of tomorrow, thank you for everything you do! Enjoy your time and I look forward to hearing from you all soon!

About author View all posts Author website

Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Global EdTech Consultant based in Singapore but working with Schools and EdTech companies all over the world. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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