It’s that time of year again! The summer weather and trip to the sea side are becoming more scarce and shorts and sandals are rapidly being replaced by uniforms and shoes. As the school season comes nearer, here’s a short list of the books that I feel make going back to school that little bit easier.

A Poem For Every Night Of The Year (Allie Esiri)

A Poem for Every Night of the Year“A Poem For Every Night of the Year is a magnificent collection of 366 poems compiled by Allie Esiri. The poems – together with introductory paragraphs – have a link to the date on which they appear. Shakespeare celebrates midsummer night, Maya Angelou International Women’s Day and Lewis Carroll April Fool’s day. Perfect for reading aloud and sharing, it contains a full spectrum of poetry from familiar favourites to exciting contemporary voices.”

This beautiful book caught my eye late last year and I just had to have it. I did not expect the quality of poems to be so consistently high and usable in the classroom. I previously wrote a full review raving about this book but even now I still can’t stop talking about it. To date, I have used many of the poems in this book as inspiration for a wide range of activities from creative writing to art. I also found that this is a nice book to have on my desk to flick through over a cup of tea during the more quieter moments of the day. To get this book for an incredibly good value price of €13.08, click here.

Ready… Set… Relax (Allen & Klein)

A Research-Based Program of Relaxation, Learning, and Self-Esteem for Children

Ready, Set, Relax“This book equips children ages 5 to 13 years old with tools to overcome anxiety through the use of music, muscle relaxation, and storytelling to promote learning, imagination, and self-esteem. This fully researched program is used across the country by teachers, counselors, parents, and medical professionals as a preventive tool and intervention strategy. The 66 scripts focus on the following themes: R=Releasing Tension; E=Enjoying Life; L=Learning; A=Appreciating Others; X=X-panding Your Knowledge.”

This book was recommended to me a couple of years ago in the context of teaching mindfulness, meditation and relaxation techniques to children. It is by far the most effective program that I have come across and it can be easily implemented in any classroom with one copy of the book and some soothing music (I usually use Spotify or YouTube). This book is packed full of scripts that the teacher can read to the class. Children traditionally find it very hard to sit silently and sit still, but this book negates those problems by giving the children a chance to have some fun while closing their eyes and relaxing. This book is ideal for those moments of the day when you want to slow things down and regain the focus of the room. It also teaches children effective strategies to self-relax which they can use at home themselves to fall asleep at night. I’ve looked online and the best price that I can find for this book is €20.20, trust me this book is worth its weight in gold! Click here to check it out.

Mindset (Carol Dweck)

Mindset - Updated Edition

“After decades of research on achievement and success, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea. In Mindset, Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She reveals how a simple idea about the brain can create a resilience and a love of learning that can lead to success in all areas of life.”

I’ve included this book purely for inspirational purposes. If I was to pass on one book to you that summarises my life philosophy, this would be it (For a list of other books that inspire me, click here). Every parent, teacher, coach or lifelong student should read this book and see that how our attitude towards learning and personal growth is dramatically affected by our attitudes to those two things. After reading this book, your worldview will change dramatically and you will never look at how we learn the same again. I strongly recommend this one and I see that it is available at the knockdown price of €7.06 at the moment. Get it quick!

For a brief outline of the ideas expressed in this book, this YouTube video should do the trick:

These three books are my favourites when it comes to teaching. What books inspire you? What book can you not do without?