Teachers Share Their Most Important Books

By Meemic Insurance

Last year, when we offered a grant for teachers to spend on Scholastic books, the main question on the application was: “What books impacted you the most – as a child and as an educator?”

We got some great responses. And in honor of National Reading Month in March, we’re sharing some of our favorites.

“I fell in love with the ‘Little House’ series as a child. I also loved Beverly Cleary books. I use these books in my classroom. We even make butter like they did in ‘the olden days’ to celebrate the end of ‘Little House in the Big Woods.’ We then use the butter on a pancake breakfast.”

Dawn V., Big Bend

“How can I choose only a few? As a teen, I fell in love with ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ In college, I was required to read a LOT of picture books and young adult books. I love children’s books because they make difficult concepts accessible to children. Today, my favorites include ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events,’ ‘The Crossover,’ ‘Wonder’ and books with diverse characters.”

Robin B., Milwaukee

“There are several books that impacted me the most as a child and as an educator. First and foremost was ‘Matilda.’ I could relate to Matilda finding solace in books, and it caused me to enjoy reading even more than I already did. I often found escape in the story, and went through many copies of the book. Additionally, ‘The Giving Tree’ is another book that really impacted me as a child. It taught me to always be generous in spirit and give whatever I am able to. Further, and most importantly of all, it taught me that no matter what status you currently are in life, there is always something you can contribute. As an educator, I think texts by Dr. Ross Greene, ‘The Explosive Child’ being foremost, have really provided me a wonderful foundation and changed the way that I view and interact with children with emotional and behavioral disorders.”

Barry W., Stevens Point

“As a child, a maroon bound book of diverse poetry styles was my favorite. It was given to me by a school librarian who was a published poet and encouraged me to write. I also enjoyed reading ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and discussing the book with my mother. As an educator, my favorite book for students is ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio. It opens the eyes of intermediate students to a broader world around them and the struggles some go through. As an educator, my favorite book for colleagues is ‘Mindsets in the Classroom.’ ”

Cheri A., Sherwood

“There is no way to limit this to a few specific titles! I was a constant reader of all thing history, as well as historical fiction. It was these books that helped history to come alive for me. I love to try and spread the world of American history with my students.”

Tom T., Sheboygan

“So, so many books have impacted me!!! As a child, I still remember sitting on my dad’s lap while he read me ‘Curious George.’ I remember the first time I read ‘Where the Red Fern Grows,’ and I remember reading it to my daughter for the first time. I cried both times. As an educator, I find that I use the lessons discussed in ‘The Four Agreements’ time and again in the classroom (to help the students take responsibility and feel good about themselves) and in my interactions with colleagues.”

Kristine N., Middleton


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