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Teachers: Summer Reading to Cultivate Your Emotional Resilience

Woman on the beach reading and lounging in a hammock.


Immerse yourself in these books to renew yourself for the coming school year.

Ever since I was a young child, the long days of summer have been for reading. Early in the morning and late into the night, sitting on a beach or lying on the living room floor, I devoured book after book. Novels took me on the journeys and adventures I yearned for; memoirs connected me with shared humanity. Books made me stronger: They put my sadness and loneliness into perspective, suggested routes around the obstacles in my life, and gave me clues as to how I could not only surmount challenges, but thrive in spite of them. By the end of summer, my literary immersion had renewed me for another school year.

This summer, let books be your teachers. Let them teach you how to become more resilient, how to bounce back after adversity, and how to thrive (not just survive). Resilience is like a muscle that you can strengthen with a variety of daily practices in order to cultivate a set of dispositions or mental attitudes. Optimism, for example, is a key disposition of a resilient person, as are acceptance, hope, humor, and mindfulness.

I selected the following reading recommendations because of their potential to cultivate the dispositions of a resilient educator. Some directly explore resilience, while others give us an opportunity to see the growth of another person. I offer these to you in the hopes that by the time the back-to-school sales begin, you’ll be inoculated against the predictable stressors of the fall. So dive in.

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