Thursday, June 03, 2010

Montessori Books to Inspire: Summer Reading Suggestions for the Montessori Teacher

NAMC montessori books inspire summer reading suggestions montessori teachers

Summer is almost upon us. Maybe you are already dreaming of all the things you will do: clean the house, garden, take a trip, catch up with friends, sleep. I always look forward to having the opportunity to read. Of course, I spend a good part of the summer reading books for fun and pleasure, but I try to work in some books related to teaching and Montessori education. By reading these, I find that I rejuvenate my professional self and begin to plan and get excited for the upcoming year. Following are a few ideas for summer reading.

Whether you read one or some of these books on your own, with a teaching friend, or collectively as a staff, you will find ideas and inspiration for the next school year.

Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, by Angeline Stoll Lillard

Read about the research behind eight insights that are the foundations of Montessori education and how they are applied in the Montessori classroom. Topics include the impact of movement on learning and cognition, extrinsic rewards and motivation, and order in environment and mind. Lillard also shares information from research studies that show how students learn best. Not only will this book help to excite your appreciation and knowledge about the Montessori method, it will arm you with information that you can use to answer and inform questioning parents.

Montessori Books to Inspire: Summer Reading Suggestions for the Montessori Teacher

Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood, by Paula Polk Lillard

Montessori Today uses classroom anecdotes and examples, to bring life to Maria Montessori’s teaching methods. The author discusses real children and their words and lives. This book describes the Montessori approach while giving an idea of its application from preschool through early adulthood.

Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education, by Trevor Eissler

Written from a parent’s perspective, this book will give you very practical topics and ideas to discuss with parents. Eissler passionately and intelligently sings the praises of Montessori education while allowing the reader to follow his family’s journey with Montessori education.

A Mind at a Time, by Mel Levine, M.D.

Dr. Mel Levin feels that a key to individualizing our teaching is to recognize each child’s intellectual, emotional, and physical strengths and teach directly to these same strengths. He also feels that a child’s developmental growth is worthy of the same monitoring as physical growth. Using stories of children, the book defines eight specific mind systems (attention, memory, language, spatial ordering, sequential ordering, motor, higher thinking, and social thinking) and includes scientific research on these systems and how they can influence children’s success in school. The book includes detailed steps and practical suggestions for implementing the book’s information with your students.

Positive Discipline in the Classroom: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom and Positive Discipline: A Teacher's A-Z Guide: Hundreds of Solutions for Every Possible Classroom Behavior Problem, by Jane Nelsen Ed.D.

Filled with endless tools, these books will help you overcome obstacles, reduce your frustrations, and empower students. Nelsen will show you how to help your students increase their confidence and resourcefulness. The Positive Discipline approach works well and is utilized in many Montessori classrooms. The effective and positive strategies in these books will help develop wonderful teacher-student relationships for new and seasoned teachers alike.

For general inspiration, try reading one of these tales of successful teachers:

  • Teach with Your Heart: Lessons I Learned from The Freedom Writers, by Erin Gruwell
  • Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers and Erin Gruwell, by The Freedom Writers, Erin Gruwell, and Anna Quindlen, 
  • Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal's Triumph in the Inner City, by Dr. Ben Chavis

Elissa — NAMC Graduate

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, June 3, 2010.


  1. Wow! I was able to borrow Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax from my library. I wish I had read this book before ever setting foot in a classroom. As a mother of two daughters, I am so happy to read about the differences and understand better the boys that I have been in contact with in the classroom. I am only 50 pages into the book but am looking forward to the helpful information still to come. Thanks for the recommendation!


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