Top 10 Recommended Resources

We know educators are busy people so we’ve narrowed down our favorite go-to resources in hopes that teachers, counselors, and administrators will create “book clubs” or read these books independently to dig deeper into the fundamental concepts behind social and emotional learning with teens.

1. The Trauma-Informed School: A Step-by-Step Implementation Guide for Administrators and School Personnel by Jim Sporleder and Heather T. Forbes.
This book should be mandatory reading for all educators and administrators. If all educators/administrators built their practice off this book it would significantly improve lives, school campuses, and student outcomes. Sporleder is the principal of the high school featured in the Paper Tigers documentary and Forbes has decades of experience in trauma-informed care.
2. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) -
(This is not a book - but an important organization.) CASEL is the nation’s leading organization in advancing the development of academic, social, and emotional competence for all students. Their website offers helpful research, guidelines, models, and strategies for promoting evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL).
3. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
This easy-to-read and engaging book illustrates research findings on the thought processes that strongly affect our character and life trajectories. Illustrated with numerous captivating stories, “mindset theory” creates the basis for one of the most effecting lessons in School-Connect and is core to the curriculum.
4. The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances Jensen, MD, with Amy Ellis Nutt
A renowned neurologist explores adolescent brain functioning and development in the context of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision making.
5. Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D.
A social psychologist offers counterintuitive insights and enlightening stories on how to achieve in any area. These include how to think realistically to foresee obstacles and handle adversity, exercise willpower like a muscle, avoid the kind of positive thinking that can make us fail, and create an environment that will help us succeed. These research-based strategies are illustrated with examples from education and easily adaptable for high school students.
6. Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feeling to Improve Communication and Emotional Life by Paul Ekman
This well-researched and visual book is a fascinating exploration of the seven basic emotions, their behavioral manifestations, how to distinguish one emotion from another, and the effects of emotions on our lives. Written by a renowned psychologist and expert in nonverbal communication.
7. Why We Do What We Do by Edward L. Deci with Richard Flaste
What motivates people may vary from person to person, but all of us have a need for autonomy (having voice and choice), a sense of belonging, and competence. By documenting over 20 years of his and others' original research on human motivation, Deci’s small but powerful book provides rich food for thought and guidelines for how educators can actively engage students in learning.
8. How to Talk So Your Teens Will Listen and Listen So Your Teens Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This book can be a total game-changer for parents and teachers of teens. It is a quick, easy read that can have lasting effects on the way you interact with, discipline, and inspire teens. We highly recommend this book for reading on your own and/or with a parent/teacher book club.
9. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman
The first book-a blockbuster national bestseller-provides excellent overviews of how our brain process emotions and how we can become masters at managing negative emotions and developing positive emotions for greater success in life. The second book follows up on key social skills important to social and emotional learning.
10. First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry Wong and Rosemary T. Wong
This top-selling book on classroom management, walks the reader through how to structure and organize a classroom for learning and academic success. Its strategies can be applied at any time of the year and at any grade level, pre-K through college.
Honorable Mention. How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
Based on 50 years of research and organized around a simple metaphor, How Full Is Your Bucket? illustrates how even brief, everyday interactions with others can profoundly affect our relationships, productivity, health, and longevity. Provides actionable strategies applicable for improving students' high school experience.
Honorable Mention: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
A touching story about a boy named August (“Auggie”) born with a significant facial deformity. As Auggie navigates a new school experience, he is faced with shunning and teasing, but develops beautiful and meaningful friendships and ultimately helps change the school climate. No one can read this book without developing a deeper sense of empathy and a renewed courage to stand up for others.

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