Teacher Memoirs
(in no particular order)

Tracy Kidder - Among Schoolchildren- Put the teaching manual down: One reader called this story of a young teacher's year in a poor district of Holyoke, MA, "the best book I've read on education." (Harper Perennial, 1990)

Pat Conroy - The Water is Wide - This account of working on an impoverished island in 1969 resonates today: "Wow. I hear you, Pat. Go for it," one teacher cheers. (Bantam, 1987)
Vivian Gussin Paley - In Mrs. Tully’s Room: A Childcare Portrait - emphasizes how warm, quasi-familial, even mentoring relationships can develop between childcare providers and their preschool families. (Harvard University Press, 2000)

Daniel Robb - Crossing the Water - Feeling down about a struggling student? One reader turns to this memoir of working with troubled boys because it "shows us that we always have choices." (Simon & Shuster, 2002)

Abby Goodnough - Ms. Moffet's First Year - "When your friends ... ask you what you do every day," says one New York City teacher, "just give them this book to read." (PublicAffairs, 2004)

Esmé Raji Codell - Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year - a funny, hip diary filled with one-liners and unadorned thoughts that speak volumes about the raw, emotional life of a first-year teacher. (Algonquin Books, 2001)

Erin Gruwell - Teach With Your Heart: Lessons I Learned from the Freedom Writers - In this memoir and call to arms, Erin Gruwell, the dynamic young teacher who nurtured a remarkable group of high school students from Long Beach, California, who called themselves the Freedom Writers, picks up where The Freedom Writers Diary (and the movie The Freedom Writers) end and catches the reader up to where they are today. (Broadway, 2007)

Frank McCourt - Teacher Man : A Memoir - Teaching high school is surely one of the most difficult professions. To hear Frank McCourt tell it--the challenges are devilishly amplified while our admiration for his candor and creativity is certain. McCourt recounts his experiences in New York's urban classrooms with perspective and the indomitable flair of a storyteller. (Scribner, 2006)

William Ayers - To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher - Ayers approach to teaching is holistic and densely worded. He is a true veteran of the academic trenches having taught for almost 40 years at every level from K to college. He shows the utmost respect and concern for his students. Inextricable from his profession and unshakable in his conviction about what is greatness in teaching. Teachers College Press, 2001)

Marva Collins - Marva Collins Way: Updated - Marva Collins offers a beacon of hope in the midst of America's educational crises. Collins recounts her successful teaching strategies and offers inspirational advice on how to motivate children to fulfill their potential. This updated edition contains a new epilogue for parents and teachers. (Tarcher, 1990)

Sylvia Ashton-Warner - Teacher - Ashton-Warner does more than portray a method and philosophy to teach reading to New Zealand's Maori children--she paints a vivid, dramatic picture of any classroom. The reader can see the combination of her daily, organized lesson plan superimposed with the actual unpredictable, spontaneous, and social nature of children. (Touchstone, 1986)

Brendan Halpin - Losing My Faculties: A Teacher's Story - As he's finishing grad school in the early 1990s, the author applies for positions in the Boston public school system; he wants to teach in an urban school, to work "with kids who might have their lives changed by me." In this absorbing, almost journal-like memoir, his second, Halpin (It Takes a Worried Man) shares his nine-year roller-coaster ride of life as a high school English teacher in Boston and two nearby suburbs. (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2004)

Parker J. Palmer - The Courage to Teach : Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life  - As a spiritually inspirational book for teachers, this is one of the best. The premise is concise and unarguable: good teaching comes from the identity and the integrity of the teacher. Teachers are encouraged to turn their inquiring minds inward--developing a deeper understanding of what it means to fulfill the spiritual calling of teaching. (Jossey-Bass, 1997)

Samuel G. Freedman – Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students & Their High School – The setting is an overcrowded Manhattan school serving America’s newest immigrants. Ninety-two per cent of the graduates go on to higher education – how is that possible? (Harper & Row 1990)

James O'Hern  - Just A Teacher: How One Person CAN Make a Difference -  Every teacher has at one time said, "Why didn't I write down all those things that happen every day in my classrooms . . . things children say, parents comments, tales from the teacher's lounge..." Much of this book is filled with things the author has written down. (Lifevest Publishing, Inc. 2005)

Randy Pausch  - The Last Lecture - A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy? ( Hyperion; 2008)

Mitch Albom  - Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson
This true story about the love between a spiritual mentor and his pupil has soared to the bestseller list for many reasons. For starters: it reminds us of the affection and gratitude that many of us still feel for the significant mentors of our past. It also plays out a fantasy many of us have entertained: what would it be like to look those people up again, tell them how much they meant to us, maybe even resume the mentorship? (Broadway (October 8, 2002)

Rafe Esquith  - Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56
Esquith might be the only public school teacher to be honored by both Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama; he is the only school teacher ever to receive the president's National Medal of the Arts. For the past 25 years, Esquith has taught fifth graders at Hobart Elementary in central Los Angeles. (Viking Adult 2007)

Also see Listmania:  Books for Teachers by Rickey A. Cotton, Steve Peha (Lists 1 and 2)
For a huge selection of books and movies related to teaching, go to http://amazon.com/ and search listmania using words like “teach” or “teacher” in the search field.
Example: Top 10 Teacher Movies: Dead Poet’s Society, Man Without a Face, Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Up the Down Staircase, To Sir with Love, Stand and Deliver, Lean on Me, Music of the heart, Dangerous Minds.