#TeachwithTST - My Summer Break Teacher Read Along! / by Madeleine Riley


It's almost summer break (we had so many snow days that we're in school until June 27th) and I am so ready! I absolutely adore the group of students I have this year and am sad to see them move on to third grade, but I'm looking forward to a season of rest and rejuvenation before I get to meet my new crew! I'm spending this summer taking a few courses, adjusting to some changes for next year, and implementing lots of self-care practices.

For those of you new to TST, a quick background: I currently teach second grade special education in a teeny little district in Massachusetts. I work on a grade level team and spend time both supporting in the classroom and delivering specialized instruction in my own little space. I'm actually licensed to be a general classroom teacher too, but I've found my niche in special education and really love the flexibility of getting to know an entire grade versus just one class. Bonus: I get to advocate for kids whose learning profiles are a little different from their peers. Every kid deserves a champion, and I just happen to love my quirky crew.

I don't talk a lot about my work on TST, and that's because most of it is confidential for the sake of my students. However, I did recently ask for recommendations from fellow teachers on Instagram for summer reading. I was looking for an education-related text that I could dig into, and I specifically asked for recommendations related to social justice or the ethics of teaching. Many of you expressed a desire to join in for reading and discussions with me, so I've decide to host a little read along for the month in July! I'm including the full list of suggestions at the bottom of this post, but this one stuck out to me as a must-read. 

#teachwithTST Summer Read Along Selection


Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris

From the Publisher:

In a work that has rapidly become "imperative reading" (Lisa Delpit) on education, gender, and juvenile justice, Monique W. Morris (Black StatsToo Beautiful for Words) chronicles the experiences of Black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Equally "compelling" and "thought-provoking" (Kirkus Reviews), Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the rising movement to challenge the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures. 

Called a book "for everyone who cares about children" by the Washington Post, Morris’s illumination of these critical issues is "timely and important" (Booklist) at a moment when Black girls are the fastest growing population in the juvenile justice system. Praised by voices as wide-ranging as Gloria Steinem and Roland Martin, and highlighted for the audiences of Elle and Jet right alongside those of EdWeekand the Leonard Lopate ShowPushout is a book that "will stay with you long after you turn the final page" (Bookish).

Join the Discussion on Tuesday, July 31st on @topshelftext!

On the above date, I'll post a photo of the book along with my own thoughts after reading. Whether you're an educator, librarian, parent, or just interested in the well-being of children, you're welcome to join! If you're reading along, use #teachwithTST so I can see your posts!


For Self-Care: Happy Teachers Change the World Read Along

Hosted by @naturally.elementary


I follow a lot of teaching accounts on my personal Instagram, and I happened to stumble across this reading challenge on the same day that I went to order my copy of Pushout. This challenge is hosted by Cheyanne Hardin, a first grade teacher in Colorado and although it's already started, I'm jumping in and following along. You can download the reading schedule from Cheyanne's TPT store here.