7 Helpful Books on Executive Functioning for Teachers

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Being a teacher is surely a very demanding job. A job that throws surprising challenges every time one enters the classroom. To deal with these challenges and the constant demands, teachers can develop and learn certain sets of skills that can help them tackle and rise above the inner conflicts that they can be subjected to. Here is where the specific knowledge related to Executive Functioning comes into the big picture!

Executive functioning is a set of skills and qualities that can help teachers assert their knowledge and influence in a classroom and the administrative structure more effectively. Qualities such as time management, planning, and critical thinking are extremely necessary as they will determine the quality of work teachers deliver in their place of work. These qualities also help teachers to gain confidence and manage things efficiently which eventually helps them to enjoy their work and focus naturally. 

List of executive functioning books helpful for teachers

Executive functioning is an essential skill and it is important to constantly polish it through relevant books, which is among the important tools that can help with executive functioning. The below-mentioned books are filled with realistic examples, strategies, and techniques that help teachers enhance this art.

1. 180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators 

180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators 

This book by Tina H. Boogren, a teacher, provides great insights into understanding the importance of self-care. Teaching is a passion for many, but at times its demands can make life very busy leaving no time for personal time. 180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators enlightens the readers about various simple step-by-step strategies that encourage busy educators to live healthier, happier, and more satisfying life. 

This book gives creative ideas and pumps up the necessary inspiration to take charge of your self-care routine. As teachers take charge of themselves, they eventually become more productive in their everyday functioning. The book lays out the importance of putting in 180 days and understanding its impact on teachers.

2. The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success 

The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success 

Peg Dawson, EdD, is a renowned psychologist and Richard Guare, Ph.D. her co-author, is a neuropsychologist. Their joint venture named “The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success” is a prominent read that provides teachers with inherent key insights required for channelizing their innate smartness skillfully to get the required work done in a given frame of time. This book focuses on the core areas of executive functioning and helps teachers become more aware of their personal shortcomings in these areas. 

Additionally, it includes the important aspect of self-reflecting which pushes readers to honestly answer certain questions instilling necessary awareness within them regarding their shortcomings. It then provides helpful strategies and methods to overcome these weaknesses and concentrate better on the tasks at hand. It is a significant read for teachers to sharpen their skills and create a balance in work.

3. Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved

Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved

This book is authored by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., who is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. This book sheds light on the concept of Executive Functions from a neuropsychological and evolutionary point of view. It is backed by significant research and it explains in detail the need to develop and strengthen executive functions. 

Teachers can use it as a general guide to understand the basics of executive functioning and implement it in everyday teaching. It makes the Teachers understand the pleasures and the control that one can enjoy if one is able to develop the qualities which facilitate executive functioning. It further explains the drawbacks and the limitations that people face when there are deficiencies in executive functioning. 

4. Executive Functioning Workbook for Kids

Executive Functioning Workbook for Kids

This book is authored by Dr. Sharon, a licensed psychologist who has extensive work experience with children and families for many years. Dr. Grand is personally and professionally familiar with executive functioning challenges and believes in using humor to keep moving forward. This book is written in a format that engages readers naturally and instills in their various types of skills of executive functioning through many interesting methods of practice. 

Moreover, it helps teachers find strategies to build focus and develop good memory skills in children. It also makes them aware of the importance of self-control. To be specific, it has 40 interesting activities which help kids develop the various skills of executive functioning. It is indeed a useful tool for parents and educators.

5. Adult Executive Functioning Workbook

 Adult Executive Functioning Workbook

This book authored by Melissa Mullin, Ph.D. and co-authored by Karen Fried PsyD is specially written for teachers engaged with college students. It focuses on the need to develop a specific set of skills of executive functioning in order to meet the demands of their academic lives. With this book, teachers get an opportunity to develop executive functioning skills while creating a balance between academic and personal growth.

This book encourages teachers to assess themselves and gain a deeper look at themselves. The book is filled with various strategies for goal setting, planning in advance, on how to prepare for exams, and managing time effectively in order to be efficient and impactful in your academic life. Through such strategies, teachers can benefit in the most efficient manner.

6. Boosting Executive Skills in the Classroom

 Boosting Executive Skills in the Classroom

This book authored by Margaret Foster and co-authored by Joyce Cooper Kahn is an attempt by the authors to help students with poor executive functioning skills. It first tends to paint a picture of what it exactly is like to be a student with poor skills regarding executive functioning and what are the consequences that follow. 

It is a practical guide for teachers on how to help students with poor executive functioning skills. It encourages the use of certain research-proven strategies which can help educators develop their classroom state of “flow” and reduce the stress they face when teaching students with executive functioning weaknesses.

7. Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom 

Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom 

This book authored by Lynn Meltzer is a guide that encourages teachers to include various executive functions such as planning, organizing, prioritizing, and self-checking into the domains of the classroom itself. Chapters of this book shed light on various effective strategies. 

Additionally, these strategies are backed by research that optimizes and improve executive functioning skills in a classroom. This book also gives key insights on how to instruct students with learning or attention difficulties in a unique manner. Teachers can make use of these strategies and techniques for better productivity. 

Executive functioning skills vital for teachers

Executive functioning skills are significant in everyday life. Proper planning, control, and management of daily tasks help teachers function better. Check how different executive functioning skills also help teachers operate better thereby striking a balance between work and life.

  1. Self Control – Teachers need to have great control over their emotions and higher self-awareness so that they can regulate their emotions in a better fashion and channel them through a healthy medium. Handling a classroom, interacting with students, teaching them, and keeping them disciplined require a great amount of patience and self-control. 
  2. Planning – Planning is a significant skill for any teacher, as they have to plan lessons, assignments, and activities in advance. They also need to plan a better and clear picture in order to balance their personal and professional lives. Planning is a strategy that tends to complement time management and enhances overall productivity. Planning is a skill that can save teachers from burnout and give them a clear idea of how much energy a particular situation will demand.
  3. Self Monitoring – Awareness about one’s emotions, needs, limitations, and potential help teachers gain better clarity about themselves. Only by assessing themselves can they have a clearer picture of their personal strengths and weaknesses which will eventually lead to the betterment of their teaching career. Self-monitoring also helps teachers strike a balance between activities, games, and other learning platforms to offer diversification in learning.
  4. Critical Thinking – This is one of the most helpful and important skills for a teacher. Teachers are not only supposed to have this attribute in themselves but also develop it in their students. It is through this attribute that teachers can manage, solve and deliver effectively and efficiently. With critical thinking, they acquire the ability to solve the doubts of students, parents, and administrative associates.
  5. Time Management – When teachers are able to manage their time successfully, they can deliver calmly and effectively in class. It is also a skill that is important to facilitate work-life balance. Teachers need to build this executive functioning skill to manage time in a way that enhances their productivity. It also helps them understand the importance of planning their schedule and allotting timing accordingly.

Summing up

Executive Functioning is a very important skill that needs to be learned as well as taught. It needs to be taught from a young age. When done accurately, it can also positively impact people with learning disabilities like dyscalculia. Teachers themselves need to develop and understand various types of executive functioning skills in their sets of skills and qualities only then can they encourage children to develop them. Executive functioning skills make the lives of professionals as well as students easier, more organized, and more efficient. 

The various practical research-based strategies given in the books mentioned above are a great way to kickstart and expand one’s knowledge regarding the skills of executive functioning. The self-assessment techniques, activities, and tracking methods are techniques that can be used by teachers, students as well as parents to boost efficiency and productivity in various domains of their lives.

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