Skip Navigation or Skip to Content

Often educators’ creativity spills over into a book, blog, app or other work. We’re happy to showcase members’ talents.

The Tao of Teaching

The Tao Te Ching is one of the world’s longest-surviving wisdom texts. Veteran educator R. Lewis Cordell came out with his translation, Tao Te Teaching (2019), for the teacher who seeks to walk the path of learning and to travel the way of the masterful teacher.

According to Cordell, a social science teacher and member of Carlsbad Unified Teachers Association, this book has only three things to teach: Simplicity, Patience, Compassion. The masterful teacher will first deeply know the educational system in which they work, complete with its nuances and facets. They will know how, why and which rules to navigate around to be a masterful teacher. Available at Amazon.

Building teens’ social emotional intelligence

Finally, a book for teens to cut out needless drama and create their best life! Selena Wilson, a 14-year art teacher and member of Nuview District Teachers Association, is author of A Practical Workbook for Social Emotional Intelligence (2019). The simple guide is interactive, grounded in science, and inspired by The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Readers will gain an understanding of the physiology of stress, core beliefs, and social constructs that bring awareness of four habits of mind that can create or avoid needless suffering. They’ll learn practices to rewire their neural networks. In 45 pages designed for a short attention span or a busy life. Available at Amazon.

Woman on the move

High school librarian and Grossmont Education Association member Laura Preble has won awards for her young adult series, Queen Geek Social Club. Her newest novel is the darkly witty Anna Incognito (2020), and while it deals with adult themes, it features a teen character pivotal to the story.

Protagonist Anna Colin Beck suffers from OCD and lives a regimented life at home, doing everything she can to avoid subjecting herself to the torments of a germ-infested world. A chance meeting in a laundromat changes her life, and she finds herself on a solo cross-country trip determined to stop a wedding. Though she’s planned extensively for all contingencies, there are some twists and turns — on a trip, in life — you just can’t prepare for. Available at Mascot Books (

Speaking of California history, best teachers

Social studies and technology teacher Jordan Mattox, member of the Chowchilla Elementary Teachers Association, hosts several podcasts, including California’s Best Teachers and History of California, both on Apple Podcasts. Mattox describes the interviews on the former as his “journey to learn from the best teachers our Golden State has to offer.” The history podcasts start with how the first people arrived here, and are currently looking at California’s missions.


Everyday science, girls’ brains and talent

Why is our sky BLUE? Adrienne Small’s book for K-4 students, If You Ask a Scientist a Question (2019), uses observation, curiosity, the search for knowledge and the use of science vocabulary to discuss everyday phenomena. The playful picture book expresses a sense of wonder about the natural world, encourages a curious attitude, and appeals to scientists of all ages.

Small, a CTA/NEA-Retired member, has a second book for K-4 students just out. The Princess and the Ph.D. (2020) was inspired when a contestant’s chemistry experiment in the talent category helped her win the 2019 Miss America crown. Sure to encourage, engage and support girls interested in science.





Got something for these pages? Send details to with “Lit From Within” in the subject line. We lean toward new(ish) work that can be used in the classroom.