Educator Spotlight: Denise Golden

In the Educator Spotlight today –  5th and 6th grade teacher Denise Golden! 

Please tell us about yourself!

My name is Denise Golden and I am a 5th and 6th grade ELAR teacher in Bigelow, Arkansas. This is my first year to teach 5th grade, but I have taught 6th grade for the last 5 years. I love 6th graders!!! My favorite time of the day is independent reading! I am a firm believer in student choice. I love to read and I am so thankful to be a part of Book Voyage which keeps me up to date on great books and wonderful authors.


What are some of your favorite middle grade books or authors?

Wow! This is a hard question. It changes yearly as I make a shelf of my top 5 favorite reads. The Crossover and Rebound by Kwame Alexander, Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz, Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry, Refugee by Alan Gratz, Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, Walking With Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy, and The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling.  I have just recently began reading Harry Potter and I am obsessed!

What was your favorite book as a child? Why did you love it so much?

My favorite book as a child was Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I remember my mom buying it for me from a book order when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I loved this book, because I could relate to Margaret. She was in school trying to fit in, growing up wanting her period, and experiencing her first crush.

Who is your favorite fictional teacher?

Mr. Terupt from Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea  I want to be one of his students.

Tell us about your classroom library?

My classroom library is my pride and joy! I am known for it at my school. I have over 1,000 plus books. My room is pretty much wall to wall books. I pride myself on having/keeping an up-to-date current library. I am always buying books, working book orders, and begging for books from my principal. I love it when former students and teachers come to me for books!

What are some must-have books to include in a classroom library?

The must-have books that I am working to add in my library are more diverse books. I know that may sound like a “Sunday School Answer”, but it is important for my students to see themselves in books. Also, graphic novels are a must! The students love them. Yes, they are reading when they are reading graphic novels.

What are the “hot” books in your classroom right now?

The Crossover and Rebound by Kwame Alexander

The Track Series by Jason Reynolds

The Contract Series by Derek Jeter

Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart

How do you stay “in the know” about new/upcoming books?

What keeps me “in the know” with books is my wonderful book club, #BookVoyage. It is a book club made up of 10 wonderful teachers from all over the United States. Also, I follow Colby Sharp on social media with his book recommendations, and Pernille Ripp on Instagram is wonderful to recommend books.

Take a picture of something in classroom and tell us the story of it!


This is a picture of my author wall. I love for my students to see pictures of the actual authors of the books they are reading. I want them to see authors are real people and they can be an author. Plus, it raises my “cool” factor when I can say I have met that author! Ha!

IMG_5741.jpgYou can connect with Denise on Twitter at @dgoldenreads .






Want more inspiration? Check out the other #MGEducators interviews and guests posts!





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