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Teacher development is a lifelong journey.

Our profession is constantly looking for ways to improve the classroom experience while adapting to the world around us as it changes. And with so many aspects of teaching to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the best books that will help encourage us and fill us with exciting new ideas.

That’s why we’ve picked 29 of our favorite teacher professional development books and divided them into six categories:

  • Classroom management
  • Differentiation
  • Diversity and inclusivity
  • Creating a digital classroom
  • Encouraging creativity in the classroom
  • Personal development for teachers

With so much information, there’s something on this list for every teacher and educator!

Education resources

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Back to School Class Bulletin Board Math Chevron Skip Counting Number Line

Back to School Class Bulletin Board Math Chevron Skip Counting Number Line

$2.00
Thanksgiving Coordinate Plane Graphing Picture: Scared Turkey

Thanksgiving Coordinate Plane Graphing Picture: Scared Turkey

$3.00
Amazing Owls : Coloring Book

Amazing Owls : Coloring Book

$3.59 $3.99
Editable Christmas Thank You Card Template

Editable Christmas Thank You Card Template

$2.00
Biography Research: William Kamkwamba

Biography Research: William Kamkwamba

$1.00
Absolute Value Inequalities worksheet and lesson video

Absolute Value Inequalities worksheet and lesson video

$3.00
Winter Seasonal Logic Puzzles | Algebra 1

Winter Seasonal Logic Puzzles | Algebra 1

$4.00
Preschool/kinder Music, Chants and Body Percussion, Coloring, Finger Play, Farm

Preschool/kinder Music, Chants and Body Percussion, Coloring, Finger Play, Farm

$3.00
Chinese New Year Coordinate Plane Graphing Picture: Firecracker

Chinese New Year Coordinate Plane Graphing Picture: Firecracker

$3.00

Why You Need Professional Development Resources as a Teacher

Why do you need to update your phone software? Because it becomes outdated.

The same teaching methods that worked ten years ago don’t necessarily carry weight in today’s cultural climate. And as educational research continues, we discover new, better ways to provide an education for our students that will benefit their futures. But without taking the time to sit down, read the literature, and have relevant conversations, you won’t know how you can improve on what I’m sure is already a great teaching style you have cultivated. Which is why reading professional development books is a must.

As much as it can be difficult to fit professional development into your full schedule, it is worth the time investment. Even if it’s just reading for five minutes a day – every little one counts, right?

The Best Classroom Management Professional Development Books for Teachers

As time goes on, children are brought up with new types of parents and different discipline styles. Learning new classroom management techniques will help you adjust (and probably make your life a lot easier!)

1. The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher by Harry Wong and Rosemary Wong

Creating good habits for classroom management starts on day one of class. This book gives us realistic ideas for how to set expectations on behavior and participation from the first day so you can set up a wonderful school year ahead.

2. Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner by Persida Himmele and William Himmele

There’s nothing worse than asking a question only to see 30 shy faces looking back at you, none with their hand up.

TPT teaches you to give your students more autonomy in their learning so they can be more engaged in your lessons.

3. The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser

The Daily 5 is a revered learning ideology used in classrooms to encourage children to work on their reading and writing skills independently. Doing so frees you, the teacher, to focus on the students who need your help the most.

4. Better than Carrots and Sticks by Dominique Smith

During teacher training, we often teach classroom management as a give-and-take of rewards and punishments. Dominique suggests that a better way to encourage good behavior is to encourage social and independent behavioral correction by learning to recognize your own mistakes and self-adjust. This book tells you exactly how to achieve this in your classroom.

5. Teaching with Your Mouth Shut by Donald L. Finkel

This is the book for any teacher who’s fed up with leaving the classroom every day with a sore throat and no voice left.

Finkel teaches us how to use the power of silence and other more passive yet powerful management methods to encourage good behavior in the classroom.

The Best Differentiation Professional Development Books for Teachers

We know how vital differentiation is, but it’s hard to pull off when it’s one teacher vs. 30 students. These books give creative ideas on how to get the best out of differentiation for all abilities.

6. Assessing with Respect: Everyday Practices that Meet Students’ Social and Emotional Needs by Starr Sackstein

Assessment is one of the necessary “evils” (depending on how you view it) of teaching today. And it’s something that can be soul-crushing if not dealt with correctly. That’s why you need to understand your students individually and approach assessments with their social and emotional needs in mind.

Remember, everyone processes grades differently.

7. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

The growth mindset is one of the most profound psychological principles to come out of the 21st century so far. It erases the antiquated idea that people are born at a certain intelligence level and encourages self-belief to keep aiming for more.

An important part of differentiation is meeting your students where they are and finding the balance between comfort and pushing – the growth mindset helps you do just that.

8. Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day by Jonathan Burshann and Aaron Sams

The flipped classroom concept is about maximizing teacher-student face time and encouraging personalized learning. Students are encouraged to watch lectures at home and complete the assignments in class, where teachers can help if they get stuck.

A truly fascinating concept, this one is a must-read for differentiation mastery.

9. Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead and Live Without Barriers by Jo Boaler

Limitless Mind takes the growth mindset and focuses it exclusively on the classroom. Who says you don’t have a maths mind or are not creative? This book will teach you how to silence the inner critic of your students.

10. Differentiation and the Brain by David Sousa

David Sousa tackles the topic of differentiation through the lens of brain development and shows scientific findings for various techniques. You’ll find a wealth of differentiation techniques to experiment with in your classroom from this book.

The Best Diversity and Inclusivity Professional Development Books for Teachers

We’re done letting institutionalized marginalization of our students prevail in the school system. For every teacher that actively aims to change it in their classroom, we get closer to a truly equitable and equal classroom where every single student leaves with a fulfilling education.

11. Rachetdemic: Reimagining Academic Success by Christopher Emdin

Following the widespread success of “For White Folks in the Hood…” Christopher Edmin shows us how to create a learning environment that feeds the basic needs of all our students without prejudice.

12. Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools and Beyond by Glenn E. Singleton

We’re still in a battle to fight institutionalized racism in our schools. And that’s a tough conversation to have with colleagues and school leaders.

This book helps you recognize deeply ingrained racist practices in the school curriculum and open a dialogue to fight for change for your students, parents, and fellow teachers.

13. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Hammond

There’s a popular phrase: meet them where they’re at. By the very nature of existing, we all enter the classroom with cultural bias. Not on purpose, and not usually in a prejudiced way, but we only know what we grow up learning.

In the book, Zaretta encourages us to create culturally inclusive lessons that make all our children feel included, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic background.

14. Poor Students, Rich Teaching by Eric Jensen

Money is one of the biggest barriers to education in the US. Eric lays out why and how to fix it in this empathetic guide to dealing with poverty in the classroom.

15. What is it About Me You Can’t Teach? By Eleanor Renee Rodriguez

No one is born to discriminate. It’s learned. The passionate title of this book: what is it about me you can’t teach? Puts this learned discrimination at the forefront to inspire teachers to work towards engaging lessons with cultural responsiveness.

A child is just that – a child. Every single one deserves the same right to an equally fulfilling education.

16. Start Here, Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community by Liz Kleinrock

Knowing where to start when cultivating a safe space for children regarding racial equality and bias-free education is hard.

This book helps you find the best way to start the process.

The Best Professional Development Books for Teachers Looking to Create a Digital Classroom

The digital world is the future. As a teacher, you have two options: embrace it or get left behind. These books will help you embrace it.

17. Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities by Kristen Mattson

Social media is a reality of life whether we like it or not. Instead of teaching kids to avoid it or use it to boost their social profile (both recipes for disaster!), this book teaches kids how to use social media responsibly, keeping the community and good citizenship in mind to produce a new generation of thoughtful and compassionate internet users.

18. An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy by Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Murray

Teaching isn’t a fight between man and machine. This book argues that a harmonious balance is the best approach.

So if you’re looking to add digital learning to your curriculum, this book will show you how.

19. Blended Learning with Google: Your Guide to Dynamic Teaching and Learning by Kasey Bell

As the most used website in the world, incorporating it into your teaching practices makes sense.

Kasey’s book provides the blueprints for engaging ways to do just that.

The Best Creative Classroom Professional Development Books for Teachers

Creativity is the antithesis of a traditional classroom. Which is great news because we don’t want the traditional classrooms of yesteryear anymore.

These books will fill your head with great creative ideas to bring back to your classroom.

20. Why They Can’t Write by John Warner

Many think the use of “text speak” has ruined writing for kids forever, threatening a new wave of illiteracy across our population. Not John, though.

In this book, he discusses the need to make writing feel valuable and engaging rather than a passive activity to reignite a love for writing in a generation where TikTok and Instagram rule the roost.

21. Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Creativity and Transform Your Life by Dave Burgess

A creative classroom starts with a creative teacher at its helm. This book shows you how to harness your inner creativity and unleash it into engaging lessons for your students that excite them to come to school every day.

22. The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching and Learning

This book is unique in that a collective writes it of architects instead of the usual teacher-led offering. But in this uniqueness, we gain outside-of-the-box ideas to unleash student creativity by re-shifting the lens on how you deliver your classes.

A must-read for any teacher looking for a new angle on teaching.

23. Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education by Ken Robinson

It’s time to break away from traditional schooling … or at least that’s what Ken Robinson thinks.

This book dives into compelling arguments for why we need to bring more creative freedom into the classroom and rebel against the status quo.

The Best Personal Development Books to Support Professional Development for Teachers

Teachers are people, too. And if you aren’t looking after yourself, you can’t do your job as efficiently.

These books will help feed your mind, body, and soul to remind you why teaching is the best profession and why you got into it in the first place, as well as give you some tips to keep calm when it all gets a bit hectic.

24. Positive Mindset Habits for Teachers: 10 Steps to Reduce Stress, Increase Student Engagement and Reignite Your Passion for Teaching by Grace Stevens

A stressed teacher is not an effective teacher. In this book, Grace shows you how to channel teaching stress into healthy outlets so you can come to work refreshed daily.

25. What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most by Todd Whitaker

The longer you have been a teacher, the more disconnected you may feel from your students. You might stop catching cultural references or miss the latest trends.

Staying connected with your students and the culture they’re growing up in is one of many things great teachers do, according to this book.

26. Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire by Rath Esquith

Feeling stuck in your job is many a teacher’s worst nightmare.

When you need to breathe new life into your teaching career, read this book – you’ll have plenty of outside-the-box ideas to bring back to the classroom with you.

27. I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids by Kyle Schwartz

As teachers, it feels like we’re working for the school board more than we are working to better our kids. Not because we want to but because there is a huge strain on teachers to act a certain way, produce certain results, and become a positive statistic on government reports.

If you feel like you’ve lost sight of the one thing we all love as teachers – the joy of a child discovering something new – this book will help transport you back there.

28. The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-being in Teachers and Students by Daniel Rechtshaffen

It cannot be stressed enough just how vital teacher well-being is for good classroom education.

In some ways, it’s the “put your breathing mask on before you help your child” line you hear in every airplane safety announcement.

This book is essential for teachers who either want or need to learn how to practice good mental well-being techniques to show up as their students’ best version of themselves.

29. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

We’re so privileged to have universal access to education in the US that we sometimes forget this isn’t always the case in other countries.

Malala’s story reminds us just how important our teaching job is and inspires us to get through the dark days. It may feel thankless sometimes, but this book reminds us that our job shapes the lives of every child in our classroom.

Teacher development is a fun web of discovery

Teacher development is such a vast topic, and these are just a few incredible books out there to support your career. Understandably, 29 books is a lot to get through, so pick a topic, choose a title and start slowly.

The knowledge within these books is so addictive you’ll have to read the list before you know it!