5 Professional Development Books Every Teacher Should Read


Being a middle school or high school teacher in today’s world is hard enough, but keeping current with lesson plans that are both relevant and engaging can be daunting. Teaching should be a rewarding and exciting career, but it isn’t without its difficulties. Keeping up-to-date with professional development can make your job less intimidating, but you aren’t limited to the boring professional development curriculum of the past.  Instead, there are many modern and out-of-the-box curricula, instructional aides, texts, and lesson plans that can elevate the professional development for new teachers, senior teachers, and administration alike.

Whether you are a new teacher or you've been in the teaching profession forever, these professional development books are the perfect summer reads to help you start off the new school year on the right foot. I'm really partial to the last one!

Using these 5 professional development books every teacher should read, professional development becomes engaging, educational, and inspiring, creating just the right spark to make it through a challenging school year. Lacking professional development is no longer a valid excuse for diving into a new school year unprepared – there are many sources to help advance your educational knowledge. Professional development using these 5 books every teacher should read will provide an exciting and new approach to standard professional development.


5 Professional Development Books Every Teacher Should Read

1. Fish: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results, Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen - About the Seattle Fish Market, Fish analyzes the rehabilitation of a dreadful, morale-lacking business environment and how the Fish Market provides a striking contrast of fun and excitement. Lundin makes comparisons between the Fish Market and "stuffy" workplaces, and the comparisons that he draws can easily be applied in a classroom setting, both among staff, and among students.

2. 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning: Teaching for Success, John Hattie and Klaus Zierer - Hattie and Zierer aim to provide a strong foundation for maximizing success in classrooms. By highlighting mindframes such as assessment, feedback, collaboration, success criteria, and communication, 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning provides beneficial professional skills for both new and seasoned teachers.

3. Teaching: Level 1: Everything I wanted to know when I started out as a teacher, Sergio Travieso Teniente - Broken into six sections, Teaching: Level 1 takes plenty of personal experience and organizes it into a visceral guide to teaching. Teniente discusses teachers, content, presentation, preparation, the classroom, and the student, while providing real-life examples and advice.

BONUS! Another great account of teaching struggles is See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers, by Roxanna Elden. Elden shares entertaining and insightful experiences from hundreds of teachers and offers up advice on challenging scenarios.

4. Teach Like a Champion 2.0: 62 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College, Doug Lemov - Following first edition Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College, Teach Like a Champion 2.0 discusses teaching strategies, classroom modeling, sample lesson plans, and other techniques that will help your high school students prepare for higher education.

BONUS! Get the Teach Like a Champion Field Guide 2.0: A Practical Resource to Make the 62 Techniques Your Own to accompany the text!

5. Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator, Dave Burgess - Accompanied by Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff, and Learn Like a Pirate: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed, Teach Like a Pirate applies concepts of seminars of the same name by providing new techniques and inspiration to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. 

SUPER BONUS! Check out A Lesson Plan for Teachers, New or Old (Experienced, that is!) Guidebook. Written with first-hand accounts and struggles of a young teacher, this read is sure to provide beneficial advice, or at least make you feel a little less crazy as the year progresses!

With these 5+ engaging professional development books, the challenges and struggles you are faced with throughout the school year will seem conquerable and commonplace. No one ever said teaching would be easy. They only said it would be worth it. Proper preparation, commitment, and the right attitude can take your teaching career a long way, and these professional development books are crucial resources for teacher survival. Check out further professional development resources at the Facing History Professional Development website.


Whether you are a new teacher or you've been in the teaching profession forever, these professional development books are the perfect summer reads to help you start off the new school year on the right foot. I'm really partial to the last one!
Happy Teaching!
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Michele Luck
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