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May 21, 2019

Teacher Growth/PD Through Books

Teacher Growth/PD Through Books

I believe in giving credit where it is due, so let me start off this post by thanking Tiffany L. She made a comment on my Facebook page about wanting to read professional development books this summer. That got my mind racing a million miles a minute trying to come up with my favorite books. There are so many to choose from! I decided to compile a list of some suggestions. Consider this Part 1 of Teacher Growth/PD Through Books. (There are way too many books to include in one post!)

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Biographies and Memoirs

Sometimes a teacher's story is so powerful that it has to be shared! Here are my favorites:

I am OBSESSED with The Book Whisperer! I was originally going to put this in the ELA section but I think this book is powerful for all teachers because she shares such a love of her craft that it's contagious. Don't get me wrong. There are lots of great resources for ELA teachers in this book though. Reading this book (and hearing Donalyn Miller speak in person) has been powerful motivation and encouragement for me to have my students spend time everyday reading in class. I can also say that my classroom library can rival hers!

This book is one that I find myself rereading when I need a little encouragement. Esme writes of her first year as a teacher in Chicago (not too far from where I teach)! While some teacher memoirs have me thinking that I am not good enough (Uuummmm...hello Ron Clark!), this one makes me feel better about myself and inspires me to work at reaching my most difficult students. It helps that I laugh almost nonstop as I reread this story.

Teaching - General 

Last year, I created a private Facebook group and we took a deep dive into this book. At the time, I didn't realize how much I would need this book this year. It was definitely a rough one however I didn't feel the stress as much as I have in the past! This book breaks down different areas in the classroom/school/community into easily digestible "Ways to Enjoy Teaching, No Matter What!"

I really enjoy all the Teach Like a... books. When I read them, I get really motivated to try something new in my classroom! This might be a new technique, strategy, etc. This is the book that started the series off. I would start with this one if you haven't read it yet, but the others are great too!

ELA Teacher Books


I'm combining these two books as they are both by the same authors. The Daily 5 provides a structure to your reading/ELA block. While I like the approach, it doesn't always work with my school's schedule. The Cafe Book, on the other hand, is brilliant! I use this technique in my own classroom. It breaks down reading strategies into manageable mini lessons. This book works well for older students. I think I might reread it this summer.

I must admit that I have not read this book yet. From the reading coaches I follow, this is a must read! I did put it on my Donors Choose. I was hoping that it would fund before summer. Oh well. That hasn't happened yet. At least, I will be able to eventually get a copy of this one.

Math Teacher Books

I admit that I struggled with coming up with books for math teachers. I read this book a couple years ago. While it was a motivating read, I felt math teachers with older students would appreciate it more. A lot of ideas were above my little ones' heads. 

This would be another one that I haven't read. However, I am familiar with Number Talks and would like to become more so. They are a great way to help students explain their reasoning behind an answer. This may be one that I add to my summer reading.

My Summer Reading List


I love Gerry Brooks and was super excited to see that he wrote a book. I have to force myself to wait until summer to read this one. As for The Wild Card, it was a huge hit last summer. I bought it back then but never got a chance to read it. I'm looking forward to getting to it this summer. 

I am sure that I will add to these books. After writing this post, I want to go back and reread some of my favorites. I also found a ton of new books that I haven't checked out yet! Your recommendations are always welcome! Happy Reading!

What book recommendations do you have?

Teachers are expected to grow their expertise through professional development. This post shares books for educators that will actually make a difference in the classroom. Books are broken down into categories ranging from memoirs to subject specific areas. Find out how these books have made a difference in the classroom of this frazzled teacher and will hopefully do the same for you! #confessionsofafrazzledteacher #teachers #professional development {Elementary Teachers, Middle School Teachers}


  1. I loved Kylene Beers When Kids Can’t Read, What Teachers Can Do. It is great for all ELA teachers!

    1. I haven't read this one but will definitely have to add it to my list! Thanks for the suggestion!