One of the best ways to become a stronger teacher is to continuously focus on growth and improvement. Whether that comes from teaching new grade levels to trying out new units to attending teaching conferences and everything else in between, professional growth is essential. You don’t ever want to be that teacher photocopying photocopies from twenty years ago.
While there are many ways for teachers to grow as educators, one simple and easy way is to dive into a professional development book. Reading teacher professional development books has quite a few advantages. For starters, you can read the books at your own pace and select which strategies you’d like to implement. Furthermore, you can also share your experiences with your colleagues to grow even more.
Here are 10 English teacher professional development books that every middle school ELA and high school English teacher should have on their bookshelves. Note: This post contains affiliate links that help me support the operation of this website.
1. 180 Days by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle
I LOVE 180 Days because it shows how to practically implement a curriculum in two different ways. From the beginning of the book that focuses on how important the planning part of teaching is -from setting up your classroom procedures to thinking about lesson design. If you are looking for fresh ideas or to reinvigorate your teaching, this book is for you.
2. Cultivating Genius by Dr. Ghouldy Muhammad
If you haven’t started looking into ABAR teaching practices or implementing culturally responsive teaching yet, Cultivating Genius is a great place to start! This book will challenge you to reevaluate your teaching practices (for the better) and do the work required to provide a more equitable learning environment for your students. You’ll walk away from this book with concrete strategies to use to help dismantle systematic racism in the school system.
3. Workshopping the Canon by Mary Styslinger
If the canon still has a place in your high school English curriculum, Workshopping the Canon is a must! This book will provide you with engaging strategies and hands-on ideas to help you teach the canon with confidence. From how to pair texts with the classics to how to guide classroom discussions, this book will help you plan stronger novel units.
4. Start Here, Start Now by Liz Kleinrock
At the time of publication, Start Here, Start Now, was the most recently published book on the list. It is an essential, must-read book for ABAR teaching practices. Reading this book will make you a stronger English teacher, and it will also provide you with discussion strategies and classroom activities to help make your classroom more inclusive.
5. No More Fake Reading by Berit Gordon
If you’re looking at ways to establish an independent reading program and authentically get students to enjoy reading, No More Fake Reading is the teacher PD book for you! This book is jam-packed with ideas about how to integrate independent reading into your classroom -from establishing your classroom library to turning students into actual readers!
6. A Novel Approach by Kate Roberts
If you’re looking for a more student-centered approach for whole-class novels and independent reading, A Novel Approach is the ELA book for you! This book will help you tackle difficult aspects of teaching novels and provide you with a logical approach to improve your novel instruction.
7. Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher
Mentor texts are so beneficial for students, and in Write Like This, Kelly Gallagher provides insightful ways about how to model writing instruction for students. With an emphasis on real-world writing applications, the strategies in this book will help students see the value in writing.
8. Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman
This book, Grading for Equity, will change the way you approach assessments and grading in your classroom -for the better. If the research in this book isn’t persuasive enough to help you adopt a more equitable grading approach, the positive student outcomes will be.
9. Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
I love the innovative ideas and strategies in Teach Like a Pirate. This student-focused, engaging approach to teaching helps promote student creativity and buy-in. This is a great book to read if you are in a teaching slump and need a little bit of motivation to get you going.
10. The Civically Engaged Classroom by Mary Ehrenworth, Pablo Wolfe, and Marc Todd
As English teachers, we have the ability to engage and inspire our students -the future leaders of the world- in our classrooms. This book, The Civically Engaged Classroom, is just the starting point for that. This book will provide you with the support and step-by-step guidance to help your students become active participants in society.