All of these are great books for teachers to read. They are not ranked in any way. Number one’s content is just as important for teachers as number 50’s. So, if you’re a teacher, take a look at the list or jump right to what you’re interested in. Whether it’s inspiration, mindfulness, leadership, classroom management, better student outcomes, teaching, learning culture, or educational psychology, you can find what you’re looking for.
Top Professional Development Books For Teachers Compared
The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, And learn A Culture of Creativity – George Couros
One of our favorite professional development books for teachers, The Innovator’s Mindset, has a lot of practical examples of how to be an innovative leader. People in charge of a school can help shape students’ natural curiosity by giving them the chance to question and explore. You can learn how to be more innovative by reading this book.
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits And Break Bad Ones – James Clear
It is one of my favorite books for teachers, even though it isn’t strictly a book for teachers to learn from. In Atomic Habits, James Clear, a world-renowned habits expert, talks about how small changes can change a teacher’s life and make a big difference in student learning and student behavior. This book is very practical. It shows you how to do simple things and why they make good habits and break bad ones.
So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence Of Failure In Urban Schools – Charles M Payne
In this book, Charles M. Payne vividly shows how today’s urban schools have a weak social infrastructure and what it’s like to live there. However, the last decade has given us new information about what causes schools to fail and how some schools have been able to improve.
Vintage Innovation: Leveraging Retro Tools And Classic Ideas To Design Deeper Learning Experiences – John Spencer
John Spencer’s professional development books answer real teachers’ questions about how to be innovative in the classroom even if you don’t have the best technology. They also show how to use old tools and approaches in new ways. Vintage Innovation shows how important it is for teachers to look back and forward, using skills and strategies from the past in new ways.
An Educator’s Guide To STEAM: Engaging Students Using Real-World Problems – Cassie F Quigley, Danielle Herro, Deborah Hanuscin
In this book, an Educator’s Guide to STEAM, teachers who teach grades K-8 can learn more about STEAM in a way that is practical and useful. The conceptual model shows important aspects of STEAM teaching, like how to integrate STEAM content and how to set up the right teaching environment. As one of the best professional development books for teachers who work with students who are interested in STEAM, this book also includes strategies and elements of connected learning that help students connect STEAM to real-world issues.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brene Brown
We think we know everything there is to know about vulnerability from Daring Greatly, but Dr. Brown challenges that. Based on 12 years of research, she says that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather the best way for us to be brave, engage, and connect with others. Understanding these concepts can help a teacher when they are teaching students and when they are running a classroom.
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything – Ken Robinson, Lou Aronica
The Element is the point where natural talent meets your own personal drive. There are a lot of things that happen when people come to the Element: Ken Robinson has a wry sense of humor when he talks about how we can find ourselves in the Element and how we can’t.
The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change – Adam Braun
When a young man built more than 250 schools around the world, it became a New York Times best-seller. The book talks about how anyone can lead a successful and meaningful life. The Promise of a Pencil tells the story of Braun’s journey to find what he was meant to do. Each chapter explains one clear step that everyone can take to make their dreams come true. A good book for teachers who want to improve their skills.
Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight to Inspire, Encourage and Transform, – Elise Ballard
Have you ever had an epiphany, a moment that changed your life, or a realization? She has, and she was so amazed by how it changed her life that she started asking people if they had made the same kinds of breakthroughs.
The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life – Chris Guillebeau
One of the best books ever written. The content, like in his other books, will help the teacher and students in the classroom. Having a quest can make your life more interesting and give it purpose. This book shows how anyone can do this. The obsessive goal seeker Chris Guillebeau didn’t know how many people like him there were on the planet when he set out to visit all of the world’s countries by the time he was 35.
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative – Ken Robinson
As a rule, people say that education and training are the keys to the future. Keys can be turned in two ways. Turn it the other way, and you lock resources away from everyone, even those who own them. Turn it the other way around, and you free up resources and give people back to them. Learning to be Creative is one of the best books for teachers to use to get students and teachers to think and act in new ways about each other.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Brene Brown
A top expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging named Brené Brown has written a book called The Gifts of Imperfection. In it she gives 10 tips on how to live a wholehearted life, which is a way of living in the world from a place of worthiness.
Walking on Water: Reading, Writing and Revolution – Derrick Jensen
Remember when you wished the hands-on classroom clock would move faster? A lot of us would say that we love to learn, but we didn’t like going to school very much at all. Because that’s why. This book talks about what happens to our creativity and uniqueness as we go through school. To keep students excited about learning, we should think about how we can change the way we plan our lessons.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink
Most people think that the best way to get people to do something is to give them money or other things that will make them happy. He says that’s a mistake. In a new book that is both provocative and convincing, he says that the secret to high performance and happiness at work, school, and home is that we all want to be in charge of our own lives, learn and make new things, and do better for ourselves and the world.
The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact – Michael Fullan
Fullan, one of the most well-known leadership authors in education, explains why the answer isn’t in micromanaging instruction or being your own boss. They need to change their roles. He shows them how quickly and at a large scale it can be done.
Flipping Leadership Doesn’t Mean Reinventing the Wheel – Peter M DeWitt
This book is part of the Corwin Connected Educator series. In this volume, you’ll use the principles of connectedness and flipped learning to connect with stakeholders, like teachers, administrators, and parents, online so they’re ready for productive conversation when you meet face-to-face.
Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator – Dave Burgess
Dave Burgess’s “Outrageous Teaching” and “Teach Like a PIRATE” seminars are the inspiration for this development book. It includes inspiration, practical techniques, and new ideas that will help the teacher increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and change your life as an educator. Also, check out Fractus’s reviews of Play Like a Pirate and Exploration Like a Pirate.
Leverage Leadership: A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools – Paul Bambrick-Santoyo
Managing Director Paul Bambrick-Santoyo has written one of the best books for teachers who want to learn more about leadership. In it, he tells school administrators what they need to do to make their schools great by following a few simple rules. These seven principles, or “levers,” allow for steady, transformative, and reversible growth that can be used again and again. Leaders will be able to learn a lot more from the same amount of time if they pay attention to these things.
Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good People From Liars, Criers, and Other Slackers – Todd Whitaker
Poor employees get a lot of attention, but they don’t deserve it. Why? Because they complain the most, make the most noise, and ask others to do the things they don’t want to do. How to help your good employees shift the monkeys back to the people who don’t work as well as you want them to:
The Multiplier Effect: How to Use the Genius in Our Schools – Multiple Authors
There must be a reason that some leaders make their teams more effective, but there must also be a reason that others make them less effective. As a development book, this one looks at more than 100 interviews with school leaders to figure out the five skills that Multipliers use to bring out the best in their schools and classrooms.
What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most – Todd Whitaker
One of the best-known experts in the country on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness wrote the third edition of this book. In it, you will find wisdom, heartfelt advice, and inspiration from one of the best-known experts in the country. With wit and understanding, Todd Whitaker talks about the beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and interactions of great teachers and explains why they do things that other teachers don’t.