Switching grade levels opens up the opportunity to learn new skills, curriculum, and strategies that you didn’t know before. My favorite place to start is with good PD books for educators! Today I am giving you a list of my 7 favorite PD Books to get you ready for the next school year. Also included are my top 3 educator podcasts so you can listen on the go!

I’ve got a checklist to get you ready for the change here.


A stack of professional development books for educators

PD Books for Educators in General

  1. The Essential 55 by Ron Clark: Ron is a co-founder and teacher at the Ron Clark Academy in Georgia where he uses these 55 rules for his school and classroom. The book goes into detail about how to hold students accountable. He encourages you to raise the bar for student’s to learn. His #1 Rule is to Be Humble. Not only is this book good for learning how to teach respect to your students, but it also gives you a pathway to have fun with your students (see rule 47 Absolutely NO Doritos in the school building). I highly recommend this one and will be re-reading it again before the school year!
  2. Talk To Me by Kim Bearden: Kim is the second co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy and is a communication guru. This book not only helped me learn communication techniques to use in my middle school classroom but it also helped my discussions with friends and family. Kim walks your through making connections and the importance of being there for people when they need it.
  3. Whole Brain Teaching by Chris Biffle: Whole Brain Teaching is engaging and so much fun for students to participate in. I used strategies I learned from this book often in Kindergarten and a few in middle school too. The awesome thing about WBT is that all the resources are there for FREE! Yes you read that right, you can get the book on Kindle for free and all their Teachers Pay Teachers Resources are there for you to use. Chris Biffle wants educators to have access to their resources so that you can help your students without worrying how to pay for it. It’s definitely worth the read!
  4. The Wild Card by Hope & Wade King: Hope & Wade were teachers at the Ron Clark Academy before Wade moved schools and Hope had their baby. They are the creators of Get Your Teach On who work with a group of outstanding educators from around the world. Their book goes into how you can make magic for your students through engaging activities [Room transformations, games, &being YOU!]. If you ever wanted to take your lessons to the next level, I would start here.

PD Books for Science Educators

  1. Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook by Workman Publishing: Okay so this book literally HAS IT ALL (and they come in a series). It covers all the topics that a teacher may see while teaching Middle School Science and it breaks down complicated ideas into bite size pieces. This year I had to teach the rock cycle and I just didn’t fully grasp the concept. This book’s little doodles and the ways it keeps track of info helped me understand what I needed to teach my students.
  2. Teaching Science for Understanding in Elementary and Middle Schools by Wynne Harlen: This book is more of a philosophy driven book and shows you how to help students become curious and grasp science concepts. This one is really aligned to the NGSS’s purpose. I briefly read through it last year but plan to take a hard dive over the next few weeks to prepare for school to begin again in September.
  3. Arguing from Evidence in Middle School Science by Jonathan Osborne (& Others): This resource truly has everything you need to teach your students how to state their claim while using evidence. The book gives teacher and students a blueprint to using CER as a way to provide deeper learning through productive talk. This is a must read if you struggle (like me) with helping students write/create CERs in the science classroom.

Podcasts for Education

Teach Me, Teacher

Jacob Chastain and guests discuss all things education and give you on the go professional development. He was the first podcast I ever listened to and enjoy the insight he brings to education. 

Teaching Science in 3D

Erin & Nicole work tirelessly to break down the NGSS standards in a way that is easy to understand. Starting in MS this year, they were my go to podcast to grow and learn to love the standards with which I teach.

Edverything Education

Danielle & Nicole work together to bring PD that is meaningful and serves the whole teacher. They put together the Total Teacher Summit. I’m presenting in 2020 reserve your ticket here (even get replays if this is past!!)
Anything else I should add to my list?

Leave a comment below with your favorite PD Books!



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