Professional development can come in all shapes and sizes, and it can bring a range of benefits along with it. Of course, continued learning makes us better instructors, and it can also have a lot of impact on a teacher’s personal and career goals! Whether you’re expanding your knowledge base to learn new skills or you’re sharpening the ones you already have, investing in personal and professional development can impact your own goals, network, and advancement.
While webinars, conferences, and classes provide excellent development opportunities, you can also do a bit of independent study by grabbing a book to help broaden your horizons. Here are six of our teachers’ favorites!
I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything For Our Kids
The student experience incorporates more elements than learning new information and completing assignments. It also hinges on an individual student’s emotional health, ability to feel comfortable and seen in class, and so much more. I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz is a research-based look at the ‘behind-the-scenes’ situations that impact a students’ classroom behavior and ability to learn. It’s a great option for teachers anywhere in the country and at any stage of their career who are looking for a deeper understanding of the pieces that make up a student’s classroom experience.
Read if you’re looking for: the science behind behavior
Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator
Author Dave Burgess converts his webinar series to the page in Teach Like a PIRATE. Burgess marries creative inspiration with practical application in a handbook that will suit ELA, social studies, or humanities best, but can still be applied across disciplines. Teach Like A PIRATE will help you get your kids excited to learn, and will also help you give you motivation and inspiration to stay the course when things get tough.
Read if you’re looking for: inspiration or creative guidance
Limitless Minds: Learn, Lead and Live Without Barriers
Many of us know the importance of mindset — and that’s especially crucial when it comes to learning. In Limitless Minds, author and professor Jo Boaler examines the adaptability of our brains and all that they’re capable of when we remove the barriers we’ve put in the way. Boaler brings high-level scientific study into play to address myths in education and establish the six key principles to unlocking learning potential.
Read if you’re looking for: debunked education myths
Start Here, Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community
A classroom teacher herself, author Liz Kleinrock is here to give educators practical tips on how to cultivate anti-bias and anti-racist work in their careers. Start Here, Start Now is an entry point for teachers to learn more about getting started, and includes talking points, teacher testimonials, and resources for navigating this new territory appropriately and sensitively. Kleinrock’s book helps instructors consider how to forge these conversations with students, parents, and administrators alike, and explores how these conversations can cross disciplines to create an equitable learning environment on the whole.
Read if you’re looking for: practical advice on inclusivity
A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
In every industry and workplace, the ongoing conversation of culture is extensive — and education is no exception! A New Culture of Learning authors Doug Thomas and John Seely Brown examine the fluid nature of a culture that responds to its surroundings, the unprecedented access people have to information, and how the development of knowledge extends beyond the classroom. These key elements pair with a look at technological advances and their role in teaching and learning to create an outlook on what the culture of learning is now and where it’s headed.
Read if you’re looking for: a deep dive on the impact of media and technology
Uncommon Sense Teaching: Practical Insights in Brain Science to Help Students Learn
Translating neuroscientific research into more digestible practical applications, Uncommon Sense Teaching provides insight on how to keep students engaged and motivated, especially when it comes to online learning. Find tools to enhance teaching, help students retain information after test time, and accommodate a range of abilities within the same classroom. Authors Barbara Oakely, Beth Rogoswky, and Terrence Sejnowski marry their classroom teaching experience with pedagogical advances over the years to put the research into practice and create strong learning experiences for students across the board.
Read if you’re looking for: neuroscience findings to inform your teaching