10 Life Changing PD Books for ELA Teachers

Picture this: the sun is shining, the air is warm, and you finally have a moment to yourself. The hustle and bustle of the school year is behind you, and summer stretches out before you like a blank page waiting to be filled.

As you lounge by the pool with a cold drink in hand, or perhaps in a cozy nook of your favorite coffee shop, your thoughts might go back to school even if you want it or not. Your mind analyzes what has passed and is buzzing with the excitement of the unknown. You are certainly not the only one having these thoughts. In a Facebook group for teachers that I follow, a message caught my attention during my mindless scrolling session (I know, I know…guilty as charged).

I’m looking for PD books. I feel extremely lost, exhausted, and unmotivated in my job right now. I teach at a very small school. I LOVE my kids but delivering content and trying to get them to do the work or even just read or write a sentence or two is just exhausting….have you read anything recently that really just relit your fire??? I need help!! I don’t want to leave the classroom but I’m seriously considering it…. (LPW)

I was totally floored and my heart went immediately to this teacher. But I was not the only one having these feelings. Other teachers jumped in, shared lots of PD books (that I also love) and showed their real support. This is what I love about our community of teachers! We know how to bring each other up and light that fire again when someone is down. 

Are you curious to find out what PD books were recommended? Hang on for a second and I’ll give you the TBR list that I curated for myself (and for you as well ;)).

  1. 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents (Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher)
  2. No More Fake Reading: Merging the Classics With Independent Reading to Create Joyful, Lifelong Readers (Berit Gordon)
  3. Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator ( Dave Burgess)
  4. The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades (Judith C. Hochman, Natalie Wexler)
  5. Workshopping the Canon (Mary E. Styslinger)
  6. Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (Gholdy Muhammad)
  7. Micro Mentor Texts: Using Short Passages From Great Books to Teach Writer’s Craft (Penny Kittle)
  8. Just Read It: Unlocking the Magic of Independent Reading in Middle and High School Classrooms (Jarred Amato)
  9. Thinking Out Loud on Paper: The Student Daybook as a Tool to Foster Learning (Lil Brannon, Sally Griffin, Karen Haag, Anthony Iannone, Cynthia Urbanski, Shana Woodward)
  10. Hacking Student Motivation: 5 Assessment Strategies That Boost Learning Progression and Build Student Confidence (Tyler Rablin)

As you turn the last page of these transformative PD books, imagine the ripple effect they can have on your teaching and your students. Each new idea, strategy, and insight you gather has the potential to spark a love of learning, ignite curiosity, and build stronger, more confident readers and writers in your classroom. (You need to trust me on that!)

Summer is not just a time to recharge. It’s a season to grow, to reflect, and to prepare for the incredible journey ahead. By investing in your professional development, you’re not only enhancing your skills but also enriching the lives of every student you teach.

I have already read numbers 1, 3 and 4 and I really enjoyed them. All the rest are already on my TBR list! I really can’t wait to read them all. Have you read any of these books (or do you plan to) or do you have any other recommendations for my PD to be read list? Comment below and tell me more. 

So, take this time to immerse yourself in these life-changing reads. Let them inspire you, challenge you, and empower you. Return to your classroom with renewed energy, fresh perspectives, and a toolkit brimming with new strategies. Here’s to a summer of growth, discovery, and a future filled with endless possibilities!

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