Summer Reading for Professional Development

When you say you’re a teacher, most people exclaim, “It must be so great to have your summers off!” But let’s get real: while summer can be a time of rest for teachers, there’s always the next school year to consider. You might be developing new lesson plans, new ways to manage your classroom space, or ways to get deeper into the trade of being a teacher. To that end, book clubs focused on professional development, whether informal or officially organized by a school or district, can be a way to connect with your fellow teachers, refocus your teaching goals, or simply keep up with the newest trends in education.

If you want an even more interactive and engaging book club experience, you won’t have to wait long! This summer Subtext, a free collaborative reading app, will offer some of our best professional development titles–with the added benefit of annotations from us and our authors. These annotations will include links to relevant articles, video clips, reflection questions and more. Learn more here.

Check out our advice on starting a book club here.

Here are some books to get you started:

Common Core Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts, grades K-5, 6-8, 9-12

  • These maps address every standard in CCSS but are flexible and adaptable to accommodate diverse teaching styles
  • Teachers can use the maps to plan their year and craft their own more detailed lesson plans

Learn more about Common Core at their website.


The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation, by Elena Aguilar

  • This practical resource offers the foundational skills and tools needed by new coaching educators, as well as presenting an overview of the knowledge and theory base behind the practice. Established coaches will find numerous ways to deepen and refine their coaching practice. Principals and others who incorporate coaching strategies into their work will also find a wealth of resources.



A Survival Guide for New Special Educators, by Bonnie S. Billingsley, Mary T. Brownell, Maya Israel, & Margaret L. Kamman

This book provides relevant, practical information for new special education teachers across a broad range of topic areas.

  • Offers research-based, classroom-tested strategies for working with a variety of special needs students
  • Covers everything from preparing for the new school year to behavior management, customizing curriculum, creating effective IEPs, and more


Great Habits, Great Readers: A Practical Guide for K-4 Reading in the Light of Common Core, by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, Aja Settles, & Juliana Worrell Great Habits includes the strategies, systems, and lessons from the top classrooms that bring the habits of reading to life, creating countless quality opportunities for students to take one of the most complex skills we as people can know and to perform it fluently and easily.

  • Offers clear teaching strategies for teaching reading to all students, no matter what level
  • Includes a DVD containing more than 40 video examples from real classrooms

Visit Uncommon Schools here.


The Transparent Teacher: Taking Charge of Your Instruction with Peer-Collected Classroom Data, by Trent Kaufman & Emily Grimm

  • Teacher-Driven Observation is unique in that it places the observed teacher as leader of the work, the one who identifies a personal area for development, engages her colleagues in the collection of classroom data, and utilizes the data collected to inform her ongoing instruction. This book outlines and illustrates a step-by-step process for breaking down professional isolation and cultivating opportunities for meaningful learning through the Teacher-Driven Observation process.
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