Professional Books to Motivate Your Teaching

Are you looking to renew your passion for teaching and motivate you to get started with a new school year? Check out these professional books that will leave you refreshed and ready to conquer the school year!
I don't know about you, but I LOVE to read professional books about teaching. You probably think that I am kidding, but I am not. There is something about reading about teaching that is really refreshing to me.

The bigger struggle for me is always finding time to read all the books that I want to. With this being said, I pulled together a list of seven professional books that I have read over and over again. Not only are these books motivating, but they continue to be resources that I return to over and over again.

Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click and make a purchase Amazon gives me a little bit back, but it does not change the price that you pay. The money that Amazon gives me goes for the upkeep of this blog.

When I was trying to decide which books to include in this post as well as what order to put them in, I decided to go with the order in which I read them.

Setting Limits in the Classroom

This book was required reading for my very first education course in college and has been my best buddy ever since. I honestly reread it at least once a year, even years that I am not in the classroom. It is just that good. It is FULL of common sense actions to take in the classroom to build relationships with your students and have a healthy functioning classroom. I really cannot sing its praises high enough.

Positive Discipline in the Classroom

I grew up in an extremely strict household and held the belief that discipline had everything to do with punishment and negatives. That is until I really dove into this book, another required read for a college education course.

This book is the way that I learned to build a positive, interdependent classroom community from day one. It helped me to establish class meetings which began an absolutely integral part of our community and led to our classroom feeling much more like a family than a bunch of strangers thrown in together for a year. This meant that when struggles did arise we were able to handle them with dignity and love towards one another.

Who Moved My Cheese?

While this book is clearly not a strictly teaching book it is important to just being a human, especially if you are going to be an adult human. 

This book is all about change and accepting change rather than fighting it. As teachers we have to come to terms with change on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily basis, and even at just a moment's notice. This book is a SUPER quick read, and another one that I have read over and over again when I need to be reminded to move with my own cheese.

Are you looking to renew your passion for teaching and motivate you to get started with a new school year? Check out these professional books that will leave you refreshed and ready to conquer the school year!AND because learning to deal with change is such an important lesson there is also a children's version of the book that I have enjoyed sharing with my students.

Kagan Cooperative Learning

The final book from my college days that motivates me to this day is Kagan Cooperative Learning. This is where my love affair with cooperative learning started, and it has never ended. This book has everything you need from rationale, to structures, to cooperative learning activities to get you started with cooperative learning. Soon you will be as in love with it as I am.

The truth is that there are so many nuances that go into cooperative learning that you may as well go straight to the source and get all the details.


Drive is another book that does not fall strictly into professional teaching books, but applies none the less! I first read this book because I had forgot a book for my flight and it was recommended in the overpriced airport book store. True story. 

It is all about motivation and I took home lessons about what motivates me as well as how I could work to motivate others around me, namely my students. While reading this one, keep an open mind as to how the different ideas can be used in your classroom and you are sure to come away motivated!

The Strategic Teacher

This last book on this list is the newest addition to my absolute must have and refer to all the time teaching books. It was recommended by Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy at a conference last summer. If you are familiar with Jennifer and her blog or podcast you will jump all over this one. Everything she recommends is pretty much amazing. 

This book is chock full of twenty teaching strategies that you can use in your classroom pretty much as soon as you read them. They are all research proven and pack a whole lot of bang for their buck. I mean, aren't the most motivating professional books the ones you can apply right away?

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  1. Thanks for a great selection of the books.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing such a beautiful article.


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