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Professional Development Books for Special Ed Teachers


As teachers, we are expected to always continue on with our education. And we would all agree that, as teachers, we are lifelong learners.

This year, I made a promise to myself that I would read more staff development books and attend more conferences. I want to be a sponge and learn all that I can so I can best serve the families that I work with.

Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View the full disclosure policy here.

Yes, the families. Not just the students. I want to continue to be a source of knowledge for parents and guardians, for other teachers, and mostly for my students.

So after asking all of my teacher friends for recommendations, I hit up Amazon and my local Barnes & Noble to grab a few.

Ha, a few. Just “a few”.

I shared the books I purchased through an Instagram Live, and many of you asked me to share a list of the books and then let ya’ll know if I recommend them or not. So this blog post is going to serve as the list for you. 🙂

If you’re looking for education books that are not special education-specific, you’ll enjoy this list.

Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

The Intentional IEP: A Team Approach to Better Outcomes for Students and Their Families
[ Author: Stephanie DeLussey ]
The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students
[ Authors: Jessica Minahan & Nancy Rappaport ]
The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors
[ Author: Jessica Minahan ]
aligning reps to the common core state standards. Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.Aligning IEPs to the Common Core State Standards: for Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities
[ Authors: Ginevra Courtade & Diane M. Browder ]

Do I recommend this book? YES.

Texas is not a “Common Core State,” but we do have standards-aligned IEPs, so I purchased this book to give myself some more insight into aligning IEPs to state standards. It will definitely be more beneficial if you use the CC, but even if you don’t, I still recommend it to generalize the ideas and thought process of how to align goals.

This book is a quick read, with lots of real-life examples using the CCSS to create IEP goals and objectives. I think I was able to read through it in about 2 hours, although I did skim through the examples, and I definitely didn’t read the verbatim CC standards with each example.

Positive Discipline in the Classroom: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom
[ Authors: Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, & H. Stephen Glenn ]
Somebody Else’s Kids: The True Story of Four Problem Children and One Extraordinary Teacher
[ Author: Torey Hayden ]
Focused
[Author: Alyson Gerber]
The Upper Zoo
[Author: Michael Wolf]
[Author: Paul Kirschner]
[Author: Paul Kirschner]
[Author: Kate Swenson]
[Authors: Paula Kluth & Patrick Schwarz]
Out of My Mind
[Author: Sharon M. Draper]
[Authors: Marcia W. Rohrer & Nannette M. Samson]
[Author: Taylor Harris]
[Author: Naoki Higashida]
Uniquely Human
[Author: Ernest Fallen]
The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher
[Author: Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong]
Uniquely Stella
[Author: Deborah M. Menenberg]
[Authors: Albert Johnson-Mussad & Laurel Peltier]
Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs
[Author: Alice Hammel]
Take Control of Dyslexia & Other Reading Difficulties
[ Authors: Jennifer Engel Fisher & Janet Price ]
An Educator’s Guide to Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Integrating All Three Tiers
[Author: Jason E. Harlacher and Billie Jo Rodriguez]
Differentiation in Middle and High School: Strategies to Engage All Learners
[Authors: Kristina Doubet and Jessica Hockett]

perfect phrases for classroom teachers. Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

Perfect Phrases for Classroom Teachers
[ Author: Christine Canning Wilson ]

Do I recommend this book? Yep!

I will say that this book is written more for a general education teacher, BUT it will certainly be super helpful for a special education teacher too. As with any advice that is given, you have to use your best judgment in each situation with a parent to do what is right for the child.

With that being said, there are a few (about a dozen) phrases that I, personally, would never use in a conversation with a parent.

HOWEVER, the author gives great advice on words to avoid using when conversing with parents and appropriate phrases to use in different types of conflicts we may be a part of as a child’s teacher. I really liked all of the different positive ways to give students feedback and the comments that we could potentially use for report cards and IEP progress reports.

At the end, there are some special ed-specific phrases to use when recommending testing for a child who does not have services yet.

the IEP from a to z. Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.The IEP From A to Z: How to Create Meaningful and Measurable Goals and Objectives
[ Authors: Diane Twachtman-Cullen & Jennifer Twachtman-Bassett ]

Do I recommend this book? ON THE FENCE.

This book was written by SLPs and is very educational. The first couple of chapters are like reading the IDEA law, which I didn’t personally care for. When I read a book, I want to be informed in layman’s terms, BUT reading this book gave me an entirely new outlook into how parents feel when they attend IEP meetings.

With that being said, I did learn a lot from the book in terms of how to write IEP goals and objectives according to the IDEA law. The book also did a nice job of comparing how all of the different parts really are dependent upon one another for a successful and measurable IEP.

Disrupting thinking why how we read matters. Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters
[ Authors:  Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst]

Do I recommend this book? Yes.

I saw a bunch of teachers posting about this book on Instagram over the summer, so I wanted to read it too. If you teaching reading and/or language arts in your classroom, you absolutely need to read this book.

The BHH technique is simple yet seems super effective for students in helping them get more meaning and enjoyment out of learning.

Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Advocating for Your Child with Special Needs
[ Author: Amanda Morin ]
The Special Education Playbook for Parents: The Complete Guide to Navigating the 504/IEP Process to Unlock Your Child’s Unique Learning Profile and Help Them Thrive at School
[Author: Rose Lyons]
Special Education Savvy: The Mom’s Guide to Mindset and Effective Advocacy Throughout the IEP Journey
[Author: Mary Beth Gilliland]
Special Kids Need Special Parents: A Resource for Parents of Children with Special Needs
[Author: Judith Loseff Lavin]
Your Special Education Rights: What Your School District Isn’t Telling You
[Authors: Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson]

Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

Special needs school survival guide. Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.The Special Needs School Survival Guide – Handbook for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities & More!
[ Author: Cara Koscinski – The Pocket OT ]

Do I recommend this book? YES, absolutely!

This is the first book I started with, and I absolutely recommend it to ANY teacher, service provider, or parent of a child with special needs. It is a quick read, with language that parents understand.

It begins with explaining what an IEP is and what all of an IEP entails. Not only does it give definitions and examples of what different therapies look like in schools, it gives activity ideas for teachers and parents to try with the child.

But what I appreciate most about this book is that it is, again, written in language that parents understand. SPED teachers speak in a special lingo, and this book does a fabulous job of breaking it down for everyone to understand, with actionable recommendations to help our kiddos.

All about IEPS. Answers to frequently asked questions about IEPs. IEP book for parents and teachers. Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

All About IEPs: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About IEPs
[ Authors: Peter W. D. Wright, Pamela Darr Wright, Sandra Webb O’Connor ]

Do I recommend this book? YES!

I absolutely recommend this book for parents (teachers, too… but it’s fabulous for parents). It goes through the process of obtaining special needs services for your child, giving you pointers and reminders, as well as advice for making the IEP meeting less stressful and intimidating.

If you are a parent of a child with special needs, you NEED this book.

As a teacher, I really enjoyed reading this because it helped me garner a more professional and helpful look at how and what a parent may be thinking during the whole process, throughout the school year, and at different points in the annual ARD meeting process.

If you a first year teacher, or even a veteran teacher who is wanting to gain the perspective of a parent, this book is your key.

Nonverbal Learning Disorder: Understanding and Coping with NLD and Asperger’s – What Parents and Teachers Need to Know
[ Author: Rondalyn Varney Whitney ]
The Incredible 5-Point Scale: Assisting Students in Understanding Social Interactions and Controlling Their Emotional Responses
[ Authors: Kari Dunn Buron & Mitzi Curtis ]
IDEA The Everyday Guide to Special Education Law: A Handbook for Parents, Teachers, and Other Professionals THIRD EDITION
[ Author: Randy Chapman ]

Professional Development books for teachers to read. Helpful books for teachers and parents of students with special needs. Reviews and blog post at Mrs. D's Corner.

The Survival Guide for Kids with LD*  (*Learning Differences)
[ Author: Rhoda Cummings ]

If you’re looking for books for kids to start conversations about disabilities and differences, you will appreciate this growing list of 60+ children’s books.

What books should be added to this growing list? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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