Book Recommendation for Special Education Transition Teachers

special education teachers teacher experience transition Nov 16, 2021
One thing that came from the recent pandemic for me was time to read and I’ve made a conscious effort to continue the practice as the world began to open up.
While I may not have nearly the amount of free time now that I did back then, I still found time to read and learn.
Fiction really isn’t my thing when it comes to books. I prefer the Self-Help section over Novels. And, when it comes to reading my way to being a better educator, I’m not really drawn to books specifically about teaching or students with disabilities. I tend to gravitate towards leadership, approaches, and being a better employee (which in turn will make me a better teacher).
Since I have support staff in my classroom, I am in a leadership role. Since I’m an adult, I will navigate hard conversations. Since I am an employee and am married, I will also give and receive feedback.
With that said, below is a list of books I would recommend you check out if you are looking for some that aren’t on typical teacher book lists.

Thanks for the Feedback

At the time of writing, I haven’t even finished this book and I am OBSESSED!!! I swear this should have been a book I read in college or one of my master’s programs. If you manage or supervise staff, read this book. If you are managed by someone else, read this book. If you give feedback, read this book. If you receive feedback, read this book. I hope that covers everyone, because everyone should read this book!
The examples are spot on, the writing is fun, and the takeaways are plentiful. You won’t regret this one!

Having Hard Conversations

I admittedly have difficulty approaching people and sharing my less-than-positive thoughts, which I believe is a natural trait of most people. A few years back I was preparing to have a very scary conversation (in my opinion) and so I called my friend who was an assistant principal for advice. She shared some tips from a training she had recently attended on having hard conversations. Fast forward a few years and that training was being offered at a school near me- so I jumped on it! In just a few hours I came away feeling both empowered and confident in my ability to have 'hard conversations.' I followed-up that training by reading her sequel book to Having Hard Conversations and I am forever changed.
If you need some support in this area, then start with her original book (Having Hard Conversations) and then graduate to Hard Conversations Unpacked. If you can, attend one of her trainings in person- she is such a fun presenter and won't require you to role play (this, my friend, is key)!

Brene Brown Series

  • Dare to Lead
  • Daring Greatly
  • The Gifts of Imperfection
I mean, she is Brene Brown after all. If you haven’t heard of her, she is a social work professor by trade who has dedicated her life to helping understand shame and courage. She has a wit and personality that makes her incredibly relatable! Brene is from Texas, has great sense of humor, and tells parenting and marriage stories that will have you nodding your head.
Her books pack a punch, but in the best most thought-provoking way. I took so many notes and flagged endless page corners so I could revisit when I needed to re-fuel in the leadership, courage, or empathy departments. Just give one book a chance and I bet you’ll soon be ordering the others very soon after!

Atomic Habits

I took this book with me on vacation and finished it before I got home. This isn’t your usual beach read, but once I started reading I couldn’t stop. The suggestions and mental work James Clear mentions had me thinking about how I teach, how I created my habits, how my students (and staff) created their habits, and how we can work towards improving them.
I enjoyed the examples, the real talk, and the overall usefulness of the book. After you are done reading, sign up for his weekly Thursday emails. They are short and to the point, but reignite you to pursue another week of atomic habits!
That rounds out this list of books special ed teachers should read that aren’t specifically about being a special ed teacher. You’ll welcome and drop other book suggestions below!
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