The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham: Anyone who knows my twitter knows I have a huge intellectual crush on Professor Meacham. He is regularly on my preferred morning show and he offers insight and anecdotes to connect our past to our present. This book was a balm in turbulent times. It acknowledges some of the darker parts of our Nation’s history and how we have come through with the guidance of leadership, faith, and risk. I chose to listen to it, despite owning the hardback, and was so glad I did as Dr. Meacham was the narrator for both the introduction and conclusion. I recommend this not only to teachers and students of history, but to all who believe that an informed citizenry is what moves a country forward.
Those Who Can Do Can’t Teach, New York Times, Adam Grant: This article is specifically focused on higher education but I believe it’s message is applicable to k-12 education. It honors the fact that the best teachers aren’t always those for whom things came easy. Those who are so highly successful in their fields cannot necessarily translate their content knowledge to students. This reiterated the need for educators to be life long students of educational practice in addition to our content. Flexibility in learning and growing is a key trait to teaching others to learn and grow.
Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast-Creating a Culture of Continual Improvement, Part I: Strong leaders focus on building strong culture. As a leader, we must evaluate strong cultural practices and incorporate good ideas from across the board. A strong leader knows the best ideas for culture do not have to be there own. Andy offers a template for shaping strong culture and once I listen to Part II, I’ll let you know more about strategies for implementing the template.
- Name It–“Continuous Improvement”
- Brand It–Phrase, idea, sentence, slogan that labels your goal of continuous improvement that becomes of the organizational vernacular. (“Be Together, Not the Same”)
- Wear It–Model the characterization of culture. The leader must be seen living the culture. It is what a leader does that makes all the difference.
- Teach It–You have to intentionally and consistently teach what you want within the culture of an organization.
- Institutionalize It–Make it a regular part of your organization. Make habits for continual improvement
- Recognize It-When you see it, reward it.
Part of my new role includes the bonus of getting to read to kiddos every week. I’ve had a blast sharing great books with kids. Here are a few I’ve shared to start the year.
Have a great day in your world! No matter what you do or where you go, remember to be kind.