Confession: I do pretty much all my professional reading in the summer. During the school year, after working long days and doing more work most nights after dinner, I prefer to pick a book that’s really just for fun, and that helps me relax my brain. So in the summer, when the pace of work slows, I find I can really dive into the more meaty books I’ve been holding on to and give them the time and thought that they deserve. I want to do those books justice by marking them up with sticky notes (nerd alert: I have a color-coded sticky note system) and planning on how to take my new ideas and new learning and implement it in the most meaningful way possible. Here’s my list that I’m starting off with this summer, but expect to add to:
~ Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: I know this title is popping up on so many “must read” lists right now. A colleague gave it to me several months ago, after I had shared in a meeting how successful a professional development session on Cultural Proficiency had gone in my building. Students from the local high school’s Diversity Awareness Club came to my school and spoke to the staff about their experiences growing up in a predominantly white town. It was eye-opening, and the most powerful PD we have ever had.
~ Blink By Malcolm Gladwell: I’m not sure how I’ve gone this long without reading this book that so many colleagues have touted for years as a “must read.”
~ Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers and Pete Hall: When we return to school in the fall, every child will have been impacted by trauma. Learning how to create trauma-sensitive classrooms and a trauma-sensitive school will be a critical component of re-opening our buildings and welcoming back our students.
~ Discipline with Dignity by Richard L. Curwin, Allen N. Mendler, and Brian D. Mendler: I attended a session at an ASCD conference on this book not long ago, and have wanted to read it since. I believe traditional discipline practices need to be rethought, as they do not lead to positive changes in behavior. We’ve begun looking at the practices in our school, and to approach things more from a stance of “what will I do differently next time” than a stance of punishing, but we have more work to do.
~ Lead Like a Pirate by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf: I’ve had several colleagues tell me this book recharged them at a time in their career when they were near a breaking point. If you’re not close to a breaking point after three months of remote learning, then you might never need to read this book. But if you’re like me, and just can’t handle the thought of even one more virtual meeting, then a book that recharges your passion for your profession is just what you need.
Happy reading, and be well!