So every year on my birthday I receive some money from my beautiful wife to spend on books. It’s the best gift that anyone could possibly give to me, and there’s nothing that I love more than to spend a day or two trying to figure out which books will make my birthday list. The only catch is that I must finish reading all the books that I order before my next birthday or I don’t get to cash in for the following year! It’s a fun challenge for sure, and it forces me to carve out time to read even when I feel like there is no time.
Reading is something that most of us absolutely love to do, but it’s also something that is often difficult to prioritize. Educators are so, so busy with their long days and their hard work that it’s challenging to find an opportunity to sit down and to take a breath…between finding innovative ways to engage their students, and preparing for and attending meetings, and the endless unit and lesson planning, and all the daily individual student assessments and feedback…not to mention their lives outside of school…reading can often be something that we long to do but never accomplish…I definitely get it. I also know that for many of us, if we do happen to find a few minutes here and there, the first thing that we reach for is a nice fiction novel to take us away to another world, and to get our minds off of the day spent at school…I get that too.
That said, I believe that carving out some time in our lives to read a professional book from time to time is one of the most important things that we can do as educators, as it is an amazing source of professional development, and an incredible way to keep us current and to keep us learning and growing, particularly in this wonderful and transformative time in education that we’re currently living in. Breaking out of routines and changing our daily habits is hard I know, and I also know that our intentions are positive and strong, but if you can find a way to set aside at least an hour a week to pick up a professional read, I guarantee it will be time well spent, and it will make you a better educator for your students, your colleagues, and your community. A great book to help you get started is called The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg…a book that will without a doubt set you up for success.
Anyway, I wanted to share my birthday book list with you all for the upcoming year…a list that is heavy around innovation, leadership, personal growth, and becoming your best self for your students and for others. I spent several hours searching on-line, combing through the shelves at the Harvard bookstore, asking trusted friends and colleagues for recommendations, and trusting my gut…I can’t wait for the order to arrive and to open to that first page. The only issue is that I don’t know where to begin…but that’s okay, as long as I begin…I have less than a year! Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
How Will You Measure Your Life? – Clayton M. Christensen
The Art of Possibility – Rosamund Stone Zander, Daniel Zander
Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert
Immunity to Change – Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey
The Right Kind of Crazy – Adam Steltzner, William Patrick
Everybody Matters – Bob Chapman, Raj Sisodia
Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed
Collective Genius – Linda Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove, Kent Lineback
The Heart Led Leader – Tommy Spaulding
Team Genius – Rich Karlgaard, Michael Malone
Thanks for the Feedback – Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen
Presence – Amy Cuddy
Adaptive Leadership – Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky, Alexander Grashow
Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
The Innovator’s Mindset – George Couros
Beyond Measure – Vicki Abeles
Quote of the Week….
I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough… The more one reads the more one sees we have to read – John Adams
Articles – Finding Time to Read
TED Talk – Ann Morgan
Upworthy – 4 Ways that Reading Changes Your Life / Junk Mail Reading Practice