July 6, 2019

What Am I Reading?

In my previous post, I offered some thoughts on why I don’t read educational books. Again, it wasn’t to boast but given the prolific rate of educational books, many by people I know well, it might seem odd that I’m not reading them. The thing is I do read and I don’t read fiction so most of my reading is connected to my work but not directly education.

I often begin my presentations asking participants what they are currently reading, listening to or watching. It’s a great way to both get to know participants and perhaps share some new possibilities to explore. Brad Gustafson has a nice way to implement and organize this into your own situation.

When I think about the books I’ve read most recently, a theme emerges- healthy work environments. My own book deals with this and it continues to be a passion of mine. Schools and districts are paying more attention to this but I believe there remains a lack of focus and intention in creating healthy work environments. As someone who spent 23 years in public education to 8 years in the private sector, the differences were glaring. That’s not to say that private companies have it all figured out but employee retention and satisfaction just seems more important. But I digress.

Let me share with you the last few books I’ve been reading with a brief review and encourage you to pick up one of them.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

This is a fairly quick read and focuses on startup culture. Certainly, there are many elements germane to this work environment, there are some fairly universal truths here. In particular, it’s a push against giving your life to your work. I wrote previously about an “all for the kids” kind of mantra we hear so much that while attempting to create urgency around the importance of education, also can suggest we give our lives to the work. This book provides some useful push against some common beliefs.

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

When your chapter titles include “naps” and “play” you have my attention. This book provides research and examples that clearly challenge traditional notions about work. My wife and I both read this one and had some great conversations about including more rest in our lives.

The Power of Moments

Specificity matters to me. I like dissecting small actions and ideas and connect them to bigger, broader themes. This book demonstrates exactly how these little gestures and intentional actions have a great impact. Lots of really great examples of what anyone and any organization can do to create outstanding experiences that matter.

The Nine Lies About Work

My most recent read on the topic and I already blogged about this. But I am still working through some of the ideas that have truly made me rethink a lot of notions about work. I’m interested in anyone that can challenge long-standing beliefs. This book does that by using data to back its claims.

While these books aren’t specifically educational, I see many connections to schools and particularly the work place. What are you reading, outside of education specific books that you think relate well to education?