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 … Read the rest

I Don’t Read Educational Books

My good friend George Couros gives me a hard time about this. He gives me a hard time about a lot of things. I like that. The truth is, it’s been a long time since I’ve read an educational book and in particular an educational book written in the last 5 years.

I’ve thought about this quite a bit and yet I hadn’t been able to fully articulate my own thinking on this until a recent conversation with Kristina Ishmael. (Disclaimer: We didn’t actually jump after we talked but we should have)

It’s not likely that it is because of a single reason so I’ll list a few. I’m not writing this to convince anyone of anything but perhaps this might alleviate some guilt folks about who for their own reasons, don’t find educational books particularly compelling. Keep in mind, I wrote a book and am grateful for those that have read it.

  1. I’m immersed in this work. Particularly in the last 10-15 years I’ve spent my work life not just as an educator, which I had for the previous 15 years, but immersed in conversation and thought around the topic. Unlike a classroom teacher, I’ve had the luxury
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Nine Lies About Work (and maybe school)

This post was last updated on May 28th, 2019 at 10:43 am

I’ve been using this quote fairly often in presentations because it’s a good reminder to myself and educators that embracing ideas, even ones that seem to contradict our beliefs or thinking can be joyful. As educators, modelling this might be one of the essential gifts we can share with students

I’ve been a fan of Marcus Buckingham and his work around strengths and the title of this book intrigued me. I’ve been told on a few occasions that I”m a bit of a s*&T disturber. Depending on the person or the context it’s unclear whether this is a compliment or not but under the guise of “strengths” that’s what I take it as. This book aligns well with that character trait.

The chapter titles alone might intrigue you:

The book is based on a large research sample of thousands of employees in hundreds of companies. Lie #1 hits you pretty hard. Swap out “company” for “school district” and you have a very interesting conversation. The message is pretty simple. People’s experience at work is not based on a companies values or mission but on the individual teams they … Read the rest

On Noticing

This post was last updated on April 28th, 2019 at 08:54 pm

I travel a lot and I’m good at. Travelling out of a small airport make connections tough so I often have to come up with ninja moves in order to get where I need to or get home at a reasonable time. I know exactly how long it takes to get through security at customs at almost every airport and can time things pretty well. I also move through airports like the wind. I might be old, but I’m fast. I can take a carryon on a 15-day trip. 


But that’s not really what makes me a great traveller. I think what I do better than many of my fellow road warriors is enjoy it to the fullest. Not just the airport stuff but I take advantage of every place I go. I don’t take it for granted that I have the privilege of seeing many parts of the planet. Even on the fastest trip where I get in late, do my thing and leave, I always try and see something I’ve not seen before. Whether it’s a museum, a famous landmark, a hole in the wall restaurant … Read the rest

“Whatever it Takes” I’m not sure…

This post was born out of a conversation I had with teachers a few weeks ago. I was sitting in a computer lab with about a dozen top-notch educators who had either been using Discovery Education’s Science Techbook or were just being introduced to it. After exploring it for an hour or so and having lots of dialogue one teacher said something to the effect of, “I don’t see why any teacher wouldn’t use this. It’s got everything you need, aligned to the new curriculum. Not only is it an amazing resource, but it’s also a real time saver.” To which another teacher replied. “It is a time saver but in order to get there, you likely need a couple of days of PD or just time.”

I suddenly had an image in my cost benefit analysis scale.

It occured to me that this is essentially … Read the rest