It’s not easy for school administrators to find time to read a book, but if it’s ever going to happen, it’s during July. Here are fourteen recommendations from members of the TICAL Cadre!
Leading Minds: An anatomy of leadership by Howard Gardner
This book dissects the leadership approaches and skill sets of 11 amazing leaders such as Martin Luther King, Margaret Mead, Eleanor Roosevelt, and J. Robert Oppenheimer. I have not finished the book yet but so far so good as I jump around, focusing on the leaders who interest me the most. The minds of leaders and the people who follow them…a great read for outstanding leadership!
Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner
From a prominent educator, author, and founder of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group comes a provocative look at why innovation is today’s most essential real-world skill and what young people need from parents, teachers, and employers to become the innovators of America’s future.
Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems by Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn
Coherence is a book that demands action – it moves from the narrative of fixing one teacher at a time, to asking about the coherence of the system (be it school, national, or world issues). Fullan and Quinn create an important narrative about direction, working together, deepening learning, and securing accountability. The book sparkles with examples of coherence in action, it makes no excuses for employing the wrong levers of change.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink
Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesizes them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways.
Learner-Centered Innovation: Spark Curiosity, Ignite Passion, and Unleash Genius by Katie Martin
A mix of research and personal anecdotes that is compelling and actionable. Appropriate for any educator, but particularly relevant for innovative leaders. “When we tell kids to complete an assignment, we get compliance. When we empower kids to explore and learn how to make an impact on the world, we inspire problem solvers and innovators.”
Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart by James Doty, M.D.
This book is a fast easy read. The author makes the connection between the physiological body and the practice of meditation. The author also had a very traumatic childhood and his story reminds us of the power of the mind to overcome obstacles.
Notice & Note: Strategies for close reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E Probst
Need to nuture your inner teacher this summer? Notice and Note introduces 6 “signposts” that alert readers to significant moments in a work of literature and encourages them to read closely. This helps create attentive readers who look closely at a text, interpret it responsibly and rigorously, and reflect on what it means to them.
Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being by Shawn Achor
This book covers the recent research about how relationships and social connections are more important and influential to achieve happiness and well-being for you and those around you.
The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen
Do you ever worry about they myriad ways we use technology without really thinking about what we’re doing and why—particularly when we’re using mobile devices? That’s what this book is about: thoughtful use.
Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman
Friedman exposes the tectonic movements that are reshaping the world today and explains how to get the most out of them and cushion their worst impacts. You will never look at the world the same way again after you read this book: how you understand the news, the work you do, the education your kids need, the investments your employer has to make, and the moral and geopolitical choices our country has to navigate will all be refashioned by Friedman’s original analysis.
Greater Than Yourself: The ultimate lesson of true leadership by Steven Farber
Greater Than Yourself is a powerful and inspiring story that shows how the goal of a leader is to lift others higher than themselves. A great leader will encourage teammates, employees, and colleagues to become more capable, confident and accomplished than they are themselves.
Bobby Kennedy: A raging spirit by Chris Matthews
A revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before. “A good read for folks about a time when courage, compassion and ideas is what we looked for in our leaders.”
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney
This is a great read to help focus a team on common goals toward a common vision. What I like best is the simplistic recommendations about how to keep the important work at the forefront. I started using it this year to help hone work in large department meetings. This is our common read for next year.
Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else) by Ken Auletta
“The Mad Men days are gone forever, replaced in large part by “quants” and algorithms. The challenge is how to sell products on mobile devices without harassing consumers, how to reach a younger generation accustomed to dodging ads, how to capture consumer attention in an age where choices proliferate and a mass audience is rare.” See any parallels to the challenges we have in education?”
Thank you to the following cadre members for sharing their personal recommendations:
Lisa Marie Gonzales
Susan Brooks Young