September ’17 Reading Update

I’ve been a reading slacker this year!  Because we had a Fall Break this month, my schedule was lighter than normal and I got through a few more books than in previous months. Here is what I read this month.

  • Social Leadia: Moving Students from Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership by Jennifer Casa-Todd – I am so glad I read this book! This was an incredibly inspiring lesson in the value of social media and the leadership opportunities we provide our students. There are children all over the world who are leaders at a young age, doing amazing things and sharing their gifts through social media. We are not yet taking advantage of these tools in schools as much as we could, for the benefit of student and adult learners. Jennifer’s definition of digital leadership “is the belief that students can use the vast reach of technology (especially the use of social media) to improve the lives, well-being, and circumstances of others”. I have no many notes and pages tagged in my book, from all of the great ideas she shares and the students she introduces throughout the book. One of my biggest takeaways is the recognition that it is our (all of us, educators, parents, citizens) job to teach students the power of positive social media use to benefit others. There are negatives to be aware of, and to help students understand. However, if we avoid the lessons because of our fears, we are not helping students learn for themselves the value of their own digital safety and their digital tatoo. When our students Google themselves, they should have something positive present before they leave high school. We have a long way to go in this area, but I am inspired to get started! I highly recommend this book to every educator and parent!
  • The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace by Ron Friedman – A colleague in HR mentioned this book was one of her absolute favorite professional reads, so I had to add it to my to-be-read list It’s taken a LONG time for me to get to it (and I listened to the audio version*), but I’m glad I finally read it. The author shares various research studies that relate to job satisfaction, workplace friendships, interviewing techniques, and employee appreciation.  I enjoyed hearing how the research highlighted the importance of creating welcoming, open work spaces that provide people freedom to do their work in the way in which they prefer.  *On a separate note, I do NOT recommend you listen to the audio version of this book, as it sounded like it was read by a robot and was not pleasing to listen to during my commute!
  • Collateral Damage (Stone Barrington Series #25) by Stuart Woods – Woods is always my go-to for a quick mystery! After not much reading and some nonfiction, I needed this easy read. I enjoyed that this story was a continuation from #24, with Holly Barker, from the CIA, playing a central role in NYC with Stone Barrington, as they sough Jazmin, the sister of the terrorists who almost blew up LA in #24. I love that Dino and Viv, friends of Stone, were actually the big heroes at the end of this book.
  • Unintended Consequences (Stone Barrington Series #26) by Stuart Woods – After the last book, I had hopes that Stone and Holly would end up in a real relationship. But this book took a very different take, with Stone ending up in Europe with memory loss, chasing missing days and Russian criminals! I love Dino and Viv’s new marriage mixed into Stone’s adventures.
  • Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani – I loved the first book, Launch, by these authors, and I loved this new adventure too! This is a new publishing format that is easy and fun to read, with concrete, real examples of how to empower students to own their own learning.  Similar to The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros, this is another inspirational read for any educator ready to take student learning to a new level!
  • Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results by Judith E. Glaser – I must confess that I read the majority of this book back in July, but just finally got around to finishing it this month. One of the biggest messages of this book, to me, was about trust. The author describes three levels of Conversational Intelligence. You can only achieve Level III, which is optimal communication, with high levels of trust. She describes a TRUST method that includes: transparency, relationship, understanding, shared success, and testing assumptions and telling the truth.  I found the examples of conversations and group work that succeed or failed very enlightening.

What do you recommend I add to my reading list next? 

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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