What I’ve Read & Learned: March 2019

Books and Articles:

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice In My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris

Image result for 10% happierI appreciated the real skepticism and honesty about challenges he faced – while not the same as my challenges, he still offered an opportunity to relate. I’ll be honest, meditation has been out of my reach. This wandering mind I have made it challenging. What Dan and his mentors and interviews taught me was that a wandering mind doesn’t mean I fail. The wandering offers an opportunity to meditate on the wandering and notice why it has power to disrupt. I’ve since downloaded the app and started listening to the podcast and I’m excited to see what changes this awareness brings to my life.  

Not Light But Fire: How To Lead Meaningful Race Conversations In The Classroom by Matthew McKay.

Image result for not light but fireMatthew McKay, a HS teacher offers strategies and reasons why we should be having these conversations.  He outlines behaviors and ideas that we can put in place tomorrow. Relationships, dialog, publishing all are scaffolded to build the readers toolbox and skills while engaging students, not in activities but real life opportunities to interact and respond to their world, building their confidence and instilling the challenge to speak out and speak up. I love the real strategies that any teacher can use to increase student discourse and I love the purpose and urgency with which this book is written.

“We do not give our students power. They have it — and have been using it for as long as they’ve been holding conversations.”

Matthew McKay

Access Does Not Equal Equity: In New York City’s Highly Segregated School System, Some Schools are Embracing Diversity Through Mastery-Based Learning by Amadou Diallo 

This article brings many ideas to light. There is a quote that MOVED me, and the more I dug in to this article the more I unconvered. Read and then re-read this article. Highlight and annotate. It’s worth it.

“Visiting other schools is the best professional development that exists. There’s no slide deck that is going to lead to seeing new things and being able to apply them to your school.”

Maker Academy Principal, Luke Bauer


The Google Teacher Tribe: Episode 75 – Student Led Tech Teams

This is a favorite podcast hosted by Matt Miller and Kasey Bell. I always learn new ideas and stretch my thinking when I listen, but this episode blew me away. The hosts interviewed a high school tech squad, The Chrome Squad about the work they do supporting their teachers and classmates. The ownership these students feel over their squad, the development of their skills, and the conversation these students engaged in just amazed me! Take a listen and let me know how you might get started on your own tech team!

Marie Forleo with Brene Brown on Leadership: HPX Podcast

Special thank to Nishi Langhorne for the suggestion! This podcast is a great conversation between life coach, Marie Forleo and research professor Brene Brown about all things leadership related. There were so many great takeaways, but one that stands out is about how we must invest in those we lead.

“We must invest a reasonable amount of time in attending to peoples fears and feelings, or squander an unreasonable amount of time dealing with problematic behaviors.”

Brene Brown

Good Ancestor Podcast

This newer podcast, hosted by Layla Saad is a new addition to my podcast obsession. Ms Saad opens each episode of the podcast by stating that she is driven by one burning question – “How can I become a good ancestor?” Each episode features an interview with a strong, powerful woman and each episode is asked “who are the ancestors, living or transitioned, familial or societal, who have influenced your life?” Listening to the perspective from these women about their ancestors and the legacy they are working to leave after they are gone has caused me to reflect and consider these questions more carefully. I’m thankful for the opportunity for the perspective and the thinking that these conversations have prompted. I will honestly say that these episodes are prompting me to consider why I react and respond the way I do, when I speak up and what I say and mean.


I already blogged about this, but you know I am obsessed with Jennifer Gonzalez’s @cultofpedagogy keynote at SXSWEDU conference! Watch it here:

So there you have it. That’s what I’ve read, watched and listened to over the last month. What are you learning?

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