All posts by Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 

A Shot of Courage

So I’ve been thinking a lot about courage these days, and how a simple courageous act can not only change your life, but the lives of others as well. This past week I was privileged enough to witness two incredible acts of courage by people in my life, who not only faced down their fears and changed their lives for the better, but who inspired others to do the same…including me. 

The first thing happened while I was out on the playground watching the kids at recess the other day. A little girl, who had just started new to our school last week, and who didn’t know anyone at all at this point, was standing all by herself against a wall watching the other kids play. You could literally see her mumbling to herself, and playing out a scenario in her mind. You could see her mustering up the courage to ask a group of girls who were playing tag just a few meters away if she could join. You could see her stopping and starting, and on a couple of occasions she took a few steps but then retreated to the side of the building. I stopped myself from facilitating this for her even though I was desperate to, and I decided to wait a few minutes to see what might happen. Sure enough, after four or five minutes of an obvious internal battle she took a deep breath and walked over to the group and asked them if she could play. When the other kids responded eagerly enthusiastically this little girl’s face almost exploded with joy, and at that moment you could see her life change for the better…talk about courage! Even as adults it’s hard to make new friends in new places, so when I saw this play out so beautifully with a seven year old it made my heart want to burst. 

The second thing that happened was with a friend of mine, someone who is  like a brother to me who has been struggling with depression for the better part of two decades. After having spent every day of my life with him for almost twenty five years, I haven’t really spoken to him or seen him for the last ten, and over that time not a day went by that I didn’t think of him and wonder how I could have helped in some small way. Recently though, through the help of a current friend of his, we started to slowly reconnect. He just turned 50 and he somehow, magically, found the courage to make a new start, and to try to take back his life. After fifteen years away from friends and family he quit his job thousands of miles away, found a new one back in his hometown, and has driven back to try and rebuild the bridges that have been burning for a long, long time. Yesterday he sent me a photo with the old gang at a party with a smile on his face…a smile that hasn’t been there for so, so long. Anyway, the courage that it took to to leave it all behind and try to find a new life, a better life, has inspired me to no end. I feel like with that one incredible act of courage he has found some joy for the first time in I don’t know how long, and just like the little girl on the playground, he was welcomed with open arms…so good.

We all need a little shot of courage these days, with everything that is going on in our world, and using a little burst of inspiration from the courage of others can propel us to do the same for ourselves. Maybe it’s a change of habit that you know isn’t working for you, or a small step into the unknown, or a dive out of your comfort zone into a scary place either personally or professionally, or even just a difficult conversation that you’ve been putting off that you know in your heart needs to happen…maybe it’s even just an act of forgiveness that can help to build or rebuild a relationship in your life. As they say, there is no better time than the present, so muster up the courage and face down that fear.

Little acts of courage are happening all around us all the time, in the daily lives of our friends and our students, and with our loved ones, and there is beauty and inspiration in there for the rest of us…open your eyes and heart to it. What courageous thing are you going to do this week? I have a couple of things in mind that I’ve been putting off for awhile now but not anymore. After watching that little girl on the playground, and channeling the courage of my friend, I’m ready and I’m inspired…sometimes you just need someone else to show you the way…even if it’s a little seven year old kid. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

You can choose comfort, or you can choose courage, but you cannot choose both

  • Brene Brown

Inspiring Videos – 

Spaghetti-O’s

Pizza Delivery Man

TED – Emotional Courage

Related Articles – 

Why Courage is More Important than Confidence

Academic Courage

The Importance of Courage

Courage and Great Leadership

Live a Life of Courage

Setting the Tone

So last Thursday we had our virtual Open House event in the Lower School, and with that last puzzle piece we successfully opened up the new school year. It’s surreal to think that we’ve been in school for almost a month, and in many ways it’s been a whirlwind of uncertainty, patience and flexibility. Mixed in with that however, has been a heavy dose of inspiration and purpose, as there seems to be an added sense of urgency this year with all that is going on in the world. 

Honestly, I think setting the tone for a strong start was more important than ever this year, using that heavy dose of urgent purpose to set goals that are transformational not just for the kids and community, but for our world as well…and we’ve done just that. 2020 is throwing all that it can at us these days, and with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg over the weekend, one of our world’s most incredible and inspiring humans, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. There has never been a more important time to go beyond the regular and ordinary, and to use the events in our world to drive us all to action. 

The world is changing right in front of our eyes on a daily basis, and deep within that change is hope, and promise, and beauty. We need to use these difficult times to engage our students and community in the things that really matter. Things like diversity, equity, and inclusion…things like environmental stewardship and positive change-making, and of course, things like community, relationship building, and student ownership. 

Of course, setting these goals as a school and community is an important first step, but now comes the real work…the follow through, where we commit to this work each and every day. We’ve had a wonderful start, and just like Mark Twain says in the quote below, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started”. With the successful first month behind us it is time to keep this sense of urgency and purpose alive in our day to day interactions with our kids. Like I’ve been saying, we are super fortunate to be back face to face with our students, and we can’t for one day take that for granted.

You never know what 2020 will throw at us in the coming months so we need to do everything that we can while we can. I’ll leave you with some beautiful words from the Notorious RBG, as a reminder of what is really important in the world these days…”If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself. Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is – Living not for oneself, but for one’s community”. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

-Mark Twain

Inspiring Videos – 

Electrician Repairs a Life

Fish Chair Tattoo

The Notorious RBG

Related Articles – 

The Power of Relationships in Schools

Why It Matters

Start the School Year Strong

Building Relationships

It’s Time to Reconnect

You Can’t Put a Mask On Love

So last week I wrote about how educators from all around the world are rising up, staring down and accepting the many challenges that this new school year is presenting…in it’s many different forms. From the ever changing government restrictions and school protocols, to the updated and implemented plans for distance learning and online education, it is not only tricky, but incredibly difficult, complex, and absolutely exhausting. This week I want to unpack the WHY behind this incredible and inspiring effort that teachers are exhibiting each and every day, and celebrate the beauty that lies behind the countless hours of hard work and dedication.

If you think critically about all of the webinars attended, articles read, Zoom conversations that have been had, and all of the new professional learning that has been attained over the past  six months, you’ll come to understand that it is all rooted in one thing…a deep love of teaching, which comes with it an unquenchable desire to inspire and engage young people. Educators around the world aren’t doing all of this extra work, and putting themselves in the position of feeling like they are at times drowning because school districts, and Boards, and administrators are telling them to. No, they are doing it because they love to teach, and they want to do it well. 

Much of the anxiety and trepidation and nervousness that teachers are experiencing these days has to do with the feeling of not being able to be the teachers that they ultimately want to be for their kids…being the teachers that they have always been, and it’s scary. We’re all scrambling to find ways to do school well in this new reality, and it’s the dedication and commitment to not letting our young people down that is driving us all forward…and that’s beautiful and inspiring to me.  

The day before we opened up for the year, and welcomed the kids back on campus just over a week ago, we sat together as a faculty and we wrote down our WHY…we took five minutes and we thought about the reason why we teach…and we reconnected with the joy and the love and the purpose that we have as educators. It grounded us and gave us something to hold on to, if and when things get really difficult again. The things that we wrote down on those cards are what keep us all swimming in these rough waters, and putting in all those extra hours trying to find new ways to engage, inspire and connect with our kids. You can put restrictions and protocols in place, and you can lockdown campuses and send teachers into distance learning when necessary, but you can’t put barriers on how much we care about what we do…you can’t lock down the passion that we have for teaching our students, and regardless of the difficult circumstances that educators all over the world are living through these days, you absolutely can’t put a mask on our love. 

We are super, super fortunate here at ASP, compared to the countless number of educators all over the planet, because we are currently back face to face with our kids. We understand that it might change at any moment, so we are not taking any of it for granted. We are grateful and we are inspired and we are being the best versions of ourselves for our students…a little 2nd grader said to me last Friday, as I was holding the door open for everyone in the morning, “Mr. Kerr, I can see your smile through your mask!”, and hearing that I all of a sudden got very emotional. It’s weird and it’s hard and it’s different these days but the love that we have for our vocation will shine through…a mask can’t hold back joy, and it can’t hide a genuine smile…I’ll say it again, and I’ll keep saying it…you can’t put a mask on love.  Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Day…

I am not a teacher, but an awakener – Robert Frost

Inspiring Videos – 

Simple Hybrid

Anniversary Song

What They Really Think

Related Articles – 

Teaching…A Passion

Teacher Ready

The Heart of Teaching

Teaching is Hard

Why We Love to Teach

Challenge Accepted

So we’ve been back to school with students on campus for three days now, with strict restrictions and protocols in place, and I’m feeling very, very grateful. It’s been a lot of work and a lot of planning to get ready for the opening of the school year, and even though the ground may shift from underneath us again at some point this year, having that kid energy back again this past week has fed my soul. 

We are incredibly fortunate to be in this position I know, as so many of our friends and colleagues from around the world are having a very different experience. Starting the year either on distance learning again, or in some form of hybrid situation, and for many educators, even waiting for visas so they can arrive at their schools…it must be so hard, and not at all the way anyone wants to begin the year.

The inspiring thing for me however, is that regardless of the obstacles in place, and despite all of the restrictions and protocols and road blocks in the way, great teachers step up and accept the challenge. Great teachers find a way…always. They do it because they love teaching, and they love kids…and the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what you throw in front of a great teacher, or what obstacles you put in place, because in the end, you can’t put a mask on love. 

For my first post of the year I want to say thank you to our teachers, not only at ASP but all around the world, who are doing their very best to engage kids, and to develop those initial essential relationships, and to light that fire of imagination and creativity and wonder in their students’ eyes in the midst of very strange and tricky situations…thank you! I know that we are all in for an interesting year, a year like we’ve never seen before, but I’d like to think that I speak for all of the amazing educators here at ASP and all over the planet when I say…challenge accepted. Enjoy this beautiful poem below, which speaks to the excitement of a new school year, and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. Have a wonderful week everyone!

We’re On Our Way to School

By trolley, by train, by foot, by sleigh,

by cab, by car, we’re on our way

 — by boat, by bridge, by bike, by bus,

 on wheels, on wings, each one of us,

 has dreams in our pockets and stories to share

 as we open up doors to school everywhere

 … and a rain might mist, a wind might blow;

 the sun might shine on our morning hello,

 and a storm might brew in the sky, let it try,

 but the magic of wonder won’t pass us by,

 we’re on our way to school.

 — Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Quote of the Week…

Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savouring the journey – Roy T. Bennett

Related Articles – 

Pushing Through Adversity

An Opportunity to Choose Growth

Adversity is the Fuel of Greatness

Overcoming Obstacles

Bouncing Back

Inspiring Videos – 

Painting Tributes

The Neighbour’s Driveway

Surprise Thank You’s

A Saved Seagull

TED Talk – Emotional First Aid

TED Talk – 3 Secrets of Resilient People

57th Anniversary of King’s March on Washington

I Miss the Kids Like Crazy

So as we inch closer to our third month of distance learning, and continue to find creative ways to engage students from home each and every day, I have to admit something…I miss the kids like crazy. There is so much about this new normal that is challenging, and sustaining the emotional energy can be difficult at times for sure, but nothing compares to how hard it has been to be away from the kids for this long. 

When we initially closed the campus and went to distance learning I knew it would be really tough for the first couple of weeks until we found our routines, but then I thought that it would get better, and easier once we settled in…well, I was wrong. For me at least, the longer we meander through this experience, the harder it is getting, and honestly, it’s because the most joyful part of my job as an educator has been taken away. Those day to day, minute by minute, face to face interactions with children that feed my soul, and infuse my heart with joy, and keep my smile burning bright…those interactions are gone, and honestly, I don’t like it. I miss the kids like crazy. 

Do you know what else I miss these days…the noise of the school. I come in every day now to an almost empty building, and the silence has been deafening. The noise of a school in session, with kids bustling all around is the most beautiful sound that you’ll ever hear. That constant hum of laughing and learning, and failure and success, and teaching and determination and vulnerability and love…it’s so good. Before the campus closure, one of the best parts of my day was walking down a hallway and listening from outside the door to the sounds of kids engaged, or standing off in the corner of the playground during recess time and listening to the shouts and squeals of happiness, as kids play and make new friends and learn how to fit in…that noise is definitely music to my ears, and without a doubt, it’s the soundtrack to a beautiful and perfect day, and I miss it!

I miss the belly laughs that I used get every morning when I welcomed the kids to school, I miss being able to change my mood in an instant just by walking into a classroom and seeing the smiling faces, I miss the joyful enthusiasm that literally oozes out of kids when they see their friends or learn something new, I miss being able to change a child’s day for the better with a simple word of encouragement or a high five, and I absolutely miss the hugs. Children are the gifts that all educators have been given and not much compares to the beauty of a child engaged in school.

Honestly, I’ve been pretty good at finding and celebrating the silver linings that have come out of this distance learning experience, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the new learning and the new skills that I’ve acquired over the last ten or eleven weeks. In many ways this experience has made me more resilient, more adaptable and certainly more flexible…but…as much as I try to spin it, and as much as I try to turn this lemon into lemonade so to speak, there is simply no way around it, and I want to shout it out loud for all to hear…I miss the kids like crazy and I want them back! 

Anyway, we’re on the homestretch with only a few weeks to go, and of course we will absolutely get through this together. Keep being incredible for our community and hang in there…we’ll hopefully get the kids back soon. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our kids and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

A child is a gift whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart. – Theresa Ann Hunt

Inspiring Videos – 

SGN Episode 8

Graduation Ceremonies

Lockdown Learning

So I was on a Zoom call with some old friends the other day, all of us in very different lines of work, and someone asked what was the most significant “new” learning that we have each experienced since the lockdown began. At the time we all answered flippantly and had a few laughs at each other’s expense, but after the call ended, I went away and thought about that question a little more critically. What I realised is that I have probably learned more personally and professionally over the past two months than I have at any point in recent memory, and as I look hard for silver linings that shine out of this lockdown experience, this absolutely has to be one of them.


Like most of us who do the same job for a few years in a row, we tend to get comfortable and confident with many aspects of the position, and ultimately feel like, “I got this”. Of course, we all get thrown once in awhile into a new experience or a new situation that expands our skillset, and helps us to grow and get better, and often times we even go seeking these experiences out on purpose, but when we get thrust into what we’ve all experienced lately, it’s a whole new ballgame. 


Recently, I haven’t gone a day without having to learn something completely new, and it feels like I’m constantly out of my comfort zone looking for ways to be successful in this new reality. I’m learning new technology platforms and skills at a staggering rate, I’m learning new and creative ways to engage my students, my community, and even my family at home, and I’m having to learn new ways to keep my balance and peace of mind and positive spirit in tact while I’m away from all that I am familiar with. I’m sure you all hear and can relate to what I’m saying, as I know this is the reality for all of us these days…it’s hard for sure, and can be deflating at times trying to keep up, but here’s the thing, I’m starting to embrace it. 


I’ve started to make a list of all the new skills that I’ve acquired since the campus closed and the lockdown began, as well as everything new that I’ve learned that has pushed me to do things differently, and when I stare down at the list it’s amazing to see how much I’ve grown as a person and as a professional. It’s empowering and energising and rewarding to see the level of resilience, and adaptability, and even confidence that has exploded out of this time in our lives, and for me at least, it has put a smile on my face. Like I said before, I’m constantly looking for a silver lining or two that will eventually come out of this difficult experience, and I think I have found an important one…we’re all growing and learning and succeeding in the face of adversity and uncertainty, and we will emerge at the end of this in many ways, better. 


Anyway, it’s a great question to ask yourselves this week, and it’s a wonderful exercise to go through. It’s even a wonderful question and exercise to pose to our students at some point, as you know that they’ve been seriously pushed out of their comfort zones as well, and their new learning has surely been profound. It’s been a tough time for families and schools and educators lately I know, and it’s about to get even more uncertain as we think about what reopening might look like in the not so distant future, so find a way to focus on the positives, and all the new lockdown learning that you’ve acquired…there is a silver lining in there somewhere I know. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors” – African Proverb


Inspiring Videos –

The Great Realisation 

SGN Potluck

Lockdown Grievances 

The Opportunity of Adversity  (An all-time favourite)

Fox in Sox

Reaching Out

So just about a week ago I woke up to the news of the mass shooting in my home province of Nova Scotia, Canada. With each new tragic update and gutting confirmation that what had happened was actually real, my heart shrunk and my mind went numb. That first day was dark indeed, and my joyful spirit felt dislocated as I thought of all those so deeply affected and forever changed…I felt hopeless and a little stuck in place honestly, until I received a short text message from a faculty member and friend of mine, who reached out and simply thought about me, and in that moment, the darkness of the day got a just little bit lighter. It’s funny the power that a simple act of kindness can have, and how the small gesture of reaching out to someone can have such a huge impact. I needed that text message at that moment, and it kickstarted my journey from despair back to hope. 


I don’t know what the world is trying to tell us these days, and it’s hard to make sense of it all honestly. With the tension and isolation of the global lockdown growing, and a tragedy in the unlikeliest of places in the unlikeliest of times…it’s certainly been quite a week. I do know one thing however as I struggle to make sense of it all, we need each other during these days, and we need to reach out. 


I’ve been trying hard this week to reach out to as many people as I can…people in my life who need to know that someone is thinking about them, and there for them if they need support, and I’ve done this for two reasons. I want to be a light in someone’s life who may need a kind voice right about now, and I need to find some support and light for me as well. Reaching out to others not only helps them, it helps you too, and a kind voice or an unexpected connection has tremendous healing power. 


It’s been a difficult week trying to process it all, and like everyone who has been affected by this, I’ve gone through a range of emotions including sadness, anger, confusion, and ultimately…hope. My hope is that my hometown community, as well as our global community will find strength through these difficult times, and emerge stronger together. Just like that simple text message helped to snap my dislocated spirit back into place last week, reaching out to others will make a huge difference, and we’re all capable of being that sunshine for others. Reach out this week to the people that you love, and people who you haven’t spoken to in a while, and let them know that you are thinking about them. Send an email, make a phone call, set up a Zoom call, whatever…just make that connection. I guarantee it will change your day for the better, and it will certainly impact theirs as well.


Teachers, check in with each other this week and share some joy. Reach out to your students and their families too and check in on them, as we’re all struggling in one way or another in this new reality. To my Nova Scotia community, know that the world is wrapping its arms around you virtually and squeezing tight. Rally around each other and find strength in community, and support each other. We will eventually emerge through these difficult times, and when we do, we will be stronger together. Reach out everyone…it’s what we all need. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

We rise by lifting others – Robert Ingersoll


Inspiring Videos –

 Prom 2020 – SGN

Times Like These

For Nova Scotia

California Restaurant

Thank a Hero

Angel

A Virtual Hug

So just like thousands of schools around the world these days, we have been thrust into the reality of distance learning. We managed to successfully navigate through the first four days with our community just last week, and for the most part it went really well. We had plenty of success stories and celebrations, and of course a few glitches to work through, but all in all we transitioned nicely. We were super fortunate that we had some wonderful on-line platforms already in place, and as was the case with so many schools around the globe, we had our educator friends and colleagues in Asia to thank for blazing the trail and showing us the way. 

That said, I’m fully aware that it’s only been four days, and as we stare down the possibility of a long term campus closure we need to turn our attention to sustainability and community balance…it’s going to be tricky I know, but like the many schools who are already weeks ahead of us, we will eventually find our way. 

What I really want to talk about this week however, is how inspired I am to be a part of this amazing International School community, and how proud I am to be an educator as we lean on each other through this difficult and interesting time. We often talk to our students about the power and importance of sharing and collaborating and risk taking, and how true growth and success comes out of facing adversity and being resilient.  What I’ve seen over the past several weeks has cemented my belief that the world’s truest superheroes are educators, and I want to thank you all for your passion, creativity, generous spirit and your unwavering sense of joy and hope. 

I feel like the world is waking up to the incredible complexities of teaching, and how much hard work and effort it takes everyday to engage children in their learning…and that’s just on a regular day! In exceptional circumstances like these, where educators need to show such unbelievable adaptability, imagination, and flexibility, it drives home the point even more…educators are truly modern day heroes.  

Anyway, I just want to reach through this computer and give you all a virtual hug, and thank you for all that you are doing for our children, our families and our world. Keep sharing, keep collaborating and keep leading the way as we all struggle through this global situation together. There are of course many silver linings to this experience, and if we continue to lead with our hearts we will come out the other end all the better for it as an educational world. Have a wonderful on-line week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.

  • H.E. Luccock

Inspiring Videos – 

On-Line Courses for Kids

Inspiring Millions

Brothers in Humanity

TED Talk – Adversity

Distance Learning (Funny…Be Thoughtful)

Splashes of Yellow

So sometimes the road leading out of winter and into spring can be long, and in countries like France, it means clouds and rain and a constant chill in the air. You can find yourself longing for a burst of sunshine and if you’re not careful it can start to negatively affect your energy and mindset. Last week I even found myself having to dig a little deeper to keep my energy up and my smile bright, which is very unusual for me, until out of nowhere something super small happened that gave me the boost that I needed. 

I was coming home from walking the dog early one morning, just as the light was beginning to spread across the day, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a beautiful splash of yellow. The first gorgeous tulip of the season had magically appeared in my yard and I instantly felt this boost of joy and inspiration. It was exactly what I needed at the time and honestly, it reminded me of schools in a funny way, and the day to day lives that seem to string together in a blur during these long stretches at work. It re-connected me to the importance of little celebrations…the intentional and purposeful celebration of little wins along the way with our kids and with each other…those little splashes of yellow that come out of nowhere and scream out to be recognized. 

Oftentimes in schools, and in life, we can go way, way too long without stopping to recognize and celebrate the incredible work that we all do, and the amazing daily accomplishments that happen in the learning lives of our students. I spent that tulip flower day last week reflecting on the journey that we’ve been on as a collective team, and really, it’s staggering to think of how far we’ve come over the past two and a half years. We are in the midst of so many wonderful changes as a division and as a school and we can’t forget to regularly celebrate. I think in many ways we do a nice job as educators with our weekly celebration google doc, and our fun March Gladness initiative, and with our celebratory faculty meetings that we have from time to time, but I’m wondering if I (we) can do a little bit more celebrating with our kids. 

This literal “march” into Spring is hard for many of us as adults and I know it can be hard for our students as well. My challenge to all of us this week is to intentionally celebrate our kids for their effort, their success, their positive attitude and for their youthful joy…they are all throwing out little splashes of yellow all over the place, each and every day, and a compliment and a simple public recognition will be that burst of sunshine that they need…it will make us feel warm and sunny too! Okay, I’ll commit to continue to find ways to celebrate our many successes as a team, and I’m going to celebrate as many kids as I can this week…join me for the fun and let’s all be their makeshift sunshine, and the little splashes of yellow for all of them until the actual sun decides to make an appearance. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

Celebration comes when the common features of life are redeemed

  • Richard J. Foster

Inspiring Videos- 

Home for Senior Dogs

Friendship Saves

How NOT to Raise Your Children

TED Talk – Fear Setting

TED Talk – Giving as a Source of Pleasure

Related Articles – 

Celebrating Our Students

Celebrating Accomplishments 

Small Wins at Work

Achieve Big Goals

What to Read in 2020

So it’s that time again and I’m super excited…new books for a new year! I just finished my final couple of books from 2019 over the February break, and I’ve spent the last week or so compiling my list for 2020…I’ve looked at book reviews and online articles, I’ve combed through book stores, and I’ve asked around for recommendations from friends and colleagues from all around the world, and I now have a preliminary list of 15 books that I’m eager to read…see below.

As usual, I’m encouraging you all to take a few minutes this week to look through these titles, and to order one (or five) that resonate with you…or, do your own research and share those titles with me so I can add them to this list. The suggestions below revolve around the themes of education, leadership, creativity, innovation and culture building, with an overarching focus on becoming a better person and educator for our world. Anyway, happy reading in 2020…a good book can be transformative in so many ways, so please make the time, I promise you it will be time well spent. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.

Quote of the Week…

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body – Joseph Addison

Recommendations –

Malcolm Gladwell – Talking to Strangers

Buckingham-Goodall – Nine Lies About Work

Max Yoder- Do Better Work

Lydia Denworth – Friendship

Dan Heath – Upstream

Daniel Levitin – The Changing Mind

Paul Tough – The Years That Matter Most

Kim Marshall – The Best of the Marshall Memo

Jessica Carson – Wired this Way

Simon Sinek – The Infinite Game

Rob Walker – The Art of Noticing

Medcalf-Mattison – The Future of Leadership

Sugata Mitra – The School in the Cloud

Jim Davies – Imagination

Karen Catlin – Better Allies