As 2018 is coming to an end, I am reflecting on all the books that I have read this past year. Reading is so very important for personal growth. As Dr. Seuss once wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” It is also important to keep your brain strong and healthy. I have been in numerous chats this past year with Adam Welcome, and talking about the importance of making time for us, and keeping our bodies healthy. We go to the gym and do cardio to keep our cardiovascular and muscular systems in top shape. Well, reading is the gym for our brains. The more we read, the stronger our brains get.
I know, I know. You are too busy to find time to read daily. I get it, and I understand better than most. I am a father of four munchkins (10 yr old boy, 6 yr old girl, and two 2 yr old girls), a husband to my beautiful wife Jen, proud school principal, little league coach, active Mason in my local community, and active on the board of the HOA for my community. Not to mention, I write my own monthly blog and participate in multiple Twitter chats weekly. I understand “busy” all too well!
You may be asking yourself, “how does he find time?” My car ride is 35 minutes to, and from, work each day and I utilize this time in the car to listen to books on Audible. I get a new book every month and I don’t lose a second of the day with my family. This is by far the best twenty dollars I spend a month, and one of the best investments I could ever suggest to any person. I also take time to read on Kindle, when putting my girls down to bed, or after my wife goes to bed and I have a little time to myself.
Here is a list of books that I read this past year and they are in no particular order. All these books had a positive impact on me, as a professional and as a person, and I recommend all of them for your reading pleasure this coming year.
Books on School Culture:
Culturize: Every Student. Every Day. Whatever It Takes
by Jimmy Casas
School Culture Rewired: Every Student. Every Day. Whatever It Takes by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker
Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff by Shelly Burgess and Beth Houf
The Pepper Effect: Tap into the Magic of Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation by Sean Gaillard
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love by Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team by Simon Sinek
The Better Leaders Better Schools Roadmap: Small Ideas That Lead to Big Impact by Daniel Bauer
17,000 Classroom Visits Can’t Be Wrong: Strategies That Engage Students, Promote Active Learning, and Boost Achievement by John V. Antonetti & James R. Garver
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
The Four O’Clock Faculty: A Rogue Guide to Revolutionizing Professional Development by Rich Czyz
Origin by Dan Brown
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War by Michael A. Halleran
My Leadership Challenge to you in 2019 is to ask for you to make time to read for 15 or 20 minutes every single day. Allow yourself to read more, learn more, and go further than you ever expected! Wishing you the very best in 2019!
Here are some of the books I am starting in 2019:
Kids Deserve It!: Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome
The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros
Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It? by Baruti K. Kafele
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink