As many students around the country are getting their summer reading lists, educators are preparing theirs as well. Whether you are a teacher who has the summer off or an administrator who is focused on planning for next school year, the summer is a great time to increase your professional development with a good book. For me, I have a few books on my kindle and my nightstand that I have already begun to highlight and dog ear parts I want to remember. Here is my list:


Leverage Leadership: A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, Doug Lemov and Brett Peiser

This book was recommended and given to me by an excellent educational consultant I am working with. The book focuses on seven “levers” of success seen by exceptional schools that make up the Uncommon Schools network. The book is exactly what it says it is. It truly reads as a “practical guide” complete with additional videos, rubrics, presentations and more to be utilized with your staff. I would certainly recommend this books for any school leader looking to improve the quality of instruction and chool culture.


Who Owns the Learning? Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age by Alan November

I am two chapters in and loving every word. This book is short and to the point about the need to prepare our children for the digital age by increasing their role in it. November advocates for creating student roles in the classroom that transforms the students into producers rather than the age old role of consumer our education system reinforces. November not only inspires, but acts as a guide for implementation.


Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

I have to be honest, I judged this book by its cover. I was in a book store (yep, they still exist) when I was drawn to Creativity, Inc. by the title and cover. I am happy to report that the content of the book is even better than the cover. This is the story of Pixar animation written by it’s co-founder and President, Ed Catamull. While it is clearly written for business managers, it easily reads as a guide for educational leaders trying to create an innovative and creative team. Even if you are not managing a team, the behind the scenes access to Pixar, Disney, Steve Jobs and more is creative candy. Enjoy!


The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time by Stephen R. Covey

As I am preparing to begin my role as General Studies Principal of Valley Torah High School, I am looking deeply into systems and frameworks of positive student and staff culture. My research has led me to the role the 7 habits of highly effective people has played in creating such systems as described in Leader in Me. This is a great book for anyone looking to implement student and staff culture programs in your school within a 21st century learning framework.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey

This is the teen version of the 7 habits of highly effective people written by Steven Covey’s son. I am reading this to compliment my reading of Leader in Me and explore the use of the 7 habits for high school students.


A Primer on the Rav – by me

Ok, this is not actually by me, but it is my post. I plan on going through the Rav’s articles suggested by Alex.


Divergent by Veronica Roth

Well, I can’t only read educational books. A guy needs some downtime and this hits the spot. I just started it, but it feels a bit like the hunger games and that is alright by me.


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