Reading NBCT Roxanna Elden’s novel chronicling the trials and tribulations of educators at fictional Brae Hill Valley HS made Rita Platt laugh. A lot. While Elden reveals the often “dark heart” of reform, she also captures the small everyday successes that keep us going.
Being mindful of what is driving the decisions we make as educators is valuable. A good place to start is by defining our own core values. New principal Rita Platt shares a method for distilling those values and tells how she applied hers to several school decisions.
There is no perfect method for shared decision-making among principals, teachers, staff and families, but it’s most successful when involvement is authentic, time is adequate, and agreed-upon norms are in place. Authors Ron Williamson and Barb Blackburn share strategies.
Messaging Matters provides practical notions and step-by-step models to strengthen communication and build a positive culture with your students, parents, and community. And you can implement them almost immediately, writes school counselor Wendy Adams.
Mindfulness, teacher self-care, and increased job satisfaction for teachers are currently hot topics. Teacher librarian Rita Platt finds Lisa J. Lucas’ helpful book, Practicing Presence, a welcome addition to the conversation about Social Emotional Learning for educators.
Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome offer educators ways to rethink teaching, model risk taking for students, show students they are valued, push the boundaries that hold teachers back, take care of themselves, and develop leadership at a high level, writes Laura Von Staden.
How can school leaders help Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials in the same building work side by side collaboratively? Jennifer Abrams and Valeria A. von Frank define the challenges and offer suggestions Linda Biondi finds essential.
Instead of using summer to squeeze in back-to-back PD or obsessively plan for the coming year, teachers can benefit by devoting some time to restore our energy and renew our sense of self. Author and educator Debbie Silver offers some wise guidance to get us started.
Whitaker, Zoul and Casas present a clear four-part framework to build leadership skills, stressing the importance of having a vision and taking the first step. Educator Laura Von Staden notes the standards relate both to teachers and to leaders identified by title.
Jenny Grant Rankin’s First Aid for Teacher Burnout: How You Can Find Peace and Success is the perfect salve for the tired teacher’s soul. This short book is packed full of great ideas to relieve, rejuvenate, and energize, says teacher-librarian Rita Platt.