I recently purchased several books that I intend to read before the end of this school year, or maybe before the end of the fiscal year, or at least before school begins again in August….
The first book I’ll begin is Warren Berger’s “A More Beautiful Question.” Warren was a featured speaker at the Columbus Museum of Art’s Creativity Summit and the museum’s Cindy Foley recommended that I read this book about sparking ideas and leading with questions. I’m looking forward to it.
In addition I purchased Ed Boland’s “The Battle for Room 314, My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School” and, Amy Morin’s “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” The first book I read the review in the NY Times and determined it may provide some nuggets on the teacher experience. The second book was recommended by my friend Jake Guthrie and I felt I could use some guidance in this area.
Purchasing the books made me take stock of what I’ve read thus far this school year. I love lists of recommended books and I when I go to the Old Worthington Library one of my first stops is at the recommendations of the librarians.
Three books more than any other I have read this year have influenced my thinking on the future of education. They are Tony Wagner’s “Most Likely to Succeed” and “Creating Innovators” and Ken Robinson’s “Creative Schools.” These books all describe in detail the creative skills that will be necessary for students to succeed in the 21st century and ways in which schools need to shift to meet these new challenges. If you are interested in the future of education and only have time to read one book I do highly recommend “Most Likely to Succeed.”
In addition I read Dale Russakoff’s book “The Prize, Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?” Russakoff spends a year imbedded in Newark City Schools as they attempt to implement reforms with the help of a 100 Million dollar donation from Facebook. This is an interesting and balanced look at the school reform movement.
In an attempt to improve my leadership skills this year I’ve read Peter Drucker’s “The Effective Executive” and Urban Meyer’s “Above the Line.” These are very different books but each provided some useful tools on leadership.
All of my reading is not work related. Throughout this school year I did read for pleasure as well. I’ve read Daniel James Brown’s “The Boys in the Boat” which is just one of those great books along the lines of “Unbroken.”
I read Jeff Shaara’s “A Fateful Lightning” which is the final book in a four-book series about the western front of the Civil War. Over the years I’ve read every book Shaara has written.
I recently finished reading Paul Stutzman’s “Hiking Through” about a man who quits his job to hike the Appalachian Trail and Bill Hancock’s “Riding with the Blue Moth” about a man who bicycles across the United States. (Don’t draw any inferences here, but it has been a long school year.)
As baseball season began last month I read John Feinstein’s “Where Nobody Knows Your Name” about life in the baseball minor leagues. I’ve been reading all of Feinstein’s books ever since he published “A Season on the Brink” back in 1987.
As a dad of a middle school daughter I’m working through the John Green books. Recently I read “An Abundance of Katherine’s” and “Looking for Alaska”. I personally think John Green is a literary genius and enjoy his characters.
Finally I’m working through John Stanford’s Prey series in order. I recently read “Easy Prey” and “Chosen Prey” which are books 11 and 12 in a 26 book series. These books are classic murder fiction. Not a lot of redeeming value but I like Lucas Davenport.
What are you reading?
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent