Unlocking Innovation: Two Must Reads for School Leaders

by | Jun 13, 2022 | 0 comments

6 min read

Great School Leaders are Avid Readers

Learning and growing as a school leader through reflection, training, and experience is a professional choice. One powerful way to improve is through reading great books, which is why we feature a couple of books that we benefit from each month. 

Our aim is to link great books to our theme for the month. This month we are focused on school leaders who know that innovation is a key ingredient to successful schools. Innovation in school thrives in a culture that supports diverse and different thinking. Innovation isn’t a thing, it’s not a professional development session; we contend that it’s a value that needs nurturing and support.

For this reason, we chose two books that are must-reads for school leaders who want to build environments, for teachers and other staff members, that are innovative. These may not be the first books that you think of when you reach for a book about innovation, but they’ll support your team’s endeavors to actually be innovative versus just talking about what that means for schools. 

Joe’s Pick: Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man’s Rise from Janitor to Top Executive

Featured Author: Richard Montanez


When we think of innovation in schools, we often think of technology. Whether blended lessons, cool assessment platforms, or flipping a classroom, we love the tech innovations that are reconstructing the instructional prowess of many teachers. However, innovation doesn’t begin or end with tech. Rather, it’s a mindset that should permeate every decision we make. This is why we appreciate Richard’s story and the lessons taught throughout this book. 


Listen to our description about how teachers and leaders can embrace an “owner’s mentality” to break from conventional thinking and unveil new ideas and new developments. 


T.J.’s Pick: Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy and Responsibility Using Restorative Justice

Featured Authors: Nathan Maynard & Brad Weinstein

We love the old adage, “doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” There are a lot of things that we do in schools where this applies, especially with school discipline. So often our efforts to correct student misbehavior simply fall short. Don’t get us wrong, this doesn’t mean that people aren’t working hard to help students succeed. But, very often discipline practices are out-of-date and fail to address some of the deeper needs that students have. This is where restorative practices can be very effective, but they require an innovative mindset. 

Listen to our explanation about how this book provides an innovative approach to discipline that works toward correcting student conduct, which is likely obstructing their own and others’ learning. We love that this book addresses equity, empathy, diversity, and inclusiveness–all elements of a truly innovative mindset in schools. 

Technical Tip for Leaders Who Read

We close every Read This Series with a technical tip. This month’s tip is how to read two books a month. Most people believe that you need to be a fast reader to consistently devour books. Not true. It’s not speed, but consistency. Consider an average reading pace of 200 words per minute. This is a very reasonable pace. If you read 20 minutes a day, that’s 4,000 words per sitting. The average book is about 64,000 words. This means that f you read 4,000 words a day, you will read a book every 16 days. That’s about 2 a month. 

Enjoy both of these books to lead better and grow faster as school leaders. We always appreciate a like, a follow a comment, or a share.

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@dereka206.sg-host.com. And don’t miss our leadership newsletter every week by subscribing on the site. 


We can’t wait to hear from you. 


Joe & T.J.

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