Two Great Books that Every School Leader Must Read to Build a Culture of Growth in Their School

Two Great Books that Every School Leader Must Read to Build a Culture of Growth in Their School

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 great books each month. 

Our aim is to link great books to our theme for the month. This month we are focused on school leaders who want to build a culture of growth in their schools. Growth in any given area requires intentionality with time specifically dedicated to supporting personal development.  

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 nurture growth. 

Joe’s Pick: The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

Featured Author: Pat Lencioni

In this podcast, Joe quickly identifies why The Advantage is a powerful read for growth-driven leaders. Unlike Lencioni’s other books, this is not fable but rather a guide to develop an organization’s health. 

Listen to why an organization’s health is bigger than culture. 

Joe also identifies quick ways to determine how well an organization is functioning. As Lencioni points out in the book, there should be minimal politics and confusion, high morale and productivity, and low staff turnover, which is the purpose of Retention for a Change as well. 

The book is centered on a model, which Joe points out in the episode; see below for a great graphic from Reading Graphics. Please note that the last three aspects of the model focus on clarity. 

13 Hight Trust Behaviors

T.J.’s Pick: Time, Talent, and Energy

Featured Authors: Michael Mankins and Eric Garton

13 Hight Trust Behaviors

T.J. lands on Time, Talent, Energy this month, knowing that if you desire to grow people, then you need to fully understand the impact of time, talent, and energy on what the author’s call “organizational drag.” Not using the three wisely can lead to disastrous results. 

Listen to T.J. describe how these are the scarcest resources that need to be protected in schools. 

He also reveals how the right culture unearths the unique talents within a school and district. Additionally, companies often focus on the strategic goals, financial capital, but fully understanding how to manage your team’s time, talent, and energy is just as, if not more important. 

Technical Tip for Leaders Who Read

We close every Read This Series with a technical tip. This month’s tip is to journal specifically on what you are reading about. Leaders gain results from reading when they take 5 to 10 minutes for free-writing on what the book content means to you and your leadership.

As educators we tout the critical importance of having students synthesize information, and this is one way that we do it that will yield great results. Don’t let the knowledge you gain go to waste. Ideas are fleeting; write them down and grow your own leadership ability exponentially. 

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@theschoolhouse302.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.

Today’s content was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout.

Two Great Books that Every School Leader Must Read to Build a Culture of Growth in Their School

Looking to Improve Performance In A Supportive School Culture? Here Are Two Books that Every School Leader Must 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 each month. Our aim is to link great books to our theme for the month. This month we are focused on creating and maintaining a culture of support in schools

We’ve heard from our subscribers that this content is being used as a leadership development curriculum. Kudos to you for investing in yourself as a school leader to grow and improve.  

In supportive schools, everyone has a voice. It doesn’t mean that they have a say. We often confuse the two. Listening doesn’t always require action, but finding time and space to share ideas, even about things that aren’t going well, is what drives a team environment in schools. We need to focus on support, learn more about it, and become as intentional as possible. 

For this reason, we chose two books that are must reads for school leaders who want to build truly supportive environments for teachers and other staff members.

Joe’s Pick: Performance Conversations: How to Use Questions to Coach Employees, Improve Productivity, and Boost Confidence

Featured Author: Christopher D. Lee, Ph.D.

Joe loves Performance Conversations because it is about improving performance. This is a necessary turn in education where administrators develop not only evaluation skills but also coaching skills. Having the ability to coach teachers and staff members to accelerate performance will raise the achievement in any school. 

A Few Key Reasons to Read Performance Conversations 

  • This book dives into the power of inquiry, coaching, and positive mindset, making a case for the value of each one and how they develop an individual. 
  • The author clearly supports the use of questioning and how we must view it as a tool–a tool used to generate incredible conversations that inform the listener. 
  • There is also a really cool Continuum of Support figure, detailing the methods of support discussed in the book–Supervisory, Coaching, Mentoring, and Sponsoring. 
  • In the end, what makes this book a must read, though, is the detail with what the author calls the Magnificent 7.

  1. What is going well?
  2. What is not going well?
  3. What else is going on?
  4. What are the status of your goals, action plans?
  5. What can I do for you?
  6. How are your professional relationships going?
  7. How are you?

With a focus on supporting effective cultures, this book is a must read.

T.J.’s Pick: The Carrot Principle

Featured Authors: Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton

13 Hight Trust Behaviors

T.J. landed on The Carrot Principle being his book of the month because, well, he loves this book. There are some books that truly resonate with the reader and this book is one of T.J.’s all time favorites. Here’s why it’s so good: it’s based on empirical evidence and the contents are easy to apply. Everyone can celebrate, and everyone should get better at it. With 70% of managers still skeptical about the use of praise, maybe it’s not praise but rather their confidence with doing so

A Few Key Reasons to Read The Carrot Principle

  • Let’s begin with a major, must understand, takeaway for any leader: “79% of people who leave their company cite lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving.” What? This is something we can change tomorrow.
  • The authors describe, and this is a main point from T.J., that many leaders are afraid to use praise. The key is not to hold back and to build a culture of systemic recognition.
  • Another terrific point made throughout the book is that the praise should be done right.
    • A few things not to do: 
      • Don’t be vague
      • Don’t be skeptical
      • Don’t be ambiguous
  • Most importantly, the authors provide their readers with a way to bring recognition and praise front-and-center in four ways:
    • Goal Setting
    • Communication
    • Trust 
    • Accountability

Countless leaders work incredibly hard, but what if all of your efforts fall short because you are getting one thing wrong that is in your grasp to change and control. 

Technical Tip for Leaders Who Read

We close every Read This Series with a technical tip. This month’s tip is to ensure the books you read also equip you to lead with diversity in your organization. Performance Conversations has an entire section dedicated to millennials and provides them with feedback to feed forward. 

 

Enjoy both of these books to lead better and grow faster as school leaders. 

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.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.

This episode of our ReadThisSeries was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Two Books that Every School Leader Must Read To Rethink Accountability and Student Achievement in Schools

Two Books that Every School Leader Must Read To Rethink Accountability and Student Achievement in Schools

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 each month. Our aim is to link great books to our theme for the month. This month we are focused on rethinking what accountability looks like in schools

We’ve heard from our subscribers that this content is being used as a leadership development curriculum. Kudos to you for investing in yourself as a school leader to grow and improve.  

When we think about accountability, a school leader’s mind typically races to state and federal accountability–state assessments, scorecards, and different measures and metrics. This month we wanted to take a different look at accountability, one that speaks to the heart of the work within schools and that drills down into the classroom. 

For that reason, we chose two books that get granular with very specific examples of what schools are doing and how to guide practice for improvement. 

Joe’s Pick: What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers across America

Featured Author: Ted Dintersmith

This is a unique book because Dintersmith visited schools across the U.S. and reported on some incredible schools doing great work. Very early on in the book, he introduces us to the key principles that emerged as he visited schools across America. He identifies them as P.E.A.K.:

  • Purpose
  • Essentials
  • Agency
  • Knowledge

Each of the four represents key aspects of high-level performance that can be implemented by school leaders. This is why this is a great book for accountability; it describes what is working and what may be very helpful in another school or district. Sustainability and replicability are as important as the identified practice itself. 

He also provides a  provocative overview of how we got to where we are in regard to schooling. His brief overview and a short history of state tests, rankings, and institutes of higher education are fascinating as he describes their impact on innovation in schools. 

Lastly, this book is filled with real stories from the field. You won’t be disappointed. Get your copy of What School Could Be today. 

T.J.’s Pick: Practice Perfect: 42 Rules at Getting Better at Getting Better

Featured Authors: Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway, & Katie Yezzi

13 Hight Trust Behaviors

There are a few reasons why we love this book. One reason is that the journey to this book’s creation started in a high poverty school, detailed in the book that many are familiar with, Teach Like A Champion. Two, this book is about getting better through practice. Programs are great, but they are only as effective as the individual using them. In our accountability approach, we have a very teacher-centric focus

 

A common issue in education is our lilly pad approach to change. Too often, schools jump from one initiative to the next in search of a better program that will yield greater student learning. This isn’t due to leadership laziness in schools, but rather an attempt to find a solution in a short amount of time. However, true growth requires time and practice–Perfect Practice. As T.J. describes in his account, the authors detail key practices like Name It, Make It Fun, and Apply First then Reflect as key tools to improving. Practice also goes perfectly with feedback, which is an essential ingredient to improvement.

Enjoy both of these books to lead better and grow faster as school leaders.

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.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.

This episode of our ReadThisSeries was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Speed of Trust: The Single Most Important Book for School Leaders

Speed of Trust: The Single Most Important Book for School Leaders

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 each month. Our aim is to link our suggested reading to our theme for the month. This month we are completely focused on trust. Kudos to you for picking yourself to grow and improve.  

This month we chose to dive deep into the concept of trust and the one book that every school leader needs to read and read again is The Speed of Trust.

Featured Author: Stephen M.R. Covey

Featured Book: Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

Let us first say that we love this book and believe that should be on every leader’s desk. This is not a one time read but rather a book to refer to for guidance and inspiration. Some books deserve an annual read…this is one of them. You can also check out our blog on the topic of trust and our interview with Stephen M.R. Covey himself

An important aspect of the book for note taking and continual reference are the 13 Behaviors of a High Trust Leader. We love this chart from the University of North Texas Health Science Center because it crystallizes each behavior, what it is and is not. We particularly like the counterfeit column because it precisely describes the behavior of the individual who is not operating as a high trust leader. 

13 Hight Trust Behaviors

An additional element of the book that we discussed in our review was the final section. This part of the book deals with instilling and inspiring trust, which is desperately needed right now. Listening to fully understand people, what they’re experiencing, and gaining clarity on issues is crucial for leaders who want to inspire trust. This doesn’t mean that school leaders always have the answers to problems they’re willing to hear, but by understanding someone clearly, you are in a better position to make that determination. What you’ll often discover is that listening alone does help the situation. That said, if there is an opportunity to make a commitment and work toward a solution, then listening intently also provides a perfect opportunity to build trust by keeping and honoring the commitment. 

We always like to leave our audience with a #ReadThisSeries tip for readers, and this month we encourage leaders to read this book with your teams. Speed of Trust is not a book that school leaders should read alone. We encourage you to create a book study group and discuss the content and how to apply it with others.  

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.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.

This episode of our ReadThisSeries was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

The 3 Worst Tips for Building a Culture of Trust in Schools

The 3 Worst Tips for Building a Culture of Trust in Schools

Trust dies but mistrust blossoms.

~ Sophocles

School Leaders: The Value of Trust in Schools

Trust is vital to the success of any school and is at the center of every positive, working relationship. The central role of trust is that it allows people to depend on one another and to operate without worry or fear, two emotions that will stifle any organization. The power of trust is that it allows the school to move forward faster in every way possible, especially with change initiatives that are set to improve results. 

As principal leaders, there are five powerful domains that school and district administrators must focus on for improved student achievement:

  1. Leading teaching learning and development
  2. Ensuring quality teaching
  3. Establishing goals and expectations
  4. Strategic resourcing
  5. Hiring and retaining talented staff

We can spend our time in many areas, doing a lot of different things, but if you want to maximize your efforts as a leader, your daily work will fall into these five domains. However, to be effective in all five, they each must be anchored through a culture of trust. Leaders who know how important this is are always trying to build this kind of environment for students and staff.  

Building Trust in Schools

The problem with building trust for many school leaders is that it is masked within emotions. Trust is a belief. It can be elusive and even counterintuitive because it’s a house of cards, delicately built and easily destroyed. This requires a thorough understanding of trust and challenging what you think you know about it and accepting that what you believe about trust is probably wrong.

We’ll address the counterintuitive part in the next sections, but let’s be clear about what it means to have and build trust as a school leader. We always hear people say that “trust is earned.” That’s true of the leader but not for the leader. In other words, leaders need to earn the trust of others and teammates need to earn each others’ trust, but leaders earn trust by extending it–building relationships, demonstrating trust, respecting others, and being forthright. Great educational leaders trust in others even before it’s earned and only when it’s broken do they take it away. 

Education is a people business. Don’t be fooled. All of the policies and procedures in the world won’t make a school a great place; people are the answer. Knowing this–recognizing that trust in schools is pivotal–is what turns good school leaders into great school leaders. It stems from everyone knowing their role, respecting one another’s work, and recognizing the relation of one role to all the other roles. Understanding the uniqueness of each is crucial in the running of an effective school. Trust builds and grows when everyone can discern that others are advancing the school’s priorities with the same effort and attitude that it takes to be successful. “These discernments tend to organize around four specific considerations: respect, personal regard, competence in core role responsibilities, and personal integrity.” 

This also means that school leaders must address concerns with relationships when one of these four core considerations are broken. We have previously written about the 7 ways that school leaders build trust, which include the ability to rebuild it. Leaders who aren’t apt to strategically restore trust are usually hesitant due to a belief that they hold that is likely counterintuitive to building a trusting environment. 

Why Trust is Mostly Counterintuitive 

Trust is mostly counterintuitive in terms of the way we build it and work to maintain it with others. The core notion that many people hold about trust is that the way we strengthen relationships, and therefore build trust with others, is by being nice. While being nice is important and builds collegiality, it doesn’t instill or build trust. In fact, niceness can be weaponized by assuming or portraying that candor, dissonance, and tough conversations are examples of discord. Nice is confused with agreeable and quite frankly that’s the last thing a leader wants as the foundation of their culture. Worse yet, a culture of nice can breed complacency and incompetence, which erode trust at work. 

Too often, we hear leaders say things like “we are a family” when they refer to their staff. Be careful when using these terms because they can confuse people and send the wrong message. School leaders may try to use this type of messaging to leverage relationships, rather than truly building them on trust. Having a family feel, closeness, and togetherness is critical, but it shouldn’t overshadow performance, standards, and accountability. 

We’re reminded that Covey’s 13 High Trust Behaviors for leaders include “talk straight,” “confront reality,” “clarify expectations,” and “practice accountability.” Most of the high trust behaviors that leaders must put on display are more about candor, transparency, commitments, and competence than about being nice. Anyone can go around being nice and pretending to be supportive, hoping that it will lead to a positive relationship, but effective leaders deliver results and hold others to a standard that delivers results as well. The biggest problem with trust is that it’s misunderstood and, therefore, we can easily learn bad habits. Let’s take a look at three tips for building trust that don’t work at all and may even be working against the school culture you’re trying to build. 

The 3 Worst Tips about Building Trust in Schools

Build Relationships, First

“Listen, don’t come out of the gate too fast. Get to know people, build relationships, and then set the tone for your leadership.” This is thought to be sage advice for leaders entering a new situation or environment, but it is dead wrong, and we hear it all the time. In fact, this is usually the advice given to new school leaders–coaches, assistant principals, and principals. It’s also what gets new leaders off to the worst start to actually building a winning team

Relationships are important in schools, and they should be built professionally, grounded in the core values of the school. The last thing we want is for teachers to build friendships with students that blur the lines between educator and pupil, and the relationships between administrators and teachers are no different. Granted, incredible friendships grow over years of service with one another, but that should happen organically–fortified through the desire to build an incredible school, working through tough times, and meeting challenges and demands. Those are the situations that can strengthen any bond, but you don’t “build relationships, first.” They actually come second–after we’ve done hard work together. 

Consider domain three, Establishing goals & expectations, as the foundation for building trust. Leaders who communicate a clear vision, demonstrate a strategic way for everyone to meet high expectations, and ultimately get results, are the ones who garner trust and deep working relationships. It comes down to whether or not we can see where they’re going and if we want to go there too.

Building Trust the Right Way: Trust Tip for Principal Leaders 

The number one thing that school leaders can do to build trust on the team is to create a shared vision and keep it at the forefront of every decision. This school year, many schools embraced the idea of accelerated learning–getting to the core of what needed to be taught in classrooms. Why? “Researchers found that when teachers took an accelerated-learning approach in math, students completed 27 percent more grade-level lessons, and struggled less with content, than students in classrooms where teachers used remediation.” Leaders who build and develop trust continually maintain the focus on student achievement and protect teachers’ time to do so. They’re not inconsistent with their expectations and they don’t meander from one initiative to the next without a central focus for what they want to accomplish. 

Only Focus on Strengths

It’s a major mistake to think that you can only focus on the strengths of the people on the team as a way to build trust and get better. We have to be willing to have the tough conversations and tackle the difficult issues. Trust us, we believe in Soaring with Your Strengths and we don’t knock strengths-based leadership. Most people will become stronger faster in areas of life and work where their aptitude is high. But that doesn’t mean that weaknesses and shortcomings should be ignored. 

To build on a person’s strengths and weaknesses, communication is the clear driver. At work, this begins with candid and compassionate feedback. In fact, it is wise for leaders to spend as much of their time as possible working with staff, conducting observations, holding listening tours, digging into the data, and reviewing performance results. Feedback is one of the most important aspects of quality leadership. 

Consider domain two, Ensuring quality teaching, which is driven by feedback conversations. Think about initiating Reading Across the Curriculum to improve reading among students who are behind a grade level, yet a teacher refuses to adopt some of the new strategies that are profoundly more effective than old ones, like Drop Everything and Read. The teacher builds strong connections with students, which is terrific, but relationships alone don’t improve one’s ability to read. School leaders need to have tough conversations that tackle weaknesses, not just strengths. 

Building Trust the Right Way: Trust Tip for Principal Leaders

One of the most important things that school leaders can do if they want to build a trusting environment is to learn to provide quality feedback. Whenever you doubt yourself, just think of your very best teachers. They always crave feedback. They want to get better. They invite you in to see a new lesson. They experiment and try new strategies. Why? It’s not about them; they want to get better for the sake of their students. Effective school leaders know that quality feedback is how professionals grow. 

Treat Everyone the Same

Maybe the worst thing you can do as a school leader is to confuse fair treatment with equal treatment, but we see it all the time. Differentiation is not just for students. Great school leaders understand that school teams are composed of individuals with different needs who possess a different set of skills. This is actually what leads to many teachers’ frustration–a generalized approach when meeting their needs. One size does not fit all. 

Please don’t confuse this with favoritism. Having besties, building cliques, and leveraging friendships may be prominent in middle school, but they have no role in the workplace. Rather, we are referring to school leaders developing a keen awareness of the skill sets of their staff, resources they need for further development, and a pulse on the climate of the school and district.  

Consider domain four, Strategic resourcing, to build trust. Ensuring every teacher has functioning technology is critical. Yet, some departments and subjects demand different resources and tools that enhance student learning. Consider a platform like formative for math teachers. Not every teacher may need it, but being able to track data in real time, assess students’ skills, and provide timely feedback is the hallmark of any great formative assessment. Great leaders listen to their teachers and use resources to support them which ultimately supports students. 

Building Trust the Right Way: Trust Tip for Principal Leaders

Just as counterintuitive as any other trust-building factor is that all staff are treated the same. Consider the staff member who’s weaknesses eclipse their strengths. Even the greatest tools, like formatives, aren’t being used and student growth is stagnant. This is when great school leaders confront the problem head-on with that particular staff member. They don’t throw the monkey blanket on everyone, as Todd Whitaker would say, accusing everyone of underperformance. Rather, school leaders who operate within trusting relationships are straightforward with the individual, they enact a plan of support, mirrored by progressive discipline if necessary. They confront problems and alter scenarios. 

Walk the Walk and Build The Strongest Bonds of Trust in Your School

The very best school leaders are sound instructional leaders who can lead professional development. Their knowledge of effective instructional strategies, methods to build strong relationships with students, and ability to keep teaching and learning at the forefront of every decision is what builds trust far more than anything else. Effective leaders learn to strengthen relationships by doing the work, not before, by helping everyone to understand their strengths at the same time developing new skills, and by differentiating the supports that we put in place based on individual needs. You can be a school leader who builds a culture of trust each day, but don’t fall prey to the counterintuitive aspects of trust that plague school leaders who have the right intention but who don’t accomplish their intended outcomes. 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCould. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J. 

This blog post was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Two Books You Must Read To Reclaim Your Purpose–It’s Easy If You Do It Right

Two Books You Must Read To Reclaim Your Purpose–It’s Easy If You Do It Right

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 each month. Our aim is to link the reading to our theme for the month, getting grounded this December, so you, the reader, are processing the information through a specified lens. We’ve heard from our followers that this content is being used as a leadership development curriculum. Kudos to you for picking yourself to grow and improve.  

We have found that this degree of focus helps achieve the aim we are after. This month we are totally focused on reclaiming our purpose because Covid19 and other societal issues have simply rocked our world. Although it is hard to declare causation, it is believed that isolation during the pandemic is likely the reason we’ve experienced an increase in various crimes. Schools are microcosms of the community, so what people are experiencing in their lives impacts our schools to a great degree. This is why we are focused on getting grounded to reclaim your purpose

Reclamation is powerful and right now we need people to reassert themselves and once again take control of their lives. This doesn’t diminish the threat we face, but rather it recognizes that we still can control many things in our lives. This is at the heart of this month’s post and the genius that is held within our first book recommendation. 

 A compilation of writings from some of the greatest thinkers who have walked this earth are found in Man and Man: The Social Philosophers. You will find Epictetus’ The Manual inside. You will discover a very practical approach to living that is designed to reduce suffering. This is one of our favorite quotes from the book:

“In walking about, as you take care not to step on a nail, or to sprain your foot, so take care not to damage your own ruling faculty; and if we observe this rule in every act, we shall undertake this act with more security.”

Featured Author: Compilation of Authors

Featured Book: THE SOCIAL PHILOSOPHERS MAN AND MAN (THE WORLD’S GREAT THINKERS SERIES)

Our second book this month is a terrific must read and something that we believe should be revisited from time-to-time. Todd Whitaker has become a force for educational leaders as they learn how to navigate challenges. We chose, What Great Principals Do Differently not only because it offers simple and sage advice for school leaders, but it also helps leaders reclaim their purpose. 

One aspect that we truly appreciate is how Whitaker describes that we must invest in people. And, we can’t think of a more important time than now to do so. As he describes, 

“We can spend a great deal of time and energy looking for programs that will solve our problems, but these programs frequently do not bring the improvement or growth we seek. Instead, we must focus on what really matters. It is never about programs, it is always about people.” 

Featured Author: Todd Whitaker

Featured Book: What Great Principals Do Differently

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.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.

This episode of our ReadThisSeries was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Learn how you can give practical praise each day as you lead your school to develop a better and more positive culture through this complimentary eBook we use in our workshops to help principals all over the nation and subscribe for more resources like this one delivered to your inbox. 

Congratulations on claiming your copy - you may download it here: https://theschoolhouse302.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Technical-Tip-Praise-Practice-A-Model-for-Specific-Praise.pdf