A few weeks back, I pitched the idea of a summer professional book club to the administrators in our district. Knowing that schedules are hectic and people like to travel in the summer, myself included, I didn’t expect too much of a response. All of the building leadership is headed to BLC this summer, and we thought it might be a great idea to begin getting ourselves on the same page. Surprisingly, and thankfully, most did and we solicited some advice for some summer reading material from the twitterverse at large.
I put out a survey to the group with a list of titles and asked them to rate them according to preference. Here is the original list:
- Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky:
- A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink:
- Classroom Assessment for Student Learning by Rick Stiggins and
- Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher:
- Summarization in Any Subject by Rick Wormeli:
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni:
- Who Controls Teachers’ Work by Richard Ingersoll:
- On Common Ground by Rick DuFour and Friends:
- Classroom Assessment and Grading that Works by Robert Marzano
- Out of Our Minds by Sir Ken Robinson:
- Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle:
- Moral Leadership by Thomas Sergiovanni
- Failure is not an Option by Alan Blankenstein
When the dust settled after the survey, the group chose one clearly above the rest, and two others tied for second. Moral Leadership will be our summer reading choice for the group, with A Whole New Mind and Failure is not an Option as stand-ins. I’d like to thank the twitterverse, and especially Bill Ferriter and Chris Lehman for their suggestions, as the ones you recommended were all high on the choice list.
Now, for the really serious question: format? How do you successfully run a book discussion with administrators? If anyone has done something like this, please chime in with some suggestions. I would like to make it loose, but still have some group accountability.