Friday, July 25, 2014

The Ultimate Forgive

In Malcolm Gladwell's latest book David and Goliath there is a section on a family that has to deal with the tragic loss of their nine-year old daughter, Candace, and how the family chose to deal with the loss.

A very similar story can be found on The Moth website where Hector Black talks about how he chose to deal with the death of his daughter in his story Forgiveness.

I think you will find both stories compelling, and they may give you a new outlook on forgiving.

Friday, July 18, 2014

On Leadership and Governance

Next week I am off to The College of New Rochelle to teach a class to Montessori school administrators at the Center for Montessori Education | NY. The class will cover school leadership, governance, enrollment, legal considerations, and taking care of yourself. It is the highlight of my work in governance teaching. Here are a few resources I use in my work:

The Nonprofit Board Answer Book: A Practical Guide for Board Members and Chief Executives - BoardSource
Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business - Danny Meyer
Governance as Leadership - Richard Chait, William Ryan, and Barbara Taylor
"Golden Governance" - Dane Peters

Friday, July 11, 2014

Far Far Away

When the librarian and I were talking about young adult and middle reader literature, she immediately steered me to a book that I devoured in a week's time, and that is fast for slow-slow reader me. This coming-of-age YA book about two 15-year olds intertwined with the fairy tale Grimm brother, Jacob, is captivating and compelling. Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is a must read.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Babies Dancing?

If you need a quick chuckle during these restful—I hope—summer days, watch this one-minute video. Eighty-five million other viewers have.

Friday, June 27, 2014


"Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as 'pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity.' Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human."

This is taken from the On Being website introducing the in depth interview host Krista Tippett had with Dr. Stuart Brown.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Teachers Touching Lives

Teachers touch their students' lives everyday, and the teacher may never know how much until a student is well into adulthood. Recently, I wrote an article entitled "Teachers Touching Lives" because I received an email that surprised me to no end.

Whether you are a teacher or a parent, at some point in your life, a teacher made a difference in your life—a difference that has affected you forever.

Friday, June 13, 2014

How Children Succeed

Paul Tough, author of the NYTimes bestselling book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, draws upon the work of Angela Duckworth (the grit and resilience guru), Dave Levin (KIPP founder), and Dominic Randolph (Head of Riverdale Country School) to demonstrate the importance of character and the non-cognitive characteristics of child development.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fault in Our Stars - Part 2

It was a year ago when I read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, a popular young adult book. Now #1 and 77 weeks on the NYTimes bestseller list, the book will debut as a movie this week. Below is the trailer.

Be sure to listen to npr's Neda Ulaby's interview with the 36-year old Green to learn what inspired him to write the story. Oh, it is also impressive to note that Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines by Green are in the top 10 on the bestseller list as well.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It Was the Children

"But I was most impressed with the children. The children were very eager to want to reach out and try to help me, in some way."

This quote is taken from an npr interview with Mormon Bishop David Musselman when he was disguised as a homeless person and stood outside of his church before the service as congregants entered the church. Listen to his powerful interview with npr's, Ari Shapiro.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Cycle of Computer Programing

Twenty-five years ago programing using Basic, Logo, Pascal, and HTML was a popular educational tool. At some point, it slipped off of the academic technology grid. Today students are designing applications for smartphones. See the TED Talk of 12-year old Thomas Suarez. Programing aka "coding" is now stronger than ever as illustrated on the front page of the May 11, 2014 New York Times. “Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Now Coding” by Matt Richtel who reports a “national educational movement in computer coding instruction that is growing at Internet speeds.”

Also, check out

Friday, May 9, 2014

Look Up

If you can't find the time to read Catherine Steiner-Adair's much-talked-about book, The Big Disconnect, then view this five-minute video. THEN, go get her book and read it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Get Grimm

It's all a matter of coincidence, but I've been consumed by brothers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, you know, the 19th Century fairy tale writers.

1) I am involved in a production of "Fractured Fairytales" at the Seacoast Repertory Theater; I'm playing the part of Hansel.
2) Coincidentally, the local librarian in my town recommended the book Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, a young adult book about 15-year olds Jeremy and Ginger who are guided by ghost Jakob Grimm. It's a book I recommend highly.
3) I bumped into the free online book on Google Books, Grimm's Fairy Tales and cannot put it down. The original versions of Cinderella, The Golden Goose, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood and many more are fascinating to read, even though a bit grim if I do say so. Make sure you read them first before considering whether to read them to little ones.

Friday, April 25, 2014

There's That Word Again

"Grit" (aka resilience) keeps showing itself when I read or hear about success and happiness. I really began to appreciate the word when I watched Angela Duckworth's TED Talk. Most recently, the word appeared in Thomas Friedman's OP-ED piece, "How to Get a Job at Google, Part 2" in the NYTimes.

With graduation almost upon us, parents and college graduates shudder at the prospect of the next step—getting that first job. Read what Friedman has to say for hope and understanding of the value of grit.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Why do we follow? 5 Leadership Traits

Whether for ourselves or for our children and students, the question "Why do we follow?" provokes good thought. In this ASCD edge article, the author boils it all down to five traits. It is a short and worthwhile read to see what is said about

  1. Trusting
  2. Valued
  3. Empathetic
  4. Encourage risk-taking
  5. Growth

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Conference Call in Real Life

If you have ever participated in a more-than-one-person call with family, or parents and teachers, or board or committee meetings, . . .  you must view this funny rendition of a conference call. See if you agree with what the video is portraying.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Upside Down

All of you fans of Curious George and Jack Johnson, here is a great video and song to share with your little ones.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Andrew Solomon

I was inspired by reading Andrew Solomon's illuminating and must-read book Far From the Tree, so much so, I had the good fortune to interview him for Montessori Life magazine.  Click over to "Appreciating Unity in Diversity: An Interview With Andrew Solomon" to learn more about this amazing writer.

Andrew was a keynote speaker at the American Montessori Society Annual Conference, and I had the distinct honor to introduce him this weekend to the nearly 3,000 attendees.

Also, you may want to read his recent article "The Reckoning" in the The New Yorker. It is a very compelling interview with Peter Lanza, father of Adam.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Getting to See and Hear Temple Grandin

As a follow up to my May 15 post on the book Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon, I came across the excellent Temple Grandin TED Talk that I thought you might be interested in. Also, you can click over to her interview with PBS's Tavis Smiley about her latest book The Autistic Brain.

As a side note, I along with 3,000 other Montessori educators will have the good fortune to hear Temple Grandin and Andrew Solomon speak this week in Dallas at the American Montessori Society Annual Conference. Can't wait.

It's About Generations

After reading Susan Gregory Thomas's edutopia article, "A Teacher's Guide to Generation X Parents," it prompted me to look at the various generation names and dates. With the help of Wikipedia, I came up with the chart below. Be sure to read Susan's article, it's eye-opening.