"But what makes an inspirational leader? This infographic
identifies 33 distinct and tangible attributes that are statistically
signiﬁcant in inspiring others." Read more at "The 33 Traits of Inspirational Leaders."
“Recognized by the Guinness World Records as 'The World’s
Youngest Solo Musician to Head-line His Own Concert Tour,' 16-year-old Ethan
Bortnick has been performing around the world, raising over $50,000,000 for
charities across the globe.
When he was just three years old, the Hollywood, Florida
native asked his parents for piano lessons and discovered an uncanny ability to
hear a song once and play it back note for note – the musical equivalent of a
photographic memory. He soaked up the music of such diverse artists and
composers as Beethoven, Mozart, jazz pianist Bill Evans, Little Richard, Billy
Joel and Elton John, and began creating original compositions at age five. A
few years later, Ethan began making television appearances and touring,
connecting with audiences in countries such as Japan, Brazil, Canada, South
Africa and Australia.”
Get to know him better by watching this YouTube video.
"Parents want the best for their children. We do, too. For
the first time ever, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support
parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues
throughout their journey.
With the right support, parents can help children unlock
their strengths and reach their full potential. With state-of-the-art
technology, personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure
online community, practical tips and more, Understood aims to be that support."
Here some of the topics discussed:
“I’m Concerned My Child Might Have Learning and Attention
Issues. Now What?”
“6 Steps for Requesting a School Evaluation”
“How to Organize Your Child’s IEP [Individualized Educational Plan]
“Getting My Child to Listen (Without Yelling)”
I Cheating?” Why I Felt Ashamed to Use Dyslexia Accommodations”
"As a father, teacher, head of school, and now a grandfather, I have always loved reading to children. I read to my sons from birth and sustained this habit as they grew up. I saw the amazement in their eyes as I read; they were enthralled and totally immersed in the story. I knew reading to my sons would increase their vocabulary and their interest in reading, but there was also a selfish reason—it gave me great joy."
This is a must-read book, especially if you have anything to do with tweens and teens. The author, Jessica Lahey, a mother of two boys AND a middle school teacher, has all of the correct instincts when guiding parents through the perils of how parents should handle failure with their children. Here are three quotes from the book that can apply to any child and parents:
In order to raise healthy, happy kids who can begin to
build their own adulthood separate from us, we are going to have to extricate
our egos from our children’s lives and allow them to feel the pride of their
own accomplishments as well as the pain of their own failures. (p. xv)
The less we push our kids toward educational success, the
more they will learn. The less we use external, or extrinsic, rewards on our
children, the more they will engage in their education for the sake and love of
learning. (p. 22)
Teach your children to face failure and accept it as
valuable feedback. Let them see you taking risks and failing, and talk about
those failures as opportunities to better yourself. (. 238)
I personally read the book through the lens of a middle school teacher, former head of two schools, and a father of two sons. Some of my thoughts on failure are captured in "Rethinking the 'F' Word" an article I wrote back in 2008 for Independent School magazine.
"One of the most promising developments since the publication of 'The Geek Syndrome' has been the emergence of the concept of Neurodiversity: the notion that conditions like autism, dyslexia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be regarded as naturally occurring cognitive variations with distinctive strengths that have contributed to the evolution of technology and culture rather than mere checklists of deficits and dysfunctions."
"Our care of the children should not be governed by the desire to 'make them learn things,' but by the endeavor always to keep burning within them the light which is called intelligence." (Mari Montessori)
Recently, my son recommended that I read the book Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, a #1 NYTimes bestseller about a young boy growing up in Kentucky and southwest Ohio. For me, there are so many lessons to be gained from reading the book, particularly lessons in class distinctions.
Back in 1999 I wrote an article in Independent School magazine entitled "Class Bias—the Real Enemy." Here is a quote from the article that appeared in the NAIS Trendbook 2012-2013—"What impact does this [class] have on independent school communities? In 'Class Bias, the Real Enemy,' Dane L. Peters argues, 'By the nature of a school's many diverse constituents, there is inextricably woven within the fabric a class thread that can unravel the prevailing mission to educate children.' In addition to addressing access in admissions and financial aid, many schools have found that examining issues of socioeconomic and class diversity can help the school become a more welcoming community for all."
For those who may want to dig deeper into understanding class via Hillbilly Elegy, listen to a podcast from "The Ezra Klein Show" that features an interview with author J.D. Vance; it gives excellent insights into class and how it affects America.