Friday, December 29, 2017

Motivated Kids v. Kids With High IQ

On the QUARTZ website, the article “Highly motivated kids have a greater advantage in life than kids with a high IQ” by Rebecca Haggerty (Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism) posted December 19 is a must-read piece.

Here are a three callout quotes:

"If there’s a secret sauce to winning at life, the motivational kids seemed to have found it."

"Giftedness can come in many forms. Why are we hung up on IQ tests?"

"What message are we giving kids? You don’t have to suffer through your job to get to the weekend. You can enjoy what you do in life."

You won't be surprised to see the names Dweck and Duckworth when you read.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Power of Telling Stories

"It is important to take the time to tell stories in our classes. It is even more important to provide an environment for our students to have the opportunity to tell their stories in class. Telling their stories helps students build and understand their own identities." 

This quote is from "Stories: Listening, Telling, Teaching, and Learning," an article I recently wrote for NAIS's Independent Teacher. Within the article, you will also find some links to on-stage story telling from True Tales Live, a Moth-like venue in Portmouth, NH.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Wonder of Wonder

Having read the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio when it first arrived in book stores in 2012, I am not surprised that it remains number one on the NYTimes middle reader bestseller list. When I saw the newly released movie this past week, it was equally gripping. Watch the movie trailer below to get a glimpse of the power of the story.

I also recommend the follow-up book Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by the same author.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Leadership: About Being a Boss

Photo Illustration by the NYTimes
The NYTimes October 27, 2017 article "How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them" by Adam Bryant talks about his years writing the Corner Office column. Here’s a sample of what Bryant's excellent article has to offer about leadership.

Leadership, Part I - Leaders, for example, need humility to know what they don’t know, but have the confidence to make a decision amid the ambiguity. A bit of chaos can help foster creativity and innovation, but too much can feel like anarchy. You need to be empathetic and care about people, but also be willing to let them go if they’re dragging down the team.”

 “Leadership, Part II - . . . if you were to force me to rank the most important qualities of effective leadership, I would put trustworthiness at the top. A close cousin of trustworthiness is how much you respect the people who work for you.”

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Top Books To Read

I stumbled upon this fascinating article "Top Experts Always Recommend These 4 Books." Author Eric Barker's Time magazine article is excellent. Even though it was written in June of 2015, I think you will appreciate what the author has presented, and I am sure you will compare what he has listed with what you have read and which books sit on your bookshelf.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Disruptive Leadership

Listening to a TED Radio Hour podcast, "Disruptive Leadership," I was enthralled with the speakers—Sheryl Sandberg, General Stanley McChrystal, educator Bunker Roy, entrepreneur and writer Seth Godin, and leadership advocate Drew Dudley—who presented segments from their on-stage TED Talks.

While the whole podcast is a worthwhile 53-minute listen with tons of sage advice, I thought you might like to view Drew Dudley's 6-minute Talk since it is so powerful and uplifting, especially when he talks about "lollipop moments."

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables are fascinating stories for children of all ages . . . and adults, too. To get a hold of a book of Aesop's Fables, you can download a copy free from iBooks or Google Play or you can just go to this Library of Congress website.

Recently, I read to preschool children, Jerry Pinkney's The Lion & the Mouse. This beautifully illustrated book has no words, so you can "tell" the story in your own words. Children loved it.

From amazon

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Our Responsibility as Teachers

"Commentary: As school year begins, a message to teachers" by head of school Susan Kambrich is a must-read piece from the Times Union paper in Albany, NY.

From the article:
"It is easy to react emotionally and often angrily when confronted with conflict, racism, and bullying. Instead of reacting, let's work together this year to respond to hate by arming our children with ways to be empathetic and curious about others and the world, and giving them the ability to think critically about injustice."

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Technology Dilemma

Pedro Veneziano - NYTimes
In Clayton Christensen's book Innovator's Dilemma he discusses how "disruptive technology" can be both helpful and terrible at the same time and how we can navigate to the helpful side.

As an example, look at our technology habits when it comes to communicating—texting, phone, tweets, Instagram, YouTube, etc.—with one another and where it is leading our younger generations.

Along with Christensen, here are three excellent resources to read to learn about the insidious, ill-side of technology.

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age by Catherine Steiner-Adair (2013)

"Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation" by Jean M. Twenge from The Atlantic

"Save Your Sanity, Downgrade Your Life," by Pamela Paul in the Sunday NYTimes 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The 33 Traits Of Inspirational Leaders

From the Forbes website:

"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."

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ethan Bortnick — a Young Inspriation

Who is Ethan Bortnick? Here is an excerpt from his website bio:

“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.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Learning to Read

Children love to listen to stories.

I have the privilege of volunteering for United Way's K-Ready Readers, a program that gives me the pleasure of reading to a group of 3-, 4-, and 5-year old children each week.

So, this past week, I thought of my former Brooklyn neighbor and friend Tad Hills and his dog Rocket when they would come to my school and read Rocket books. How the children loved that experience.

Well, I read How Rocket Learned to Read and the children loved it. Just maybe Tad, Rocket, and I inspired and brought these little ones a bit closer to reading on their own.

Thank you, Tad and Rocket.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Visit Understood to Understand

Visit the website Understood for learning and attention issues and learn more about--
"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] Binder”
  • “Getting My Child to Listen (Without Yelling)”
  • “Am I Cheating?” Why I Felt Ashamed to Use Dyslexia Accommodations”

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Joy of Reading to Children

"The Joy of Reading to Children" is an article I wrote that was just published in Montessori Life. It begins with . . . 

"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."

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rediscover The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I recently rediscovered Dr. Stephen Covey's bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Published in 1989, the book has endured the test of time and overlapped with Howard Gardner's work on multiple intelligences, which I believe was the springboard for John Mayer's book Personal Intelligence and Daniel Goleman's book Emotional Intelligence.

If you want to learn more in SEVEN minutes, click on this video about the book.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Voice on Leadership

Hear what Angie Morgan has to say about leadership. View her brief video "It's not about the job title: A Marine explains how to lead when you're not the boss." Here are three excerpts:
  • "So leadership is about two things: influencing outcomes and inspiring others."
  • ". . . as a leader I have to prioritize the needs of those around me and make sure that they are met and their needs are more important than mine."
  • "But I can share with you honestly if you step up and serve those around you, you're going to build that team."