Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stress Eating

This is the list of books I read this summer for graduate school and in preparation for my new job:

The Accidental Teacher by Eric Mandel
Drive by Daniel Pink
Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
Everyday Teacher Leadership: Taking Action Where You Are by Michelle Collay
Effective Supervision: Supporting the Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano
Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of the Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools by David Kirp
Multiplication is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People's Children by Lisa Delpit
Reframing the Path to School Leadership: A Guide for Teachers and Principals by Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal
Interactions: Collaboration Skills for School Professionals by Marilyn Friend and Lynn Cook
The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn from Each Other by Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
Purposeful Co-Teaching: Real Cases and Effective Strategies by Gregory Conderman, Mary V. Bresnahan, and Theresa Pedersen

(A side note for nursing moms: download the Kindle app on your iPhone. Load all required reading onto said app. If you're nursing 6 times a day for roughly 15 minutes each time, you have just gained 90 minutes of quiet reading time. Make sure you make an eye appointment, however, as it is guaranteed that your vision will deteriorate at a more rapid rate thanks to the constant eye strain.)

 A stack (or in my case, a Kindle home screen full) of books can provide useful tools to these important conversations.

But sometimes working together for a common goal can be difficult. I'm learning how to communicate a shared vision and support and serve teachers in a new capacity, but I'm only a few weeks in. I struggle with hoping I'm doing a good job. I'm not sure if this is people pleasing or being a reflective learner, but either way, it can lead to one eating one's own weight in candy corn. Not me, of course. It's just a possibility of which one should be aware.

This evening, as I sit tensely on my couch enjoying the fermented fruits of California while I pray my daughter will settle herself to sleep and thus my blood pressure will return to a healthier level, I am thankful for the opportunity to grow.

As I coached my students, no one has yet arrived. In my classroom, I attempted to create a safe environment in which mistakes were accepted and viewed as springboards for change. But that advice can be hard to swallow. The vulnerability required to humbly grow is challenging. I hope I can work to create the safe environment that allows for meaningful change.
Struggle by Krissy.Venosdale, via Flickr

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