Wednesday’s Wisdom #7: Two Ears, One Mouth – the Art of Listening

‘No, that’s not really what I meant’. The fatal knell of a speaker’s response, once you’ve neglected your duties as a listener with a blundered question or comment. You can probably salvage the visage of the conversation itself, but it sounds like the speaker doubts your understanding. The trust you built may have been undermined.Continue reading “Wednesday’s Wisdom #7: Two Ears, One Mouth – the Art of Listening”

A School Built on Ethos, by James Handscombe

Why I read it  When I was Head of Sixth Form, I took assembly most weeks, either for Year 12, Year 13, or both together. I viewed the assembly preparation and delivery as an art form – a chance to consider an important message, and then to work hard to encase it in authenticity, sincerity,Continue reading “A School Built on Ethos, by James Handscombe”

Alive At Work, by Daniel Cable

Why I read it: If you’ve read a few of my posts, you’ll know that I have a keen interest in how we thrive at work – how we find purpose, safety, enthusiasm and wellbeing in our jobs. I’ve particularly enjoyed books such as The Culture Code, Think Again, and The Human Workplace, which examineContinue reading “Alive At Work, by Daniel Cable”

Stop Talking About Wellbeing, by Kat Howard

Why I read it: As I’ve mentioned before, I carried out a research project on staff wellbeing in 2019-2020, which was a fantastic opportunity to look at wellbeing with a research-informed eye. During that project, I saw that Kat Howard was writing, and then publishing this book – and knew it would be a vitalContinue reading “Stop Talking About Wellbeing, by Kat Howard”

Seven and a Half Lessons About The Brain, by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Why I read it: If you’re here, you may have read books about memory science, metacognition, and how we learn things. Research and books on those areas have informed my teaching for the last five years, so I thought it was time to try one that looks at the brain beyond learning and teaching. InContinue reading “Seven and a Half Lessons About The Brain, by Lisa Feldman Barrett”

Wednesday’s Wisdom #6: Why We Write

The 2001 series Band of Brothers made a profound impression on me as a teenager, and continues to, twenty years later, as I periodically revisit the ten beautiful, harrowing, and poignant instalments. As the show reaches its finale, the penultimate episode sees Easy Company uncover a concentration camp in Germany; after a year of gruellingContinue reading “Wednesday’s Wisdom #6: Why We Write”

Understanding How We Learn, by Dr Yana Weinstein, Dr Megan Sumeracki, with Oliver Caviglioli

Why I read it: I’ve always been fascinated by how we learn and the ways in which I can apply that knowledge to my teaching practice. I’ve read several books on these ideas, but this was the first that tied a lot of the evidence together in one place; the addition of Caviglioli’s visuals madeContinue reading “Understanding How We Learn, by Dr Yana Weinstein, Dr Megan Sumeracki, with Oliver Caviglioli”

Wednesday’s Wisdom #5: Eye Contact

Having recently acquired a beautiful Huntaway puppy, I’ve thrown myself into the perplexing world of dog training. Unlike education, I can report that canine trainers are not, on the whole, experiencing a renaissance period of evidence-based pedagogy, and a quick search on YouTube will unearth multiple dog ‘behaviour experts’ who inevitably contradict each other’s attemptsContinue reading “Wednesday’s Wisdom #5: Eye Contact”

Think Again, by Adam Grant

Why I read it: I enjoy reading books about psychology and behaviour, so that I can understand the mind better, and then try to transfer some of that learning to my professional and personal life. I’d heard Adam Grant speak at various events and on podcasts, and like his personable and articulate style, coupled withContinue reading “Think Again, by Adam Grant”

Wednesday’s Wisdom #4: Words create worlds, and the joy of coaching

‘Without autonomy, you leave your brain at home’, Dr Kulvarn Atwal told me at his school in 2019, when explaining how all staff have a coach and use the process to improve their sense of autonomy, and to be solution-focused in the way they approach challenges at work. That sounded powerful. But coaching… isn’t thatContinue reading “Wednesday’s Wisdom #4: Words create worlds, and the joy of coaching”

The Leader’s Guide to Coaching in Schools, by John Campbell and Christian van Nieuwerburgh

Why I read it: After doing two coaching courses and taking on some coachees, I started to ponder the role of 1) leadership coaching, and 2) leading a coaching culture in an organisation. I already knew about the work of John Campbell and Christian van Nieuwerburgh, so this book was a natural and worthy choice.Continue reading “The Leader’s Guide to Coaching in Schools, by John Campbell and Christian van Nieuwerburgh”

The BASIC Coaching Method, by Andy Buck

Why I read it: During the staff wellbeing research project that I conducted in 2019-20, I read many academic papers pointing towards coaching as a tool to improve staff efficacy, autonomy, and so much more. I was intrigued. My experience of ‘coaching’ over the years had been to misunderstand its principles: when I’d spoken toContinue reading “The BASIC Coaching Method, by Andy Buck”

Running the Room, by Tom Bennett

Why I read it: I’ve been in pastoral roles for six years now, and as I said when I reviewed ‘Beyond Wiping Noses’, I felt that I’d always acted on instinct. I engage with research and many voices when it comes to curriculum and pedagogy, but hadn’t necessarily had access to an evidence base orContinue reading “Running the Room, by Tom Bennett”

Wednesday’s Wisdom #3: Building Belonging

You never quite know where your values and traits originate, or how they evolve over time. Nature vs nurture. Life experiences. Social norms. It seems impossible to attribute our sense of self with clarity. I was adopted as a baby, and welcomed into a loving home, but I’ve always wondered about the possible effects: howContinue reading “Wednesday’s Wisdom #3: Building Belonging”

Education Exposed 2, by Samuel Strickland

Why I read it  I read the first Education Exposed book by Sam Strickland, and it resonated with me for being sensible, considered, and full of wisdom and integrity. I reflected on it here. When I heard there was a sequel, I was pleased – but would it be Terminator 2 or Speed 2? InContinue reading “Education Exposed 2, by Samuel Strickland”