Wisdom Digest #1 February 2021

After one month and sixteen book reflections, my head is swarming with anecdotes, studies, and feelings that I’ve experienced from a range of inspirational writers. It is worth noting that, of the sixteen books, only three were new to me this month, while the others were previous favourites with historical phone notes that illuminated myContinue reading “Wisdom Digest #1 February 2021”

Teacher Wellbeing and Self-Care, by Adrian Bethune and Dr Emma Kell

Why I read it – as I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I embarked on a staff wellbeing project in 2019, and set out to read as many books and pieces of academic research as possible to understand the ‘why’ behind our feelings at work. Soon after engaging with wellbeing, I came across Adrian Bethune andContinue reading “Teacher Wellbeing and Self-Care, by Adrian Bethune and Dr Emma Kell”

The Gift, by Dr Edith Eger

Why I read it I recently heard Dr Eger speak on the Dr Chatterjee podcast. She was wise, warm, reflective, and profound. An Auschwitz survivor, who went on to become a doctor of clinical psychology, Eger has used her experiences to help shape the lives of others, and, upon hearing her voice, I could feelContinue reading “The Gift, by Dr Edith Eger”

Education Exposed, by Samuel Strickland

Why I read it – I’d seen a couple of talks by Sam Strickland, and follow him on Twitter, where he voices his views about school culture with clarity. I initially pegged him as ‘no nonsense’ – a Headteacher with high expectations of students’ behaviour, attitude and respect; given that I worked in a school withContinue reading “Education Exposed, by Samuel Strickland”

The Biggest Bluff, by Maria Konnikova

Why I read it I’ve been following Konnikova on Twitter for a while, and last year I noticed that Sam Freedman (yes, you should follow him too), had recommended her latest book, The Biggest Bluff. Having seen her speak a few times on the circuit, I knew she’d write with fluency, flair, intelligence and humour,Continue reading “The Biggest Bluff, by Maria Konnikova”

Legacy, by James Kerr

Why I read it – six years ago, I was preparing to move on from a position I loved, Head of English, to the much-feared Head of Year role (there was nothing to worry about, it was a brilliant job!). I made it my mission to practise my public speaking, sharpen up my knowledge of theContinue reading “Legacy, by James Kerr”

The Thinking School, by Dr Kulvarn Atwal

Why I read it – during the staff wellbeing research project I ran last year, my colleague Rachel and I were interested in Self Determination Theory, and one of its three pillars in particular: autonomy. We wanted to explore how, in professions with high accountability measures, you could still enable staff to thrive by giving themContinue reading “The Thinking School, by Dr Kulvarn Atwal”

Putting Staff First, by John Tomsett and Jonny Uttley

Why I read it…  Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of school staff succumb to the seemingly inevitable notion that workload is high and many tasks are arbitrary, but you just keep chipping away and hobble along. You get the holidays, and teaching is fun; so you’ll tolerate the other crap. But the tide hasContinue reading “Putting Staff First, by John Tomsett and Jonny Uttley”

Tribes, by Seth Godin

Why I read it…  In 2010, my friend Dave gave me a copy of Seth Godin’s Tribes while we were working on some business and philanthropic projects. I read it, found it fascinating, made notes, and then it went onto the shelf, hopefully influencing some of my decisions forthwith; in fact, it’s that passive processContinue reading “Tribes, by Seth Godin”

The Human Workplace, by Andy Swann

Why I read it…  In autumn 2019, I launched a staff wellbeing research project with a colleague, and we were pointed in the direction of the Relationships Foundation. They were a source of inspiration and knowledge; one of their recommendations was The Human Workplace by Andy Swann, which is a worthy starting point if you’reContinue reading “The Human Workplace, by Andy Swann”

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Why I read it…  After years of trying to crack the nut of students revising independently, I decided to read about the science behind how we form habits. However, I was keen to skip the fad-like, motivational angle that many books about habit take; you know, the writers who promise they will break your worstContinue reading “The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg”

Retrieval Practice, by Kate Jones

Why I read it…  Quizzing and retrieval practice was, I suppose, an instinctive part of my teaching without knowing much about the benefits, or how to properly use the concepts. In 2016, I became exposed to a wave of research through conferences and books, which I’ve been pursuing ever since. The elements of retrieval practiceContinue reading “Retrieval Practice, by Kate Jones”

Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H. McRaven

Why I read it…   You might have seen the videos of Admiral William H. McRaven delivering a Commencement Speech at the University of Texas in 2014. It is perfect assembly fodder: here are links to the full speech, and the slightly dramatized version.  I don’t delve into works by armed forces personnel often, but IContinue reading “Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H. McRaven”

I Can’t Accept Not Trying, by Michael Jordan

Why I read it…  I’m a huge NBA, Michael Jordan, and Space Jam (yes, that’s right) fan, and that was compounded in 2020 with the excellent documentary The Last Dance, on Netflix. Jordan doesn’t go out of his way to ingratiate himself with the public or his team mates, but his dedication to honing hisContinue reading “I Can’t Accept Not Trying, by Michael Jordan”

Manifesto for a Moral Revolution, by Jacqueline Novogratz

Why I read it… I’ve been an admirer of Jacqueline Novogratz ever since I read her book The Blue Sweater in 2010, and her amazing work with Acumen, a non-profit which creates sustainable solutions to poverty through investing in businesses and championing those who might not ordinarily receive support or finance. Her ‘Manifesto for aContinue reading “Manifesto for a Moral Revolution, by Jacqueline Novogratz”