What I’m Reading and Thinking About this Month November 2016

What I have been thinking about:

Thanks to the two books I read this month I found myself thinking a lot about averages and email. I plan on sharing more of my thoughts about email in a later blog post. For now I want to focus on the idea of averages. I don’t want to give too much away but Todd Rose’s book The End of Average but it definitely will make you think about how the systems we design are not set up to help everyone succeed. As I read The End of Average I found myself questioning how PD is run in most schools. Most schools try to design a system that fits the average teacher. While this helps some people excel it does not help everyone. I really want to jump deeper into this concept and try to develop a personalized pd system at my school that helps all of my teachers excel. I plan on making this one of my big projects for 2017.

Blog Posts to Checkout:

Forget Inbox Zero: Manage Your Inbox Better with These Smart Email Workflows by Emily Irish

A great blog post with several ideas of how to gain control of your inbox. I really like the Eisenhower box method of processing emails. It’s a simple yet effective way of evaluating what emails you need to attend to.

Don’t waste your anger. by Jon Acuff

As I read this I found myself wondering how much better school would be if people choose option 2 instead of option 1. Since reading this I have tried my best to always choose option 2 instead of option 1.

How Your Mood in the Morning Affects Your Productivity All Day by Belle Cooper

A common thread that I have seen amongst many productivity systems is starting your day with a positive. I have been trying this recently and have noticed a big improvement in my own productivity. The other day I decided I was going to try Julia Cameron’s morning pages routine. Even though I had an early morning meeting and a late night, I found myself staying productive throughout the day. In fact I found myself going back to the document I created and adding another 500+ words throughout the day. While I don’t think I can write 750 words every day, I am going to try to do this as least twice a week and see if I can replicate the success of my first attempt.



My Books for the Month:

By now it should not be a secret that I am not a fan of email. Actually I should rephrase that. I am not a fan of how people use email and the stress that it creates in our lives. This book offers great strategies for dealing with both. In the book Glei talks about why we are so addicted to our email, offers strategies for breaking our addiction, and gives several tips and tricks for composing more effective emails. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in being more effective with email.


As a fan of personalization in education this book is amazing. In the book Rose argues that the reason why systems fail is that they are built for the average person. Through a series of historical lessons and real world examples of personalization Rose creates a compelling argument against using averages to rank and compare people. He even includes a whole section on why higher education needs to change.

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