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Top "10" Professional Reading List for Educators - 2015 Version

by Joseph M. Crozier, GWAEA Chief Administrator

The first two decades of our lives were structured around learning- from our days in preschool to our collegiate experiences as young adults, every day we added to our repertoire of life experiences and to our learning.  As educators we work hard with our students to set the stage for a lifetime of learning, and as adults, we continue to learn and grow in our profession by making time for those same experiences.

 

This marks the thirteenth year that I’ve drafted a “Top 10” professional reading list for educators.  This list is a compilation of books that I found to be thought-provoking and

Joe Crozier

motivating learning for administrators, teachers, coaches and building leadership teams. You might find a few familiar titles on this list since many of my colleagues share my passion for being a life-long learner, and often recommend books they’ve discovered throughout the year.

 

As educators we need to continue learn and grow in our profession, and learn to be better leaders, teachers, thinkers, and mentors in our schools.  This “Top 10” list has helped me improve my skills in my own quest to be a life-long learner, and I hope this provides a resource for your own personal and professional growth.  Happy Reading!


Visit the links below to reserve copies through the Grant Wood AEA Media Center.

ripley

(Cover design by
Tom McKeveny)

"The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way," by Amanda Ripley

How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? The Smartest Kids in the World “gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange....The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes” (The New York Times Book Review).

 

   

thecarpenter

 

"The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All," by Jon Gordon

Michael wakes up in the hospital with a bandage on his head and fear in his heart. The stress of building a growing business with his wife Sarah caused him to collapse while on a morning jog. When Michael finds out the man who saved his life is a carpenter he visits him and quickly learns that he is more than just a carpenter; he is also a builder of lives, careers, people and teams.

 

As the carpenter shares his wisdom, Michael attempts to save his business in the face of adversity, rejection, fear and failure. Along the way he learns that there’s no such thing as an overnight success but there are timeless principles to help you stand out, excel and make an impact on people and the world.

 

Drawing upon his work with countless leaders, sales people, professional and college sports teams, non-profit organizations and schools, Jon Gordon shares an entertaining and enlightening story that will inspire you to build a better life, career, and team with the greatest success strategies of all.

   

blended

 

"Blended, Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools," by Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker

Blended is the practical field guide for implementing blended learning techniques in K-12 classrooms. A follow-up to the bestseller Disrupting Class by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael Horn, and Curtis Johnson, this hands-on guide expands upon the blended learning ideas presented in that book to provide practical implementation guidance for educators seeking to incorporate online learning with traditional classroom time. Readers will find a step-by-step framework upon which to build a more student-centered system, along with essential advice that provides the expertise necessary to build the next generation of K-12 learning environments. Leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders will gain valuable insight into the process of using online learning to the greatest benefit of students, while avoiding missteps and potential pitfalls.

 

themultipliers

"Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter," by Liz Wiseman  with Greg Mckeown

A thought-provoking, accessible, and essential exploration of why some leaders (“Diminishers”) drain capability and intelligence from their teams, while others (“Multipliers”) amplify it to produce better results. Including a foreword by Stephen R. Covey, as well the five key disciplines that turn smart leaders into genius makers, Multipliers is a must-read for everyone from first-time managers to world leaders.


   

creativity

"Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration," by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
 
For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.

 

thesoftedge

 

"The Soft Edge, Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success," by Rich Kaarlgard

High performance has always required shrewd strategy and superb execution. These factors remain critical, especially given today’s unprecedented business climate. But Rich Karlgaard—Forbes publisher, entrepreneur, investor, and board director—takes a surprising turn and argues that there is now a third element that’s required for competitive advantage. It fosters innovation, it accelerates strategy and execution, and it cannot be copied or bought. It is found in a perhaps surprising place—your company’s values.

   

stickingpoints

"Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart," by Haydn Shaw

This is the first time in American history that we have had four different generations working side-by-side in the workplace: the Traditionalists (born before 1945), the Baby Boomers (born 1945-1964), Gen X (born 1965-1980), and the Millennials (born 1981-2001). 

Haydn Shaw, popular business speaker and generational expert, has identified 12 places where the 4 generations typically come apart in the workplace (and in life as well). These sticking points revolve around differing attitudes toward managing one’s own time, texting, social media, organizational structure, and of course, clothing preferences. If we don’t learn to work together and stick together around these 12 sticking points, then we’ll be wasting a lot of time fighting each other instead of enjoying a friendly and productive team. Sticking Points is a must-read book that will help you understand the generational differences you encounter while teaching how we can learn to speak one another’s language and get better results together.

 

cover.scalingupexcellence_.jpg

"Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less," by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao

In Scaling Up Excellence, bestselling author Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint.  Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance,  to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices.  Drawing on inside accounts and case studies and academic research from a wealth of industries – including start-ups, pharmaceuticals, airlines, retail, financial services, high-tech, education, non-profits, government, and healthcare -- Sutton and Rao identify the key scaling challenges that confront every organization.  They tackle the difficult trade-offs that organizations must make between “Buddhism” versus “Catholicism” -- whether to encourage individualized approaches tailored to local needs or to replicate the same practices and customs as an organization or program expands.  They reveal how the best leaders and teams develop, spread, and instill the right mindsets in their people -- rather than ruining or watering down the very things that have fueled successful growth in the past.  They unpack the principles that help to cascade excellence throughout an organization, as well as show how to eliminate destructive beliefs and behaviors that will hold them back. 

 

the2020workplace

"The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today," by
Jeanie C. Miester and Kari Willyerd

From well-respected human resources and corporate training experts Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd, a must-read guide to the innovative strategies that the best companies are using to create a workplace that the best talent chooses—both today and in 2020. In The 2020 Workplace, Meister and Willyerd offer a battle plan to start winning tomorrow’s employees today.

   

leaderseatlast

"Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t" by Simon Sinek

Why do only a few people get to say “I love my job”? It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong.

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.

This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his travels around the world since the publication of his bestseller Start with Why, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

 

**Summaries adapted from amazon.com by Joseph M. Crozier, Grant Wood AEA. 3/11/15.

 

The book covers are reproduced with the following permissions:

 

"The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way," by Amanda Ripley

Copyright © 2014 by Amanda Ripley

(Cover design by Tom McKeveny)

Simon and Schuster Paperbacks

A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

 

"The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All"

Copyright © 2014 by Jon Gordon. All right reserved.

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.

John Wiley & Sons

 

"Blended, Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools," by Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker

Copyright © 2015 by Michael B. Horn, Heather Staker. All rights reserved.

Published by Jossey-Bass

A Wiley Brand

John Wiley & Sons

 

"Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter," by Liz Wiseman  with
Greg Mckeown

Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth Wiseman.

HarperCollins Publishers

 

"Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration," by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Copyright © 2014 by Edwin Catmull. All rights reserved.

Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York

 

"The Soft Edge, Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success," by Rich Kaarlgard

Copyright © 2014 by Rich Karlgaard. All rights reserved.

Published by Jossey-Bass

A Wiley Brand

John Wiley & Sons

 

"Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart," by Haydn Shaw

Copyright © 2014 by Haydn Shaw. All right reserved.

Tyndale House Publishing

 

"Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less," by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao

Copyright © 2014 by Robert I. Sutton and Hayagreeva Rao. All rights reserved.

An imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York

A Penguin Random House Company

 

"The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today," by Jeanie C. Miester and Kari Willyerd

Copyright © 2014 by Jeanie C. Miester and Kari Willyerd. All right reserved.

HarperCollins Publishers

 

"Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t" by Simon Sinek

Copyright © 2014 by Sinek Partners LLC

A Penguin Random House Company

 

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Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency’s Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 800-332-8488. Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

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