Friday, July 8, 2016

Growing as Leaders and Learners

With the summer now half over, I am already thinking and planning for the new school year, reading and actively looking for inspiration for 2016-2017.  While I always find Twitter to be a great resource for personal, professional development, this week I was fortunate to get my inspiration from some Twitter celebs face to face.  As an attendee and presenter at the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) conference in National Harbor, Maryland,  I had the opportunity to hear from amazing educators across the country.  Now, their books will make up my summer  MUST READ list.  I recommend these books to other educators based on the fact that my personal interactions with these gentlemen were so motivating that I have no doubts that their books will help me to make an impact in my school district.

Dr. Brad Gustafson
Brad Gustafson @GustafsonBrad was a friendly face at EdCamp as he engaged educators in discussions about coding, digital citizenship, and community involvement.  He also led a conference session on building school culture, speaking about the amazing ways he connects with kids and families, creating a school atmosphere that everyone would want to be a part of.  Brad's book Renegade Leadership is coming out in October from Corwin Press and will certainly be on my wish list.

Brad's co-presenter on school culture was Todd Nesloney @TechNinjaTodd .  Todd was a high-energy speaker, quickly sharing dozens of ways he has created a culture on his campus that emphasizes breaking down the walls and connecting with the school community.  Todd spoke passionately about his students and the families that he is working with in his Texas school.  Todd's book Kids Deserve It! with co-author Adam Welcome is also a book I plan to share with my administrative team. 

The Power of BrandingAnother dynamic duo that I could listen to all day were Tony Sinanis @TonySinanis and Joe Sanfelippo @joesanfelippofc .  These two friends are inspiring speakers.  After just a few minutes, I found myself wanting to go get a job in Fall Creek, Wisconsin and work under Joe's leadership. The presentation included a lot of simple tips of building your school culture, as well as a lot of information from their book The Power of Branding.  Although, I've already read this one, I'm planning to share it with the principals in my district as we prepare to open for a new school year.  Their new book Hack Leadership will also be added to my list.

As I head home from the conference, I'm filled with new ideas and inspiration to start the new school year. I am grateful for connecting with so many awesome educators and look forward to continuing that connection on Twitter.  Now, I can't wait to get home and add all of these books to my bookshelf!