Poolside PD: Time for a Few Great Reads!

by Cindy Downend, Primary Grades Trainer

Ahhh! Summer is here again. One of the best parts to the season is finding a little down time to catch up on reading some really good books. This summer, why not throw in a professional text or two along with those “beach reads?” Below are a few recommendations to consider adding to your list. A few I have read; the others are in my beach bag in anticipation. So find a chair out on the deck or chaise by the pool and enjoy!

9780787960759_p0_v4_s260x420The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni – This one will truly make for a good beach read as it helps you think about why teams often struggle to work together through an entertaining fable. If your literacy leadership team could use a little rejuvenation, this easy read will get you thinking. Lencioni defines the five dysfunctions as: Absence of Trust, Fear of Conflict, Lack of Commitment, Avoidance of Accountability, and Inattention to Results. Then he outlines some actionable steps to help teams overcome these hurdles.

9780325049199-1Thrive: 5 Ways To Reinvigorate Your Teaching by Meenoo Rami – This is a very quick read that will refresh and rejuvenate your commitment to being an educator! Rami offers advice in 5 important areas to nurture your teaching soul: turn to mentors; join and build networks; keep your work intellectually challenging; listen to yourself; and empower your students. Rami will also be a keynote speaker at the Literacy For All conference in 2015 so mark your calendars!

booksLeadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading by Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky – Many educators I deeply respect have recommended this book to me so it is tops on my list. It has been described to me as the best book on leadership – ever! As I understand it, Heifetz and Linsky help us think about accepting personal responsibility for change and for taking risks in leading others

9780325046471Finding the Heart of Nonfiction: Teaching 7 Essential Craft Tools with Mentor Texts by Georgia Heard – I always find that Heard’s poetic voice entices me into her texts immediately. This is another short read to rejuvenate your use of nonfiction texts both in your teaching of reading and in writing. Heard also shares so many nonfiction mentor texts titles that you might entice you away from the beach to journey to the bookstore.

9780325027159_p0_v1_s260x420Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds by Sonia Neto – the back cover description of this book hooked me right away. “Voices of hope. Voices of change. Voices for our children. The stories of the passionate teachers in this book will inspire and motivate you to find joy in teaching students of diverse backgrounds.” Passion, inspiration, motivation and an icy cold beverage! Is there any better way to spend a summer’s afternoon?

What are you reading this summer? Please share some of the professional texts that are in your beach bag.

One thought on “Poolside PD: Time for a Few Great Reads!

  1. I would like to add to the excellent list of great books to read. I’m currently reading “Read, Write, Lead” by Regie Routman (ASDC, 2014). It was recommended to me by my superintendent, and I can’t put it down–great stuff about literacy, leadership, working with principals, teams of teachers, grade-level cohorts, etc. Regie’s newest book is a great resource for every reading teacher and/or school literacy leader.
    ~L. Brandt, Saratoga, CA.


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