What our teachers will read this summer

In a twist on tradition, our teachers were invited to recommend titles for several common summer reading books rather than one being selected for all. What resulted was a compelling shortlist of summer reading options. Faculty and staff then chose the book that most appealed to them. They will share their impressions and their own learning in discussion groups at the 2013 August in-service.

Parents will also have an opportunity to take part in book discussions. Plans for this will be announced at the start of the coming school year. You might pay particular attention to the last book in the list, as we hope to build much of our PARENTS+ programming next year around this important (and joyful) topic. In the meantime, we invite you to read along with us this summer!

Mindful-Nation-CMYK1) A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit, by Tim Ryan

In one of the most optimistic books to come out of Washington during these trying times, Congressman Tim Ryan presents us with an inspiring and hopeful view of our country’s future—and a road map for how to get there. Across America, people are feeling squeezed, exhausted, and running faster and faster while falling farther behind. People are beginning to take action in a new way: they are slowing down, paying attention, and gaining an awareness of the inner resources at their disposal. Read the full review.

tough2) How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough

Turning the conventional wisdom about child development on its head, New York Times Magazine editor Tough (Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, 2008) argues that non-cognitive skills (persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence) are the most critical to success in school and life. Read the full review.

 

 

81o0HOrBpoL__SL1500_3) Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court, by Jay Bilas

Former Duke basketball player and current ESPN college hoops analyst Bilas surveys an all-star cast of athletes and coaches to define the true meaning of toughness—and suggest how it can be developed. Read the full review.

 

 

 

educationnation4) Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools, by Milton Chen and George Lucas

Milton Chen, senior fellow and executive director emeritus at the George Lucas Educational Foundation, brings together over a decade of great examples showcasing what’s working in our nation’s schools culled from his work on Edutopia and his travels across the country. Read the full review.

 

 

Gardner5) Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Age of Truthiness and Twitter, by Howard Gardner

Guggenheim Fellow Gardner delivers a treatise on how best to define and develop the concepts of truth, beauty and goodness in a digital world. Read the full review.

 

 

 

 

mindsBOOK6) Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative, by Ken Robinson

The modern world is the product of ideas, beliefs and values of human imagination and culture have shaped it over centuries. It has been created out of our minds as much as from the natural environment. The human mind is profoundly and uniquely creative, but too many people have no sense of their true talents. Education has an important role in helping us to achieve our potential, but the processes by which we assess ability were designed for other times and for other purposes. Out of Our Minds, offers a new approach to creativity in education and in business. It is a provocative call for a more innovative approach to teaching, training and development that will increase our opportunities for economic, cultural and human survival. Read a review.

facultyreads7) Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, by Christine Carter

Christine Carter gives ten steps to promoting family happiness. However, it’s safe to say that the piece of advice Carter invokes the most often is “practice mindfulness.” Parents who are not paying attention, who don’t have time to be prepared, who are overstressed and overextended will not raise happy kids. Read the full review:

Laurel Shockley attended a workshop with the author earlier this year and wrote about it here.

 

In addition, new teachers will be asked to read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, which was a shared read in 2009.

Thanks to Upper School Librarian Eva Anderson for excerpts and links to book reviews and cover art.

About Rebecca Moore

Rebecca Moore is Randolph's Director of Communications, a 6th grade advisor, the Upper School journalism advisor and the parent of two daughters, one at Randolph, the other at Huntsville High. She has worked in independent schools in New York City and London since 1988.
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