Welcome, a few books, and a word on culture.
For years in the classroom, I kept a sign on my door with a quote I stole from Seth Godin:
“Writing is organized, permanent talking.”
I love that line because it helped me assuage some students’ fears about writing. “Just have a conversation with me – but do it on paper,” I’d tell them. “We can always make it formal and fancy later – the first job is just to find some ideas worth dressing up, and you do that by talking it out on paper.”
That’s what this space will be – a chance to have a written conversation with the EA family.
My goal is to get one post per week up. It may be about some reading or research I found interesting. It may be about a question I have for our community. It may be to highlight the accomplishments of a student or classroom. (And, honestly, in March it will definitely be to set up the Edgewood Final Four Bracket Challenge.)
Most importantly, I think it’s a way to be transparent and intentional about the sort of culture we’re building at Edgewood. I think one great way to build culture is to read the same things, since it creates a shared set of expectations, a shared vocabulary, and some philosophical “rallying points” that a community can circle around.
This summer, the staff is reading a book called “Teaching With Love and Logic,” by Jim Fay. The central premise of the book is not complicated:
Students are human beings who make choices. One of the primary jobs of a school is to create a structure that lets students experience the logical outcomes of their choices, and then provide reasonable reinforcement for the right choices – or calm, empathetic, rational guidance about how to avoid future wrong choices.
I can’t say enough about how much this book has impacted my career in the classroom. If you’re interested in reading along with us, the book is available from the Love and Logic website. There’s also a companion book for parents called Parenting With Love and Logic.
And, finally, I’d like to mention Linchpin by Seth Godin. At my previous school, I gave a copy to every graduate. It’s likely I’ll continue that tradition at Edgewood. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read about the sort of person anyone can become, if they’re willing to find the thing they love and devote their life to the mastery of that thing.
(If you click any of those links to buy a copy, remember to go through Amazon Smile and Amazon will send 0.5% of your purchases back to Edgewood.)
If you read any of them, I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions. Feel free to email or use this link to schedule some time to chat in the office or on the phone.
Go Wildcats, and, as always:
Thank you for trusting us with your children.