In the wild rumpus of modern day life one of the things educators, parents, and students do too little of is talking with one another about ideas. Sure we pull together to discuss particular crises, talk grades when the topic comes up, and address immediate challenges, but more seldom do we take a step back and talk about how we got to those situations, or how best we can work together to meet our greater collective goal of helping each of our students learn.
One modest way to confront this challenge of building collective perspective is to carve out time to gather and discuss a topic, inviting diverse points of view to speak, listen, and connect. Bookish as I am, I see a great catalyst for this kind of conversation as books.
To that end, we’re going to try something here at ACMA that I hope might get people talking with one another about how we best support each other and our students. On December 5th we’ll host our first ACMA Book Club.
In the couple of months between now and then, I invite students, parents, guardians, teachers, counselors, staff members, grandmas and grandpas, to read The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. It’s an immensely readable book, with much to agree (and maybe even disagree) with, lots of real examples, and a spirit of hope that I think helps the very serious messages resonate.
As a principal and as a dad I found in Lahey’s book ideas to challenge my practice, inform my decisions, and get me to think about how I was supporting (or maybe even hindering) the kids in my life.
Does everyone need to agree with everything Lahey says? Heck, no, but I honestly believe that The Gift of Failure has the potential to spark some amazing conversations, and what better gift can we give each other in this busy world than an opportunity to talk with each other about how we might make a difference?
The ACMA Book Club will meet in the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy library on Tuesday, December 5th from 6:30-8:00 pm.