I have not read an education book I loved this much in a long time. Todd Nesloney (@TechNinjaTodd) and Adam Welcome (@awelcome) are definitely striking a chord with a lot of educators. As a teacher leader, I see this need for change they describe as well. Not only the content, but also the format of the book make it easy to digest. The chapters are short and broken up with eye catching headings. The chapters also end with thought provoking "Things to Consider and Tweet".
When reflecting on a lesson, Todd Nesloney says, "I could have been too scared to try something new. I could have made excuses about why it wouldn't work, how my students couldn't handle it, why my principal wouldn't allow it, or why I didn't have time for it. But I pushed the excuses aside, stepped out of my comfort zone, and ran with an idea. And I couldn't be happier. This experience truly transformed me as an educator" (16).
This is motivating to me. I have made excuses, and I am done. Kids deserve better. I know sometimes it will not work out. I know sometimes I will fail. However, wouldn't it be awesome for the students to see me, their teacher, keep trying, not giving up, and working hard for them.
Another chapter I liked was "Don't Live on an Island". This is so true. If you think about it, most struggling educators live on an island, meaning they are isolated. When Nesloney got off his island, he says, "It allowed me to grow as a person and as an educator, and my students reaped the benefits" (21). Personally, I can see the benefits of this as well. I have tried to connect to more educators through Twitter and other social media. I have participated in online chats and reap tons of benefits from talking/reading/viewing with other educators.
Lastly, I will touch on the chapter entitled "Relationships Matter Most". I don't want to give too much away. You have to get the book. Nesloney and Welcome write, "Relationships have always been, and will always be, of the utmost importance in our schools. They are the catalyst of our work. We've all seen kids who will move heaven and earth for a teacher they like. Students will reach new heights when they're relaxed and know you care. So we must make all kids feel special, valued, and important" (117). They go on to list different ways educators can build relationships with students. For the most part, it is about building trust and being a servant leader, which most educators tend to be. When those types of relationships are built, "It's in those moments that someone feels like they're really cared about. It's in those moments you change lives" (120).
Get this book and push boundaries, challenge thinking, leave your island and most importantly CHANGE LIVES. Kids deserve it!