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Ready For Summer?

I’m heading to Spain this summer to visit my family (short trip to Portugal to attend the 6th International Congress on Emotional Intelligence and present my latest research with school principals). I look forward to seeing my kids playing on the beach where I grew up and nurturing their love for swimming, sand and ice cream! I also look forward to spending time away from my computer, reconnecting with family and friends, and getting (re)energized. Summer is such a special time of the year. It brings the necessary pause from the daily routines, the opportunity to rest and recharge, and the mental space to look into the future with optimism and hope.

Summer is also a time to read! Poetry, novels, theater, non-fiction… you name it. It all counts! If you haven’t finished your summer reading list, here are some recommendations for great books. Summer here we come!

Non-fiction

  • The Listening Leader by Shane Shafir. Let’s talk equity! This is a practical guide for school leaders, principals and other professionals trying to make change and increase equitable outcomes for students. Written by a principal and leadership coach, it offers a model to transform schools with an equity lens.
  • Pedagogial Tact: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do by Max van Manen. I read this book back when I was doing my undergraduate in Pedagogy. This book was a favorite among students and it had a great impact on my thinking about teaching and learning. If you need to move away from focusing on achievement and outcomes, please check it out. It’s human, refreshing and humbling.
  • Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant. I love when “business” books confirm the need for adults to have social and emotional skills. This is a great example: Grant, top-rated teacher at Wharton School of Business, describes how highly successful people need the ability to connect with others.

Fiction

  • Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn. This is on my summer list! It tells the story of a young woman in Jamaica coming to terms with her sexuality and dealing with the encroachment of tourism in her village. An opportunity to see the real people behind the fantasy life advertised in commercials: a chance to develop empathy.
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I read this book a few months back. Warning: it won’t leave you untouched. The novel spans more than 250 years and several continents as two sisters and their descendants wrestle with the physical and psychic scars of slavery and colonialism.
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. You won’t be able to put this book down! If you are a book lover, you’ll be delighted. In post-World War II Barcelona, young Daniel is taken by his bookseller father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a massive sanctuary where books are guarded from oblivion.

I’ll be back in August with some new articles to support your SEL work in schools.

Hope you enjoy a wonderful summer.

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