This summer was one of the best our family has had. We cycled along the Danube, and were amazed at what Croatia offered when we visited there, right amidst the soccer world cup final stages. Mostly, we had a fantastic family time with our two teenagers. We certainly do not take quality time with a 16 year old and a 14 year old for granted.
I also got some great reading in. Fabulous works of fiction, of which The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah must be the highlight. Amazing story of the brave women of the French resistance in WWII. I do have to add A Gentleman in Moscow here too. So beautifully, poetically written. A story about the value of diverse human relationships and their cultivation. In this case, relationships were lifesaving multiple times over. Of course I am biased: Moscow was my first international teaching post, and I met my husband there. Another lifesaving relationship.
My professional reading included a Tech Leader’s manual which was quite handy, but paled in the shadow of Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek and Design Thinking for School Leaders by Alyssa Gallagher and Kami Thordarson.
Design Thinking for School Leaders reminds us of the value of piloting, of seeking opportunities, taking risks, and being a producer. As I went through the book, I found myself self-assessing on each of the qualities addressed, and carefully considering which attributes I need to develop in order to be a better school designer and leader.
I think Leaders Eat Last might define me as a leader. As leaders, how do we serve others, and put our workers’ needs first? This might seem unselfish, but the employer, leader or company will indeed reap long term gains, as people who are well looked after and know they are cared for respond positively and remain loyal to that environment.
The main thing about summer reading for me: it is such a fantastic luxury to have the time on my hands to indulge extensively in a huge range of wonderful books.