I heard this quote the other day (author unknown):
What you don’t know is more than what you know.
It was a reminder of the importance of growing and developing as learners, but also having humility on the journey. Those two reminders for me were evident in Brad Gustafson’s new book from the IMPress team, “Reclaiming our Calling: Hold on to the Heart, Mind, and Hope of Education.”
The way Brad weaves in stories of why we teach with amazing examples of his growth while sharing the stories of learners at all levels that have inspired him, was a powerful reminder that if we only teach students the curriculum, we have failed them.
This book provides hope, and strategy, on how we can honor our students while still doing the requirements of the job. Brad reminds us that teaching the whole learner doesn’t mean we ignore academic needs, but it is about going beyond:
“Teaching and leading from the high ground ensures we see value in tested and untested things, such as social-emotional learning, creativity, exercise, and movement in our schools. Teaching the whole learner involves clear content standards and a clear path to student passions.
Teaching the whole learner doesn’t mean we disregard academic achievement; it just means we refuse to disregard everything else important.“
Brad shares his “Big 3” items that he wants to impart upon his school community along with actionable ways to make them happen:
He inspires others to figure out their way and create actionable ways to achieve them.
What I love about this book is the way it is brought together. Stories and actionable ideas are woven throughout the book which makes it feel like part novel and part motivational guide. Brad’s focus on relationships and their importance are highlighted throughout:
“The most gifted educators connect in a manner that’s meaningful to the other person.“
I have followed Brad’s work for years, and I have been so impressed with the work that is done in his school and how he always gives credit to his team yet only points fingers at himself.
As I read this, it reminded me of what drives me as an educator, and I know it will do the same for those who have the chance to read it.
Congratulations, Brad! I look forward to the impact that your book has on many educators and students around the world.
You can get your copy here.
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