Kids Deserve It

Happy Fall to you all!  I'm not sure what happened to September, but here it is finally feeling like fall. I hope your school year is off to a glorious start!

I am a reader, and while I read much fiction, and middle grades and YA books, I try to balance those out with professional books, too.  Some professional books are just too good not to share, so I'd like to spotlight one each month.  I hope you'll find some inspiration from these books and authors,  just as I have. Please be sure to comment below to share your own experiences with these books!

Kids Deserve It - by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome
Kids Deserve It—wow! First up, full disclosure:  I am in no way, shape, or form getting compensation for promoting this book, but as a teacher, I can't NOT share my feelings about all it offers.  This is not just a book, it's a movement to support the good things in education—think cheerleader meets mentor meets support group meets tribe!

Published in 2016 by Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome collaborated to put all their reasons for stretching beyond conventional thinking about education in this book! The reason we do what we do is.....well, that's easy—it's the TITLE of their book!

The basics of why we do what we do are right here between the soft vinyl covers of this book! Our kids deserve our best—that's the bottom line.  And Todd and Adam give you the ideas, tools, and strategies to present your best each day.

Okay, more full disclosure—I don't know about you, but honestly, I don't bring my A-GAME each and every single day.  I am human, I make mistakes; I am not perfect.  Here are some truly embarrassing examples:
  • Chapter 2 - Don't Live on an Island - some days I do want to shut my door and shut out all of the "noise" that encompasses the field of education to just "do my thing" without venturing outside of my comfort zone.
  • Chapter 14 - You Never Know - yep, that late-to-school kid gets me sometimes, and I don't focus on the fact that she has very little control over when she arrives at school; I give in to my frustration and forget to simply celebrate that she IS (finally) HERE.
  • Chapter 27 - More Meat, Less Glitter - I love glitter, but isn't it the meat of the learning that's important? I'm guilty of spending far more time on the glitter than I should at times.
  • Chapter 28 - For the Love of Reading - As a book lover and an avid reader, my classroom library is extensive...but we've not really taken the time to explore these wonderful resources; also I'm missing out on a huge influencing component of fostering a love of reading: allowing kids time to talk books with each other frequently.

So now you know the ugly truth:  my kids don't get the best me each and every day.  Wow, that's hard to put out there!! However, one of the best things about this book, even with these self-admitted "failings," I did see myself and many of my colleagues in so many of the chapters in this book!  I love that each chapter ends with a short reflection section to challenge us to look for the positives and to share our thoughts and successes to build up others who also are pushing the boundaries and challenging thinking about education.

I'm blessed to work in a school where we are allowed to try new things, and we're encouraged to share and bring new ideas to others. We encourage each other to be leaders worth following (Chapter 6); we teach kids strategies for dealing with bullies (Chapter 12); we know that relationships matter most (Chapter 17), and we are learning to find ways to take charge of our own professional learning (Chapter 24).  Which brings us back full circle—back around to why I wanted to share my thoughts on this very book.  I was taking charge of my own learning when I discovered this book and the entire KDI community, and now I challenge you to look for yourself to see what it can offer you!

Todd and Adam underscore the importance of keeping kids as our focus and celebrating with our kids.  One easy way to do this is making good calls home (Chapter 5).  This is something I've done for years!  I had a parent tell me a couple of years ago that they still have a saved message from me on their voice mail——and the student is about to finish high school!  If you are a Twitter user, search the hashtag #goodcallshome to find out more.  Better yet, use this link to grab a free recording sheet to help you track your own #goodcallshome!

If you haven't seen Kids Deserve It, look for it at your library, bookstore, or ask your administration to get a copy for your school. Then read it, pass it around, and I promise you won't be disappointed. Pick one up for any preservice teachers you work with, too!

I'll leave you with this quote (page 83) to consider—and this book is filled with many such bite-sized tidbits of wisdom! Use your power to build up your kids—all kids deserve it!