Round Up of 2018

So I was going to do a post about the top 10 books I read this year… and then I saw that EVERYONE had done that. I was going to a do a top 10 moments of my year… and then saw that EVERYONE had done that. So apparently I’m late to the party in terms of creating a top 10 list and I’m ok with that. But I do love reading everyone’s top whatever list because I love knowing what others are reading, learning, doing, listening to, experiencing… and since I love that, I assume that maybe you love it too. So I’m going to do a hodgepodge list of my top stuff from 2018 (maybe after editing it’ll be clear and organized, maybe not)

Top Books

We Got This by Cornelius Minor.

If you read nothing else ever, read this book. It’s like a friendly kick in the ass. He speaks with clarity and love about equity and education. He is transparent in his mistakes along the way while also giving you tools and techniques and the know how in order to do the work.

Troublemakers by Carla Shalaby

Another must read as an educator. I have now read it 3 times in 6 months. It gives no answers to the questions it provokes but allows for more questions to arise. The book creates dialogue around exclusion and punishment. It has changed my practice as an educator like no other book ever has.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

A book that clearly and frankly answers the questions white folks have asked, should never ask, and need to know. Oluo is funny and direct in her book.

This is Not A Test by Jose Vilson

A narrative from an educator for educators. He is honest as he discusses many of this own vulnerabilities and shortcomings while also showing all of us that we are not alone in the education world.

Lost at School by Ross Greene

This text is for anyone who has ever thought “that kid is lazy”. This writer and researcher demonstrates that laziness and unmotivated isn’t a thing but is a lack of skills. He also shows some actionable ways of shifting conversations with students into developing skills. (It is a bit repetitive but I really enjoyed it)

Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

If you are someone (like me!) who wasn’t taught all of history, or a white washed sanitized version of history, this book might be for you! Rothstein writes about the ways that the United States has set up laws throughout history to set up the systems of oppression. It focuses heavily on housing and zoning (or at least that area sticks out to me!) and really opened my eyes.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

This book is hard. It’s a hard read. Mainly because it’s so so so true and honest. White Fragility names the whiteness that permeates all aspects of culture. It clearly names the behaviors white people do, especially those who claim to be progressive and accepting. It is an honest look and read and has caused me to really reflect on behaviors and attitudes I carry and express.

White Rage by Carol Anderson

This book is a PERFECT companion to White Fragility. Anderson shares historical references and narrative around whiteness and it’s destructive systemic creation. This book is another hard read but so so necessary in removing the veil of perfect whiteness.

History Teaches Us to Resist by Dr. Mary Frances Berry

This book is incredible. It’s a history text through and through. Except for me it’s the history I wasn’t taught completely or at all. Within the text is interwoven the history of resistance, of protest. And for once it doesn’t stop at the 60s – where Civil Rights and the Hippies so clearly demonstrated that movement. The author was the Chairperson of the US Commission of Civil Rights where she worked directly with presidents which creates a unique point of view within this text.

Onward by Elena Aguilar

This book and its accompanying workbook have served to create space for me this schoolyear. They are tools and techniques for supporting and cultivating resilience in educators. It’s all the mushy stuff supported by research that I love, along with the action and practice of the workbook. It’s also been curated by month within the schoolyear, something that has been so intentional. I love it so much and am excited to continue it through the year and years to come.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

This book is incredible. If you’ve never read any of Brene Brown’s books before… I don’t know how to respond to that, but get on it! This one really captures much of her research into a usable text along with new research around spreading the courage needed in creating change.

The Art of the Gathering by Priya Parker

This book is so beautiful – outside and inside. It’s intentionality in storytelling, questions, and directions on how to gather people really made me reflect. I am excited to put much of what I’ve learned in this book into my practice of gathering people I love; professional development; bookclubs; and dinner parties.

So as you can see in that roundup of my top 11 (yes ELEVEN) books for the year I have been digging into history and equity within my own learning. I think the more I know and understand about how the systems have been created, the more I can begin to have better conversations and actions around shifting them.

Top People

This might be a weird category but 2018 has brought many new people into my life and has kept some of the best. Not all of these people have websites (yet) or huge followings but each of them holds a uniquely special place in my heart and has pushed me to be the person and educator I am. (Oh and they are in no particular order at all)

Timmary Leary

This lady is the best. And I say that without any hyperbole. Her messiness, her honesty, her vulnerability, her constant support are a light in this world of negativity. I know of no other person who when hearing of someone leaving, celebrates. She has shown me that humility is something to work towards. She has shown me how to ask better questions and respond slower. She has shown me that no matter how much I think I know, I have so much more to learn. She also makes me laugh and think and be. She is the best. Follow her on twitter!

Alexis Reid

Alexis is a bubble of pure humanity. She and I met a year and half ago at the UDL Symposium and in my way, I just followed her in all the ways (the internet is amazing in that way). I asked her loads of questions about Executive Functioning and Dysfunction and she patiently answered so many of my questions. This year at the Symposium it felt like we were friends, colleagues – sharing resources, crying (that was me crying haha), being vulnerable about the ways we needed to learn and stretch. Learning from Alexis is a gift I could never have dreamed of. Follow her on twitter too and find her resources on the CAST and UDL-IRN Websites!

Val Brown

Val is pretty much the woman I want to have around all the time. She is the founder and facilitator of #cleartheair on twitter – which is like an online book club except it’s a million other things too thanks to Val. She is also a Teaching Tolerance facilitator which means her job is to go around facilitating conversations around race and equity. I haven’t (yet!) had the opportunity to go to one of her workshops, but I’m scheming. Her kindness and patience with me has been wonderful as I learn more. She has also pushed me outside of the bubble of “just” learning and into action. She is also the cause of me reading many of the books on the list! Find her on twitter and read her many articles and podcasts!

My Bookclub Family

This group of people are my sunshine in my life. They push me, they pull me in, they love all the mess about me. The fact that they indulge in my insane reading habits and allow a space for us to discuss them really is so beautiful to me. Ann, Katie, Jessica, Patti, Alisa (and Juliamy, Lee, and Jaimee) thank you.

My Twitter PLN

This group of people on twitter has changed and shifted my life – which is just about the most ridiculous thing to say or share. But finding folks who are care about kids and equity has opened my life up to so many possibilities. I no longer feel isolated or alone. Folks like dulce flecha, Christie Nold, Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, Kass Minor, Cornelius Minor, Julia Torres, Tricia Ebarvia, Lorena German, Alex Shevrin Venet, Knikole Taylor, Sherri Spelic, Christina Torres, Justin Schleider, Jose Vilson, and so so many more.

If you don’t know how to use twitter or would like to expand your use of it – ask! I’m happy to show you, or maybe I’ll do a blog post around it (that’s a great idea Lizzie! haha)

Top Moments

UDL Symposium  

Reflections on My Own Beliefs

Collaborating with Colleagues

THE GREATEST Lesson/Activity I’ve Ever Planned

Representation Matters

Leap and the Net Will Appear

Moving Into 2019

Where will I go in 2019? What are my goals?

Honestly, I’m really excited about where my life is heading in 2019. Moving into the coaching position where I will be learning and making so many mistakes is so incredibly exhilarating to think about. My goals are to read more, listen more, talk way less, write a lot more, and enjoy all the parts of this beautiful journey. (so so sappy and so so vague… I know!)

How will you enter 2019? How will you reflect on 2018?

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