I’ve been a fan of Todd Whitaker’s work for quite some time. I own many of his books and they are a constant source of insight in my journey as learner, educator and aspiring administrator. I have used his DVD sets on What Great Teachers do Differently and What Great Principals do Differently both for my own learning experiences and with others. So meeting, Todd Whitaker today was a THRILL! Being personally recognized in front of the group was the icing on the cake. WOW. (Thank you, Todd.)
The night before meeting Todd Whitaker I read one of his more recent books that I purchased at the Learning Forward Summer Conference – The Ball. I have to be honest – I bought the book so that I could get Todd’s autograph. I had left all my other books at home. I was not familiar with this book and it did catch my attention as I browsed through the venders.
Triple Nickle Press summaries Whitaker’s book as follows:
“Through this heartwarming parable, best-selling author Todd Whitaker reminds you of the importance of keeping your focus and remaining true to yourself. When a veteran teacher and former student reunite, they confront the separate and unique challenges that have knocked them off course. Through each other, they find their way back on track with a message that will resonate with everyone.”
Whitaker’s book definitely resonated with me. As I gear up for the 2011-2012 school year, I have two goals.
- As an instructional coach I will help Whitaker’s message come alive with the teachers. Teachers are feeling pressures from many angles. What can I do to help them stay focused and true their goals as educators? How can their love of teaching be rejuvenated? How can they continue to see the good in every child and nurture each child’s sense of self?
- On a personal level – The Ball guided me to continue to be true to myself. I have had my eye on a dream for many years. I gained my PK-12 Administrator License in 2007. And though I may not be living that exact dream right now – I continue to be true to myself and keep my focus on providing empowering learning environments for students, staff and parents in my current position, while constantly increasing my leadership skills. I know in my heart there is a district out there waiting for me and my passion for creating powerful learning environments for teachers, students, parents and the community! We all must LEARN and GROW together! (My resume and letters of recommendation can be found here.)
Today, I learned a great deal from Todd Whitaker. He inspired me and rejuvenated the passions I have for bringing out the best in others and to lead in ways that are best for the school environment!
I highly recommend The Ball by Todd Whitaker. It is a quick read, but the message will stay with you for a long time. You will begin to take note of those that have their “eye on the ball” and “those who do not.” You will want to figure out what you can do to help everyone keep their “eye on the ball” – remaining focused and true to themselves?
I am always on the look out for gift ideas for others. The Ball would make an excellent gift for educators at the beginning of a new school year! ENJOY!