The Power of Commonplace Books: A Timeless Tool for Educators

As educators, we are constantly bombarded with new ideas, insightful quotes, and pieces of information that can inspire and improve our teaching practices. The challenge is finding a way to capture and organize these gems so that they can be easily accessed and applied when needed. Enter the commonplace book, a time-honored tool for doing just that.

Saving the minutiae of everyday life isn’t a new thought. People have been doing it for thousands of years and continue to do it even today (Pinterest, anyone?).

As Seneca said,

“We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”

What is a Commonplace Book?

A commonplace book is a personal repository where individuals collect and organize quotes, ideas, anecdotes, and other pieces of knowledge they come across in their daily lives. It’s not just a diary or journal, it’s something you can refer to over and over again. It is a space for reflection, inspiration, and creativity.

Commonplace books take many shapes and forms, both physical and digital. Whether you keep a journal, binder, scrapbook, or even a Tumblr blog (yep, it’s still around!), the commonplace book can be an essential part of your life. Heck, even this blog is a form of commonplace book.

By keeping a commonplace book, educators can harness the power of the thoughts and ideas they encounter, making it an invaluable resource for personal growth and professional development.

Enhance Memory and Recall

Educators are lifelong learners who are constantly processing new information. Writing down ideas, quotes, and insights in a commonplace book allows us to engage with the material on a deeper level, enhancing memory and recall. This practice can be particularly beneficial for educators who want to remember important concepts and strategies they can use in their classrooms.

Foster Creativity and Innovation

Commonplace books are a breeding ground for creativity and innovation. As you collect and organize ideas, you naturally begin to make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts, sparking new insights and approaches. Educators can use these connections to develop innovative teaching strategies, create engaging lesson plans, or solve problems they face in their daily work.

Encourage Reflection and Personal Growth

By curating a collection of thoughts and ideas that resonate with us, we can create a personalized roadmap for reflection and growth. Educators can use their commonplace books to explore their own philosophies, values, and beliefs about teaching and learning. This practice can lead to greater self-awareness and help educators grow both personally and professionally.

Facilitate Collaboration and Networking

A well-maintained commonplace book can serve as a conversation starter and a networking tool. Educators can share their collections with colleagues, fostering collaboration and camaraderie. A shared passion for learning and growth can create strong professional bonds, leading to more productive and enjoyable working relationships.

Cultivate a Culture of Learning

By keeping a commonplace book, educators model a commitment to learning and growth for their students. This practice can help create a culture of curiosity and intellectual exploration within the classroom, fostering a love of learning in students that can last a lifetime.

Famous Keepers of Commonplace Books

  1. Leonardo da Vinci: The renowned artist, scientist, and inventor kept a series of notebooks that can be considered his version of a commonplace book. He filled these notebooks with sketches, observations, ideas, and notes on various subjects, from anatomy and engineering to art and philosophy. These notebooks were instrumental in shaping da Vinci’s genius and groundbreaking work.
  2. Isaac Newton: The famed mathematician and physicist maintained a commonplace book where he recorded his thoughts and ideas, including early notes on calculus and the laws of motion. Newton’s commonplace book was an essential tool in his intellectual development, allowing him to process and explore complex concepts that would later become the foundation of modern physics.
  3. Thomas Jefferson: The third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence kept a commonplace book for much of his life. Jefferson’s book contained literary passages, political thoughts, and philosophical ideas that influenced his beliefs and actions as a statesman.
  4. John Locke: The influential philosopher and “Father of Liberalism” not only kept a commonplace book himself but also wrote a detailed guide on maintaining one. He believed that commonplace books were essential for organizing and retaining knowledge, and his own book featured a wide range of subjects, including politics, religion, and science.
  5. Virginia Woolf: The renowned author and essayist used a commonplace book to record quotes, passages, and ideas from her reading. This practice allowed her to engage with the works of other writers more deeply and inspired her own writing. Woolf’s commonplace book was an essential tool for her creative process and intellectual growth.

How to Get Started with a Commonplace Book

Creating and maintaining a commonplace book is a simple yet powerful practice. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose a format: Decide whether you prefer a physical notebook, a digital tool, or a combination of both. Choose a method that works best for you and your lifestyle.
  2. Develop a system: Create a system for organizing your entries, such as by topic, date, or source. This will make it easier to locate and revisit specific ideas.
  3. Make it a habit: Set aside time each day or week to review your notes, add new entries, and reflect on your collected ideas.
  4. Share your insights: Don’t keep your commonplace book a secret. Share your favorite entries with colleagues, friends, or students, and encourage them to start their own.

In conclusion, a commonplace book is an invaluable tool for educators, offering numerous benefits that can enrich their professional lives. By capturing, organizing, and reflecting on the ideas and insights they encounter, educators can cultivate a more creative, innovative, and self-aware approach to their work. So why wait? Start your own commonplace book today!



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Students need freedom to develop critical skills with edtech

My first question when working with teachers and the technology they have available in their classrooms is, “what do you want the kids to create?”

And when we look at the 4 Shifts protocol, this question from the technology infusion section is also essential:

Does technology add value so that students can do their work in better or different ways than are possible without technology?

– 4 shifts protocol

When students can use technology to create, I hope they have been equipped with the necessary training to use that technology effectively. Otherwise, there’s trouble.

I’ve come to the realization that technology will have its greatest impact in the classroom when educators allow learners to use digital technology as a self-directed learning tool. This means not just providing students with laptops and online resources, but ensuring they have the necessary skills to find, validate, apply, and curate the vast amount of information now available to them.

Rick Cave, eSchool News

How the 4 Shifts Protocol Supports Teachers in Providing Deeper Learning Opportunities for Students

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a small cohort of teachers this year to redesign lessons for deeper learning opportunities. I called it the “Future Shift Fellowship” for two reasons: 1) I hoped that this group would begin moving our district into the future by focusing on student-centered lesson design and 2) we would be using the 4 Shifts protocol to guide our work.

To say that I’m pleased with what we’ve done this year would be an understatement. Each of the members of the cohort has stepped far beyond their comfort zone with their work. And, if you asked their students, I’m sure you’d hear how much they appreciate the opportunities for learning.

But you may be asking why we used the 4 Shifts for this work?

I’m happy to explain…

Whenever I work with teachers, my number one thought is that whatever we do together must be easy to implement. Teachers have little or no time to spend on new strategies or techniques in the classroom once the school year begins. Their days are filled with so many tasks beyond just those of teaching students that it’s difficult to squeeze in learning, even when there are demonstrable benefits to that learning.

So, any changes must be easy to make. Also, if the changes made can provide a visible impact on student learning, whether that be in the form of student engagement, assessment, or simply just changing how students talk about learning and school, then the changes are worth the time.

These two reasons above all others are why I chose to use the 4 Shifts protocol to guide the work of our fellowship.

The 4 Shifts Protocol, designed by Scott McLeod and Julie Graber, is a comprehensive framework that aims to help educators transition from traditional teaching methods to more modern, student-centered approaches that promote deeper learning opportunities. The protocol focuses on four key shifts: deeper thinking and learning, authentic work, student agency and personalized learning, and technology infusion.

  1. Deeper Thinking and Learning: This shift encourages teachers to design activities that require students to engage in higher-order thinking skills, such as analysis, evaluation, and creation, rather than just memorization and recall. By doing so, students develop critical thinking abilities and become more adept at problem-solving and decision-making.
  2. Authentic Work: The protocol emphasizes the importance of connecting classroom activities to real-world situations and contexts. This shift encourages teachers to create tasks with a genuine purpose, audience, and impact beyond the classroom, fostering relevance and meaningful student learning experiences.
  3. Student Agency and Personalized Learning: This shift focuses on providing opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning and make choices about what and how they learn. Teachers are encouraged to create learning environments that support individual learning preferences and needs, allowing students to progress at their own pace and follow their interests.
  4. Technology Infusion: The protocol recognizes the power of technology in enhancing learning experiences and facilitating the other three shifts. Teachers are encouraged to integrate technology tools and resources into their instruction, allowing students to access information, collaborate with peers, and demonstrate their learning in innovative ways.

By implementing the 4 Shifts Protocol, teachers can create more engaging and meaningful learning experiences for their students, fostering a deeper understanding and long-lasting knowledge. This approach prepares students for success in the modern world and cultivates a love for learning and a growth mindset.

Does the 4 Shifts protocol answer all the questions? Of course not. In fact, sometimes you have more questions than you started with after working through the protocol. This is why it is key to only focus on one of the shifts at a time when redesigning your lessons.

You could change a lesson to the super ultimate checks all-the-boxes learning experience in one go, but you and your students would likely be so exhausted and confused from all the changes that any benefit would be lost.

But, the protocol gives you the structure to make small changes to your lessons, whether you are a classroom teacher or an instructional coach working with teachers to make the changes.

I can’t think of a better tool to use to begin moving toward more student-centered learning.



Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or want to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

The 10 Books Every Teacher Should Read in 2023

A new year begins, full of new challenges and possibilities. But really, these challenges and possibilities aren’t new. They’re the same ones humans have faced for centuries; we experience them in a different context.

We’re all still trying to make sense of this crazy world and what part we must play in this grand performance of life. How do we make the world a better place? How do we find happiness? How do we experience true fulfillment? How do we achieve what we want in this life and, along the way, help a few other people get what they want?

As educators, that last question may be the most important one for us to answer. Without question, we have goals for our lives. But so much of the work we do every day is tied to helping other people, our students, accomplish their goals. Sometimes, our work helps students determine their goals.

Sometimes our work is helping students believe that their goals are possible; that they’re not crazy for being different and wanting something others may tell them is “stupid,” “not acceptable,” or “bad.”

We are purveyors in providing spaces for dreamers to make their dreams come true.

We must diligently provide these students with the support and resources they need to make their dreams a reality. We must create learning environments that foster creativity and exploration. We should inspire our students to take risks and challenge themselves to think outside the box. Additionally, we must equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to help them progress steadily toward their goals.

As educators, it is our responsibility to be a source of guidance and understanding for our students, no matter how big or small their dreams may be. We must recognize the power of our influence and use it to encourage and empower our students to reach their full potential.

But for us to do all of that, we must take care of ourselves. We have to refill our cups, and we must ensure that we are working toward our own goals. Modeling success is key for our students. I can think of no greater tool to keep our minds sharp, our spirits full, and our eyes focused on the horizon of our dreams than reading great books.

Books are more than just an investment in yourself – they are a doorway to a world of knowledge. From novels and nonfiction to how-to guides, poetry, classics, and biographies, there’s something for everyone in the world of books. Reading can help you think more deeply, be kinder, gain a broader perspective, and become better at the things that matter to you. Books have been around for thousands of years and are still being published today, containing the distilled wisdom of countless hours of hard work. Why not take this opportunity to benefit from the knowledge stored within them?

With that in mind, here are 10 books – both recent and classic – that can help you achieve your 2023 goals and live a better, more fulfilling life.

Note: If you expect professional development books with 13 strategies and 27 tips to get more done in your classroom, you’ve come to the wrong list. These books help you with LIFE and living better in every area.

I’ll leave the boring, monotonous, ill-conceived PD books to other folks 😉

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a collection of personal reflections written by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Written in the 2nd century AD, it is an important philosophical work exploring Stoic philosophy and its practical application in life.

mediations by marcus aurelius

Meditations is an essential read for teachers, as it offers a great insight into the Stoic philosophy and how to apply it in a practical way. It provides a framework for understanding our emotions and reactions and how to use them to our advantage. It helps to refocus our attention on what matters most in life and encourages us to be kinder and more compassionate towards others. It also offers a unique perspective on our own inner struggles and how to make peace with them. With its timeless wisdom, Meditations is an invaluable resource for teachers striving to make a difference in their students’ lives.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a must-read for teachers looking to break through creative blocks and achieve their goals. It examines the inner struggle of pursuing your dreams and offers concrete strategies to help you overcome these obstacles.

The book focuses on the concept of “resistance”, which is an inner force that can be physical, mental, or emotional and prevents us from achieving our goals. It encourages us to push through these barriers and to keep working no matter how difficult the journey may be. The War of Art is an inspirational read that provides invaluable advice for teachers looking to overcome their own struggles and help their students reach their full potential.

The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday is a book that explores the concept of stoicism and its practical application in everyday life. It encourages readers to confront and embrace the obstacles that stand in their way and to use them as an opportunity to grow and become stronger.

The Obstacle is The Way provides a framework for understanding life’s struggles and how to use them to your advantage. It is an essential read for teachers looking to help their students overcome their own obstacles and achieve their goals.

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is a must-read for teachers looking to find their creative spark. It encourages readers to look at the world from a different perspective and to embrace their own unique style. Through personal anecdotes, Kleon provides a framework for understanding creativity and how to use it to your advantage.

This inspirational read encourages readers to escape their comfort zones and explore their passions. Steal Like an Artist is an invaluable resource for teachers looking to foster creativity and exploration in their students.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Start With Why by Simon Sinek is an inspirational and thought-provoking book with a simple premise – that people should start with why when making decisions and formulating strategies. The book provides clear examples of how this approach can help teachers become more successful and effective.

It advocates for an approach that puts the why before the how and what and encourages readers to find their own why. It helps teachers to understand the importance of having a clear purpose and how it can help them reach their goals. It also encourages teachers to think more deeply and creatively and helps them to understand their own values and how they can help to create a better world for their students.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown is a powerful and inspiring book that explores the courage and vulnerability needed to lead. It examines how fear often keeps us from taking risks and how embracing vulnerability can help us achieve our goals. Through personal stories and historical examples, Dare to Lead provides a framework for understanding leadership and how to use it to create a better world for our students.

It encourages readers to be brave and take risks, to be honest, and open, and to find their own voice. It helps teachers to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to become more effective leaders. Dare to Lead is an essential read for any teacher looking to become a better leader and foster a more positive and productive learning environment for their students.

Tribes by Seth Godin

Tribes by Seth Godin is a must-read for teachers looking to make a difference in their classrooms. It examines the concept of leadership and how to use it to create positive change.

The book focuses on the concept of “tribes”, which are communities united by shared values, beliefs, and goals. It encourages readers to create their own tribes and use them to make a difference in the world. Tribes also provides readers with invaluable advice on how to effectively lead their tribes, how to inspire others and how to create a positive learning environment. It is an invaluable resource for teachers looking to empower their students, foster collaboration, and create a positive learning environment.

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of The Wind is a modern classic, praised for its beautiful prose and captivating story. It’s also one of the few books I’ve read that have caused me to weep openly.

It follows the tale of Kvothe, an orphan seeking to make his way in a world filled with danger, mystery, and wonder. Kvothe’s journey is one of self-discovery as he comes to understand the power of words and the power of stories. Through his adventures, Kvothe learns to master the power of magic and the power of his own emotions.

The Name of The Wind is an epic adventure filled with memorable characters, captivating dialogue, and lush descriptions. It is a powerful tale of self-discovery, courage, and perseverance and is a must-read for anyone looking for an unforgettable journey. Rothfuss’s writing is beautiful and engaging, and his story is filled with moments of joy, sorrow, and inspiration.

On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing is a must-read for any creative or teacher. It’s a first-person account of Stephen’s writing process and a bit of a personal memoir. He shares his stories of success, failure, and redemption while providing advice on writing style, technique, and tools.

While the book is focused on writing, you can apply the lessons to any creative endeavor, like teaching.

On Writing is an adventure in a different kind of world where the written word is powerful beyond measure. Whether you are interested in learning how to write better or want to entertain yourself with Stephen King’s witty observations, this book will not disappoint.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

I had to think about this last one for a while because I didn’t want to waste the slot. There are so many great books that could go on this list. But here we are with what has become one of my favorite books.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean is an inspiring and captivating exploration of the power of libraries and the stories of the people who love them. Orlean examines the impact of libraries on our lives, from the Great Library of Alexandria to modern-day libraries. She weaves together stories of patrons, librarians, and politicians, creating a vivid and compelling narrative that highlights the importance of libraries in our society. The Library Book is an essential read for anyone looking to understand the impact libraries have on our lives and to appreciate their value.

A Final Note

As we grow and change over the years, we can gain new perspectives and lessons from books we’ve read in the past. Take some time this year to revisit some of your favorites. Thumb through Fahrenheit 451 one more time. Take a stroll down memory lane with A Tale of Two Cities or The Grapes of Wrath. Dive back into the worlds of Tolkien once again. You’ll likely find something you missed and learn something new.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or want to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Leading the Way

This is a preview of my Friday “10 Things” newsletter. Friday editions are free for everyone.

power up blended learning

Greetings, friends. It’s the second Friday of 2023. I hope you’re off to a great year. It’s also Friday the 13th, so be careful out there and watch out for hockey masks…

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week, focusing on the theme of leadership:

10 Cool Things Worth Sharing

  • Monday here in the US, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Here are 4 lessons from his leadership that apply in every organization I can think of but doubly so in education.
  • If there was ever a time for leadership amidst whirlwinds of change in the world of education, it’s now…

To read the rest, subscribe to my Friday “10 Things” newsletter.

10 Quotes to Kick Off 2023

As we enter a new year, many of us are looking for ways to spark creativity and bring fresh ideas to our lives and work.

Quotes can keep us motivated, remind us of what’s important, and inspire us to take action.

Starting this year, I’ll share 10 of my favorite quotes from the previous year to help us get on the right track.

This quote from Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Wise Man’s Fear” is fitting to begin a new year.

Ask the questions, my friends. And ask them of others. Even if they can’t answer, they’ll begin the hunt.

Here are nine more of my favorite quotes to kick off 2023:

Hard Days

The Next Step

Our Calling

Hard Work

How to Change School Practice

Sticking Power

On Greatness

Heading the Right Way

How to Really Know Yourself


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or want to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Wishful Thinking Disguised as Professional Development

This is the pattern in way too many schools. This isn’t the poor coach’s fault. This is a failure of leadership. It’s wishful thinking disguised as professional development, and it’s yet another example of a school that’s going through the motions instead of engaging in meaningful, long-term, thoughtful improvement. These wasted opportunities in schools just make me sad…

Scott McLeod

My friend Scott is talking about a forum post about a coach offering a PD session on “anything you like” for one hour.

Which is, of course, pointless.

I have been given roughly an hour for PD on January 4th to work with teachers on anything that I’d like. I rotate between 7 sites pre-k to 12th grade, but I will be working with 4th grade-12th grade teachers on this date. My boss mostly likes for me to introduce new tools to teachers during these opportunities. We have been focusing on Canva the last few months while we try to transition back to students creating work rather than the teacher worksheets, etc., that we used a lot of during the pandemic.

All of that to say, what would you use this time for? Should I show teachers how to be better organized with Google Keep/Tasks, find a free new tool for them to use in the classroom? Do you have any free project based EdTech tools that you love?

Scott’s reply:

Just wanted to say how sorry I am that you only are given 1 hour (a whole 60 minutes!) to do this important work. You and your educators deserve more systemic and strategic supports and investment than this. 😢 I’m tempted to say that, with this little time, it really doesn’t matter what you do because the likelihood of it being impactful is fairly low?

Good luck.

Sadly, this is the state of much professional development in our schools. And it’s not just a theme of instructional technology PD. We see this when schools roll out new curricula, as well. One day of learning is all teachers need to implement new programs, right?

This was the theme of my Tuesday newsletter this week, specifically on rethinking PD.

We can’t afford to think about PD like this anymore.

Time Management Tips: Powerful Strategies to Help Educators and Administrators Maximize Productivity

Miles Davis, the American jazz impresario, once said, “Time isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing.”

For certain, we don’t have enough time to do everything we want to do in our classrooms. But we are given the same amount of time as everyone else in this old world of ours, so we must figure out better ways to use our time.

For educators and administrators to thrive in the classroom or beyond, they need a firm grasp of time management. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution – every educator has different obligations, workloads, and personalities.

The good news is that with a few powerful strategies for maximizing productivity, you can take control of your time to reach new heights of efficiency in both teaching and administrative tasks.

So let’s dive into some powerful strategies which will enable you (and, by extension, your school) to get more done in less time – so that you can focus on what matters most: creating an amazing learning environment where students can thrive.

Time management tips for educators

Educators are always looking for ways to be more efficient with their time. Here are some tips that can help:

Plan ahead. The more you plan, the less rushed you’ll feel and the more accomplished you’ll feel at the end of the day.

Set priorities. Know what is important and focus on those tasks first.

Delegate tasks whenever possible. Get help from others in your department or school to lighten your load.

Take breaks. Breaks help to refresh your mind and make you more productive when you return to work.

Use technology to your advantage. Many helpful tools online can help you manage your time better.

Tips for maximizing productivity in the classroom

To boost productivity in the classroom, several things can be done. Creating a supportive and effective learning environment is one of the most important. This can be accomplished by providing clear guidelines and expectations for the class and by interacting with students in a supportive and upbeat manner.

Being organized and having a plan for each class time are also crucial. This entails having a specific goal for what you want students to learn and a flow of activities that will guide them there.

It is also helpful to give students structure, especially if they struggle with focus or organization. This can be done by giving them specific tasks to complete during class or by providing a model for how work should be completed. Finally, it is important to remember that different students learn differently and to try to incorporate different teaching methods into your classroom to reach all students.

Strategies for conquering paperwork and administrative tasks

When it comes to conquering paperwork and administrative tasks, there are a few key strategies that can help make the process a little bit easier.

Yes, even in the digital world, there is still “paperwork” to deal with daily. It just happens to take up space on a hard drive or cloud storage somewhere. You still need a strategy for processing those files.

First and foremost, you should devise a system for arranging your paperwork/digital data. This could imply organizing documents into topic-specific folders, color-coding them, or using another method that makes sense to you. A system will help you keep track of what you have and will make it easier to find what you need when you need it.

Another effective strategy is to divide large tasks into smaller ones. Trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork all at once can be overwhelming, so take it one step at a time. Begin by identifying the most pressing tasks and focusing on them first. Then move on to less urgent matters. Breaking the process down into smaller chunks will make it feel less intimidating and more manageable.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling with a particular task and seeking assistance from someone who can help. Friends, family members, and even professional assistants can all be useful resources for getting things done.

How to create a personal time management plan

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Making a personal time management plan is an excellent way to ensure that you use your time as efficiently as possible. When developing your strategy, keep the following points in mind.

The first step is to determine your objectives. What do you hope to accomplish in life? After you’ve identified your objectives, you can devise a strategy to achieve them.

Your time management strategy should also include a daily schedule of what you intend to do. This will help you stay on track and make progress toward your objectives. It is also critical to be realistic about how much you can accomplish in a day and to avoid over-committing yourself.

Furthermore, creating some ground rules for how you will use your time is beneficial. Will you, for example, allow yourself to check email or use the internet for recreational purposes only after certain tasks have been completed? Will you designate specific times of the day for work and rest?

Making a personal time management plan can help you do more daily and reach your goals. By taking the time to create a plan that works for you, you can ensure that you are making the best use of your time.

The benefits of effective time management for educators

Time management is an important skill for educators. When educators are organized and efficient with their time, they can accomplish more during the school day. This not only benefits the educator but also the students they teach.

There are several benefits to effective time management for educators. First, when educators are organized, they can plan their lessons better and ensure that all necessary materials are prepared ahead of time. This makes for a smoother classroom experience for both the educator and the students.

Second, when educators are efficient with their time, they can get more work done in a shorter amount of time. This allows them more time to spend on important tasks such as grading papers or preparing for future lessons.

Third, when educators manage their time well, it can lead to a more balanced lifestyle. This is important, as it can help prevent burnout.

Lastly, when educators are good at managing their time, it sets a good example for their students. Teaching students how to manage their time effectively is an important life skill that will benefit them long after they have left school.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon

Conclusion

To summarize, effective time management has numerous advantages for educators. When educators organize and use their time efficiently, they can accomplish more during the school day. This results in a more enjoyable classroom experience for both the educator and the students and a more balanced lifestyle. Teaching students how to effectively manage their time is an important life skill that will benefit them long after graduating high school.

If you’re a teacher, you already know that time management is critical to academic success. You can maximize your productivity, conquer paperwork and administrative tasks, and create a personal time management plan that works for you by following some simple tips and strategies. The advantages of effective time management are numerous; not only will you be more productive in the classroom, but you will also have more free time to pursue your interests outside of work. Learn more about how to manage your time as an educator here.


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How to Make Reading Lots of Books More Manageable

I talk a lot about reading here on this site because I believe we learn more if we read more. And if we read books that challenge us, that learning increases exponentially.

I can speak to my growth as a writer and educator as I’ve worked to increase the number (and type) of books I read each year.

Of course, everyone is different, and your reading goals likely don’t align with mine, nor should they. Your reading habit should support your goals personally and professionally.

Reading more books can be daunting, especially when you have a long list of books you want to get through. It is important to read for personal and professional development, but finding the time and motivation can be difficult.

We’re all busy and have many things competing for our time. Family, friends, work, and life ask more of us daily.

Thankfully, there are ways to make reading more manageable, so you can reach your goals without feeling overwhelmed.

Setting Goals

The first step in making reading more manageable is setting goals. It is important not to share your goals publicly as this will increase the pressure to reach them. Instead, create realistic and achievable goals that you know you will be able to meet without too much stress.

Break large goals into small ones so that they are easier to manage. For example, if your goal is to read 10 books by the end of the year, break it down by setting smaller monthly or weekly targets instead.

Putting Reading Time on Your Calendar

I’m a big believer in scheduling time in your day for the tasks you deem most important.

It is easy for reading time to get lost among other commitments throughout the day. To make sure you prioritize reading, set aside specific times each day or week when you dedicate yourself completely to reading. This could be during your lunch break at work or before bed each night—whatever fits best with your schedule.

You could even set reminders on your phone for when it’s time for “reading hour” each day so that it doesn’t slip away from you too quickly.

Joining or Starting a Book Club

Joining a book club or starting one of your own has many advantages when it comes to managing your reading goals and habits. Being part of a book club allows you to connect with others who share similar interests while also providing accountability and support in achieving your own personal goals.

There are plenty of online book clubs available if there isn’t one local enough for you to join in person, but starting one yourself would allow complete freedom when it comes to choosing topics and themes that interest all involved.

Always Carrying a Book On You

Carrying a book around with you wherever you go (Kindles and other digital readers make this easy) makes it easier for moments throughout the day when there may be some downtime or waiting around—whether that be in line at the store or waiting for an appointment—to become moments devoted solely towards catching up on some pages rather than scrolling through social media timelines or checking emails out of boredom.

As long as there’s something good enough in hand, these moments can become part of a routine, which helps keep track of progress over time and stay motivated about reaching those larger goals.

Not Feeling Bad About Quitting Books That Aren’t Enjoyable

Not every book we choose will immediately grab our attention which means sometimes we may need some convincing before we keep going with something new; however, don’t feel like quitting after only giving something new a few pages just because someone else said it was amazing —reading should always remain enjoyable no matter what everyone else says! Give yourself permission not just stick with what everyone else recommends but also take chances on those books that really spark an interest within oneself first and foremost.

Conclusion

Making reading more manageable means taking control of how much time is dedicated to getting through books effectively without feeling overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations placed upon oneself or others alike.

Creating routines such as setting achievable goals, putting reading time on calendars, joining/starting book clubs, carrying books around everywhere possible, and allowing yourself permission not to finish any books if they’re not enjoyable are all great places to start when trying to make sure all those different genres & topics get their fair share attention moving forward.

Ultimately, if you want to read more, the only way to do that is to just read more. But that’s not always so easy. These tips will, hopefully, give you some support in increasing your reading in the coming year.

The Reading List

If you’re looking for book recommendations, I release a reading list email monthly. In each newsletter, I recommend 5-10 books that I think are great, along with a one-sentence recap. I also include connections to other books I’ve read and why I think you might enjoy reading them as well.

If you’d like access to that reading list, fill out the form below, and you’ll receive the next monthly email.

A Love Letter to Libraries: Susan Orlean’s The Library Book

In her fascinating 2018 book, The Library Book, Susan Orlean recounts the story of the Los Angeles Public Library and its remarkable journey from destruction to rebirth. On April 29th, 1986, a devastating fire consumed the Central Library of Los Angeles, destroying hundreds of thousands of books and leaving much of its infrastructure in ruins. Through extensive research and interviews with those who lived through this tragedy, Orlean sheds light on how the library could be rebuilt despite such immense destruction.

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The Library Book
  • Orlean, Susan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 10/01/2019 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

The Fire at the Los Angeles Public Library

The blaze that consumed much of the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles started around 11 pm on April 29th, 1986, and burned until dawn. By then, it had destroyed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Unfortunately, the building was also left in ruins; its fire-resistant materials had failed to contain the blaze, spreading quickly throughout the library’s many floors and departments.

The Effects of the Blaze

When news of the fire reached Angelenos, many feared that their beloved library was gone for good; however, remarkably enough, it was able to be rebuilt in just over two years due to an outpouring of support from citizens across Los Angeles. While reconstruction efforts were underway, there were still significant obstacles to overcome — they had to reconstruct an entire building and replace hundreds of thousands of lost books.

The Inspiring Stories Behind Rebuilding Efforts

Throughout her narrative, Orlean introduces us to some truly inspiring stories about those involved with rebuilding efforts after the fire. Harry Peak—a young actor, embroiled in a complex case involving arson—and Gene Scott—the eccentric pastor who spearheaded fundraising efforts—are two prime examples whose stories help demonstrate how a community can come together during difficult times and achieve seemingly impossible feats.

Charles Lummis’ Impact on the Rebuilt Library

We also learn about Charles Lummis — one of America’s first conservationists — whose legacy remains alive today at the rebuilt Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. Before becoming a conservationist, he served as a librarian for five years at what is now known as Lummis House; his dedication to reading left a lasting impression on patrons before and after his tenure there. His influence can still be felt today at Lummis House and other libraries across California thanks to initiatives he championed, such as public access points for children living in poverty-stricken areas or those without access to technology or internet service.

Conclusion

Susan Orlean’s The Library Book is ultimately a love letter to public libraries everywhere; she highlights their essential role in society by telling us stories about those involved with rebuilding efforts after the devastating fire that consumed much of downtown LA’s Central Library in April 1986. We are reminded that libraries are more than just places where we go for information or entertainment; they are bastions for knowledge that provide access points for people regardless of their race or economic background and help foster communities within our cities and towns worldwide.