Books for Personal and Professional Development: Volume 5

2 Min Read  •  Instructional Materials

In January, I introduced you to my effort to hold myself accountable to my 2016 resolution: to increase my reading on topics of personal and professional growth. Over the past several months, I’ve shared my reads and recommendations in the hopes that you find books that will be beneficial to your own personal and professional development, and today, I share with you my fifth installment!

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

Author Adam Grant explores the topic of how we can originate new ideas in a world where conformity is so often championed. How can we recognize and originate new ideas, share those ideas, build partnerships, and put those ideas into action? As educators, this lesson is invaluable on two fronts. First, we must be continually assessing and revamping our teaching practice, recognizing how we might improve on the “status quo.” Secondly, we must be able to foster this kind of thinking in our students, nurturing originality and encouraging our students to share new and innovative ideas.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

TED speaker Amy Cuddy shares the science of body-mind effects, how our body language and mindset can impact our day-to-day lives, and how we can harness our own personal power to “achieve presence.” She shares her expertise on “power posing” as a means to connect with our own inner power, and how this might result in our ability to meet stressful moments with the proper confidence and state of mind. As educators, we are often met with moments of stress, with feelings of lacking control, even of questioning our own performance in our jobs.

We all experience moments of uncertainty, powerlessness, and fear, in both our professional development and personal lives. If we can learn to cultivate our own personal power to increase our confidence and performance in those moments, not only will we benefit, but so will our students!

Hamilton: The Revolution

Hamilton…heard of it? Not only is a record-breaking new Broadway musical, it has become a cultural phenomenon and, as President Obama said during his pre-recorded appearance on this year’s Tony Awards, “a civics lesson our kids can’t get enough of.” Composer, lyricist, and star of Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, along with theatre critic Jeremy Carter, have crafted Hamilton: The Revolution to give us an inside look at the creation of this groundbreaking theatrical work.

We are guided along a journey from the earliest stages of personal and professional development of this musical, based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, the parallels drawn between a revolution that happened over two centuries ago and the struggle that many immigrants face in our country today, and how Miranda has reimagined historical events in a way that is engaging and relevant for audiences of all ages. A true example of arts integration, Hamilton: The Revolution gives us a glimpse at how this incredibly cross-curricular, cross-cultural phenomenon came to be.