Several weeks ago, a good friend of mine, Brian Loe, who is our dean of students at Challenger, texted me wanting some leadership/personal development titles to listen to as he worked on his father in law's farm over the summer.
We have shared titles and books and links over the past few years, so I quickly went to my go-to professional development podcast: Entreleadership.
There are well over 200 podcasts now. I stumbled upon Entreleadership several years ago when I was reading Simon Sinek's Start With Why. I listened to the very first podcast and was hooked. I have learned more about teaching and leadership and building culture from this podcast than any PD speaker/presenter I've witnessed or education course I have ever taken.
I sent Brian a list of about 15 episodes that I thought he'd find relevant. It was then that Brian had a great idea. He texted me suggesting we start a "podcast club." We'd run it just like a traditional book club: we'd select an episode from Entreleadership, listen to it and take notes on it over the course of a week, and then we'd select a time to meet in person and discuss it.
As we kicked the idea around, Brian asked who we should ask to join. So we came up with some names of our colleagues who, like us, are leadership, professional development, and personal improvement junkies.
Then we decided to meet and see who showed up. July17th was our first meeting at the Evergreen. We focused on this amazing podcast from Lee Cockerell who once was in charge of running Disney World.
Here is the link if you are interested. It's well worth the listen.
There was a total of four of us. The hour and a half we visited seemed to go by in about 20 minutes. I became a better teacher, leader, and colleague because of it. I was on a high for the next few days.
For our second meeting, which was on July 24th, we chose to listen to an episode featuring Dr. Tim Elmore about leading the next generation of students and workers. I read this book Generation iY last summer and was blown away.
Here is the link to our second podcast, if you are interested. This too is well worth your time. I can't believe I ever taught without having heard this information. This was a real eye opener for me as a teacher and parent.
There were again four of us, (Brian couldn't make it this time and Kelly was traveling) but we picked up a new member (Kelsey). We had another amazing conversation, which was great since we had teachers from the high school (Kali and me), middle school (Josh), and the elementary school (Kelsey). Again, two hours went by in about 20 minutes.
Now we have selected, at the request of Josh Watne, to listen to an episode on Living an Inspired Life featuring the amazing John O'Leary.
We will meet again at the Evergreen (in the Pine Cone Pub) to talk leadership, living an inspired life, how to be the best teachers we can be, and how to positively impact the lives of students around us.
As I think back to this group and all that I learn from them, a compliment our outgoing principal paid me a few weeks ago. I emailed him to get his thoughts on a new assignment I was thinking of doing in my College Comp classes. In his feedback, he wrote, "Remember, you chose a long time ago to be more than a teacher of English"
When we discuss these podcasts and apply them to our craft as teachers, we are clearly focusing on more than just teaching our disciplines. Our quest - as idealistic as it sounds - is to change the lives of our students. How can't that get you fired up?
If that sounds like you, please meet with us on Monday at the Evergreen. I'll be there at 6:50 sharp after an 8 hour meeting as part of our Building Leadership Team talking about our strategic plan for LHS. That's what I call, living the dream!
Seriously, this is just so much fun. Monday nights at seven at the Evergreen. I don't know how much longer we will continue to meet once August wears on and school eventually starts, but, right now, I'd take this group over watching Monday Night Football any day!