On books, devices, and habits.

When I was young I devoured books.

They took me places

Introduced me to faces

Helped me imagine worlds that weren’t my own.

Nothing to distract me, except siblings and toys

and being told to

go outside.

In the past few years it’s been hard

to read a book

from start to finish.

Grown up books are different.

Big words and ideas so difficult

they make my head

and heart


Books are in competition now

with things that take

my attention.

Some rightfully so – kiddos, home, dogs, work.

But for pages

and stories

to compete

with a screen?

With notifications and channels and threads and

electronic mail?


But wait!

You can read on a screen.

They make books that way.

I know.

I’ve tried.

I have never finished,

or read

in entirety,

not once,

a digital book.

Now to be fair

the device where I read

is a phone

or a laptop,

not a device

specifically made for books.

So I reflect, in what times

and spaces

and places

is it impossible for me

to put down a book?

When do books win?

And I think.

And I think some more.

The beach.

At the beach, I read.

YA. Fantasy. Suspense. Picture books.

(Fiction. Lots of fiction.)

Books with robots, dragons, housewives, utopias, and vampires.

Books with characters so flawed

and so brave

and so perfect.

That I paint pictures of them

in my mind

and I feel like I know them.

That I cry when they cry.

And laugh when they laugh.

They teach me things.

When I read at the beach

there are no distractions.

Because sand and devices

don’t mix.

Because wifi is spotty

at best.

So how can my every day

Be more like the beach?

It wasn’t easy, but

I made a choice.

Pings, dings, and social things.

Can wait.

Goodbye, device.

You’ve been replaced.

Morning coffee and a


or two.

This is my habit.

This is my morning.

This is me

devouring a book.

Taking me to places,

introducing me to faces.

Imagining worlds.


Summer reading list

Today’s our last day of school for students! This day holds a different meaning for me now that I am an administrator. I will miss the chatter of little voices in the hallways, classrooms, cafeteria, and playground, and requests to come inside and shoot hoops in my office! I know students and teachers will enjoy and hopefully refresh over the next few weeks, hoping to return to school energized and ready to jump headfirst into learning for the 2010-2011 school year!

One of the most meaningful ways to spend the “downtimes” of summer is to read! I love being able to catch up on both professional and personal reading selections during these months. Read on the back porch, in the car, in the airport, on the beach… anywhere and everywhere! Here is a short list of some of my “must-reads” for this summer:

Professional reads:

Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, Heidi Hayes Jacobs

I’ve had this book for a month or two after ASCD delivered it to my door… will definitely utilize this in my technology integrator role this summer!


What Great Teachers Do Differently and What Great Principals Do Differently, Todd Whitaker

What more could you want to know? As someone who always seeks to bring change to an organization for the betterment of students, I am eager to learn more about how I can do things differently, and encourage my staff to do the same, to foster school improvement efforts.


Getting to Yes, Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton

Have this on CD, should make the commute to work more intriguing. Believe it or not, in my role as principal I do encounter confrontations and need to negotiate solutions to problems at times!


Teaching as a Subversive Activity, Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner

I began this over the winter and was captivated by how relevant this read is today. Must finish!npostman

Personal Reads

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney
This book cracks me up. I’ve read about four chapters and laughed out loud at the voice of Kinney’s middle school character shine through. The accompanying illustrations are amusing as well and help tell the story!


Eclipse, by Stephanie Meyer (book 3 of the Twilight Saga)

Have to reread before the June 30 movie release!


The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Came recommended to me.


Be More Chill, by Ned Vizzini


I love Vizzini. It’s Kind of a Funny Story was one of my absolute favorite reads last summer, so I’m checking out this selection.

The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

My media specialist purchased a copy of this for me to enjoy this summer! Excited to read what our students enjoy!


I know there are so many more fabulous stories and resources out there… what is on your reading list? Post your suggestions here! Happy Summer!