| By Nicole Albrecht |
As a lifelong learner, and former teacher, it is hard not to get excited when new content is released on GVRL. On August 10th, 2018, Dave Burgess Consulting’s third PD collection was released on GVRL. I had the pleasure of speaking with Shelley Burgess, Dave Burgess’ wife, business partner, and coauthor of, Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff, before the collection was released. I could see some of the books online and read their reviews and was immediately hooked and convinced that the Burgess 3 collection was amazing.
When I spoke with Shelley on the phone, I was surprised to learn about more than just the new content in the collection. For starters, Dave Burgess Consulting is a very organic and homegrown company that grew after the success of Teach like a Pirate, into a non-traditional publishing business that set out to help give people a voice to create positive change in the world. Many of the titles that they publish can be used in other settings and not just in the education world. That spoke to me since I left teaching to pursue a different calling which led me to Gale, I was intrigued to learn how those resources could help me grow now that I was not in the classroom.
When we talked about the third collection, I asked Shelley to tell me something that makes this collection different than all the rest. Inside Dave Burgess Consulting collection 3, are a set of titles for administrators called, the Lead Like a PIRATE Guide series. According to Shelley, “The Lead series is a set of books focused on Leadership. They are written by leaders in a variety of positions who have embraced the “Lead Like a PIRATE” spirit and philosophy and are living it in their schools and districts. Each one is intended to focus on one aspect of leadership and provide several actionable ideas that leaders can take and do in their own schools.”
Of the two titles she mentions in the collection, Lead with Culture is the first written by Jay Billy, then Lead with Literacy follows written by Mandy Ellis. Lead with Culture is a revolutionary book for school leaders. The book is detailed with all the things that make school a place where students and staff want to be and the top priority is the culture. Culture should be enriched in schools and surround students so that it fosters a sense of community, encouragement, unity, and strength. By embracing the Lead like a Pirate values found in The Lead series’ books, school leaders can become unique, excited, and driven.
As I searched through the fabulous content in Dave Burgess Collection 3, I noticed that many of the books are perfect for social and emotional learning (SEL), and mental health and wellness needs, that we are finding many of our customers in need of. With the rise in suicides, anxiety, depression, and stress students are coming to school carrying the weight of their unsettled emotions. One of the most important actions a teacher can take is to talk to their students, but sometimes finding the right words can be challenging. Enter the title: Talk to Me: Find the Right Words to Inspire, Encourage, and Get Things Done by Kim Bearden. Kim Bearden is the co-founder, executive director, and language arts teacher at the highly acclaimed Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. Talk to Me acts as a guide for helping to improve communication, build relationships and most importantly choose words that inspire, encourage and move people to action. What I love about this book is that it is universal in that it applies to more than just educators.
Another title, Be Real: Educate from the Heart by Tara Martin promotes educational wellness and it focuses on sharing personal experiences, showing vulnerability, taking risks, and accepting challenges. The book takes the reader on a journey starting with the inspirational foreword written by Dave Burgess. He explains how Be Real almost wasn’t written and how fear almost pulled the plug on the dream of Tara Martin’s story. What I found so inspirational, from a foreword which speaks volumes to me, is Dave’s take on authenticity:
“Sharing our REAL selves can transform education. Nobody changes the world by hiding. You can’t play small and expect to do big things. Mediocrity doesn’t motivate. Each of us has a tremendous and unique gift to offer the world, and when we allow anything to stand in the way of sharing our gifts—our real selves—we cheat the universe.”
Martin’s book is perfect for teachers, who always try to be something they are not in hopes to please the masses or get the students to like or respect them. I found that when I was myself, when I taught, the students performed better, resonated with me and enjoyed learning. This book is powerful and a must read for any educator.
There are more invigorating titles in Dave Burgess Consulting collection 3, that I wish I could write endless blog sections on. The Pepper Effect: Tap into the Magic of Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation uses the song, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band by the Beatles as a template for inspiring educators and administrators to become more innovative and creative. Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic explores why shaking learning up with technology can help learning grow. This book is interactive as it gives the readers discussion questions, supplemental resources which can be accessed online separately, and places for reflection.
Because I am an English teacher at heart, I was instantly attracted to, Sparks in the Dark: Lessons, Ideas and Strategies to Illuminate the Reading and Writing Lives in All of Us. I knew I would love this title just by looking at the table of contents. My point being, the table of contents in Sparks in the Dark had me at hello. Disturbing the Universe, It Starts with a Bookshelf, If We Let Them, Choice in the Classrooms and The Noble Heart of a Teacher are just a few chapters that help educators spark a lifelong love of learning, learn how to incorporate literacy skills across content areas, empower students to ask those tough questions about the world and to choose books. Choose books that challenge them and inspire them to seek.
I have a hard time not loving this collection with every glance I take at the bookshelf. If I were still teaching, this collection would have hit home and helped support me professionally and personally.