1. What are you reading right now?
“The Dawn of System Leadership” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review
2. What is a lesson you learned from this book/journal/blog?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to bring about positive change–such as the type of instructional tools and practices we advocate at Unbounded–at the school district level. This article points to a model of a school system leader who is consistently focused on a small number of lofty goals, but who is flexible and open to various ways of achieving those goals. An effective leader can bridge the gaps between the central office and the classroom, both by bringing the perspectives of principals and teachers into the “big picture” district strategy and by helping those same principals and teachers see how the strategy addresses their everyday concerns. Obviously, a lot of listening, dialogue, and adjustment is necessary, but it can be done.
3. What book do you return to for inspiration?
Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh: It’s a reminder that big problems (in math and in most aspects of life) are rarely solved in a momentary flash of insight, but as a result of sustained concentration and small advances over time.
4. What books are on your nightstand or at the top of your e-book app?
Bringing it to the Table by Wendell Berry (rereading), and lots of back issues of “The New Yorker.”
5. How do you prioritize reading amidst all your other duties?
It’s a good way to turn off the serious part of my brain at the end of the day, and to see parallels with our work in other fields.
Steve Sebelski is a former teacher and instruction coach. At UnboundEd, he works on the math team, managing our philanthropic partnership with IBM and facilitating our curriculum development efforts.