- Paperback: 124 pages
- Publisher: Rl (February 15, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1475833466
- ISBN-13: 978-1475833461
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,241,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1714 in Education Administration (Books)
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The Unlearning Leader
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From connecting with other education leaders to creating a new model of professional development, where practitioners are the experts and professional educators help each other get better at their practice, the book is chock-full of real-world examples of this new kind of leadership. (Tech & Learning Leader)
The popular moderators of the Twitter chat #suptchat, Michael Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak, have taken some of their social media musings to print. Their combined experiences as superintendents in suburban Chicago permeate the text, along with professional learning network contacts they befriended. The result is a highly practical book centered around the idea of ‘unlearning.’ ‘Unlearning That’s the Way We Have Always Done It’ is a chapter title that will ring true for many education leaders. The innovations in the duo’s school systems form the basis of the text, peppered with correlating research. At a realistic 97 pages, The Unlearning Leader is a just-right read for individual school leaders, a professional learning community and aspiring leaders in preparation programs. (School Administrator)
The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today is a book that will make a difference. Unlearning implies relearning, and that relates to change. The once constant in education today is change. Leaders must know how people learn, communicate, and think. Nick and Mike are energetic, innovative, creative experts in promoting effective leadership that embraces today’s vastly different environment. This book is not an option – it is fundamental to building educational attitudes and behaviors that produce exceptional learners. (Jim Burgett, author, speaker, president of the Burgett Group, Illinois Superintendent of the Year)
In “The Unlearning Leader”, the authors beautifully deconstruct some of the narratives of what many see as traditional schooling, and create a compelling narrative on why we need to embrace and create a new (and much better) narrative of K-12 education. With many powerful examples throughout the book, this book will spark many ideas on how you can create meaningful changes that will empower your students in a world that needs them to make a difference in the lives of others. (George Couros, Learner, Educator, and Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership consultant; author, "The Innovator's Mindset")
Mike Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak are champions for children. As I travel across the country, I strongly encourage superintendents to stay engaged with professional peers within their regions, theirrespective states and throughout the country. Mike and Nick are doing just that. Through a variety of platforms, they're effectively leveraging the power of social media, which is why I applaud their efforts to "celebrate the connected leader" in this book. They have mobilized scores of like-minded educators from coast to coast for a common cause--breaking down the barriers from education's bygone days and building a culture of innovation to create more opportunities for students to be successful. (Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators)
About the Author
Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109). He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat - the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.
Nick Polyak, Ed.D. is the proud superintendent of the award-winning Leyden Community High School District 212. He can be found on Twitter at @npolyak and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat - the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.
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The foundation of the book is set right away with the process needed to create a meaningful mission statement. Admittedly, my initial thought was, "Great, another discussion about the semantics of a mission statement." I couldn't have been more wrong. The mission statement set-ups the rest of the book. It is evidence that a mission statement is only as powerful as the leader's process of creating and implementing it. In my opinion it is more of a "declaration" than a statement the way it is utilized in the districts. They are not ust words on paper, but a promise that the student's learning experience is aligned with the "mission statement".
A few general points about the book and why I think it's valuable for anyone in education:
1) Straight to the point. There is no fluff in this book. Each section contains advice, and is broken down neatly into sub-sections.
2) Authentic examples: Not only the ideas, but the implementation put in place to ensure the objectives were met. (How a few are met are creative!)
3) The leader is crucial. the staff important, but no one or thing is more valuable than supporting student growth and a positive learning environment.
4) Inspirational quotes and creative ways of to provide the reader with a concrete understanding of the points being made.
5) Most importantly, the title may say "Leader" but the objective is the process needed to help the students. There is no ego or personal agenda in this book. It is a tool to help us be the best we can so the students can shine and get the learning experience they deserve.
The book is a quick read, written with a genuine enthusiasm for the profession of education. In a context of sharing rather than preaching, Mike and Nick drive the point that the future is here and our students are living in it. We need to look at how we approach learning, connecting with communities and each other, building teacher capacity and being deeply reflective in order to prepare our students for the opportunities they face in school and adulthood.
This is a great read for anyone actively in, or actively interested in school leadership. I highly recommend it for anyone who is willing to work together, be a positive disrupter and do things that make sense in schools for the benefit of students.