Last December I challenged our staff to increase the amount of reading that they are having our students do. I stated that I thought students should be reading as many as sixteen books per year. Faculty reaction was mixed. I heard a lot of concerns about student time, assessment of the reading assignments, where will the time come from to teach the curriculum we already have? All of them good, legitimate questions. The thing that hit me most about our school discussions about my challenge was all the “we can’t” statements that it generated. I know I offended some staff when I told them that I did not want to hear what we can’t do. I told them to frame their arguments about what we can do. Slowly but surely, even though it has taken a month or so, I have heard a lot of “this is what I can do,” or “I think we could try this,” and I am heartened by the fact that so many of our staff are willing to implement little changes to increase the opportunities for our students to read. I guess on a macro level I am also looking for a culture change. I want a professional culture where we spend more time contemplating and implementing ideas and agendas we can do as opposed to wringing our hands and lamenting about those things we cannot do. After all, anyone can point out a problem or state “that can’t be done.” Leaders, innovators, and great teachers will find ways to make things happen for their students. I want to believe that we have a staff full of those kind of educators. For what it is worth, I am trying to walk the walk if you will. My goal is to read at least sixteen books this year. You will see in the right hand column of my blog a list of books I am reading or have read. You can watch my progress and hopefully you will ask about what I am reading. I have already learned one very important thing, I miss reading books. I have turned away from my computer(a little anyway) and have made time to read everyday. One of the best parts of my day so far this year! WHAT CAN YOU DO?