Hopeful Schools Paperback – 6 Dec 2016
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'Hopeful Schools' is a breath of fresh air and reminds you 'why' we do 'what' we do, whilst making you think 'how' we go about it. Mary encourages us to consider what soulful schools; heart-based education and courageous leadership could and should look like. This book will nourish you and restore your faith in the future of our education system. It will reassure you that by being hopeful we can affect change. Hannah Wilson, Headteacher Aureus School All too often leadership books and books on education like to reduce complex processes and issues to simple checklists and simple questions. Mary's book looks at education from the perspective of people. The book isn't about hitting targets and impressing people. 'It is is a brilliant philosophical investigation into how we can get the best from our students, the best from our teachers, and the best from our schools. It is a book of ideas, questions and examples told with such warmth, detail and thought that only a human could write it. This is about leadership with the heart and the head for doing the right thing. Chris Curtis, Head of English Another lovely, nurturing and enjoyable easy read from the ever helpful Mary Myatt. In this book Mary Myatt further seals her position as one of the most caring and supportive optimistic and effective voices in English education. Peter Hall-Jones Former headteacher, international education consultant, leadership coach Founder of the Curriculum Foundation What Mary Myatt has managed to do here is put the markers down for organisations and individuals in how they define their optimistic and hopeful selves. She dismantles the inhuman machinations of faceless institutionalism and supports its replacement with a genuinely warm, informed and witty alternative. Hywel Roberts Teacher, Writer, Speaker Create Learn Inspire Ltd
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As in her last book, High Challenge, Low Threat Mary draws on a diverse range popular authors and thinkers, such as Adam Grant and Seth Godin, to illustrate and illuminate her points. I really like this as it places schools into the broader context of organisations. While there are some aspects of school life which are peculiar to schools. there is a lot to be gained by considering this wider context. After all, staff and students are all people, with the same insecurities, strengths and motivations as everyone else.
One feature I found really useful was the structure of the book; it is organised into short 3-4 page chapters , each complete in their own right and linked to the hopeful theme. This is a book you can dip into for 5 minutes, perhaps while waiting for a train or after a difficult conversation when your own hope reserves need a bit of a boost.
So, if you are looking for some inspiration in stepping away from the targets culture and towards a more humane community, start here.