In Chapter 1, you’ll read part of my story and discover how I formed my personal educational lens. You’ll clearly see how I came to understand what this work is about and how being personal and authentic helps to define our relationships with those we serve, and how it must remain core to all that we do as educators. You’ll immediately see why the learner is at the center of the Personal & Authentic framework and how relationships surround it.


Stop & Reflect / Study Guide Questions

  • Why are you investing your time into this book? What is it that you hope to get out of it?

  • When you hear the title “Personal & Authentic,” what comes to mind? What experiences in your classroom or school would you deem personal and authentic? Why?

  • How would you design a student learning experience if the quality of the relationship was at the core?

  • In this opening chapter, Tom shares two heartbreaking stories that happened during his first year teaching that significantly altered his lens as an educator. What personal and authentic experiences have impacted you as an educator? Discuss them as a group, and share one on social media, using the book’s hashtag #AuthenticEDU.

#AuthenticEDU CallOuts

Download the callout quotes from this chapter and use them as part of your book study, team discussion, upcoming presentation, to share on social media, or in any way that can support you as an educator!

Related #LeadershipMinutes

Additional Resources to Support Your Personal & Authentic Journey

Authors Note: The resources contained within this page are not intended to be an exhaustive list, but are intended to provide conversation starters, pre-reading/watching, and inspiration on your journey. If you have additional suggestions, please share them so that they can be included for the benefit of others.