In Chapter 4, we’ll build on the relationships and culture for learning aspects of the framework to envision personal and authentic learning experiences for our students. From creating the vision for the future while learning from the past, to developing a learner-centered paradigm and being intentional with our first impressions, this chapter highlights ways in which we can create the needed conditions, so that the learning experience, which we’ll dive into in the next chapter, can become personal and authentic.


Stop & Reflect / Study Guide Questions

  • What’s one positive habit that you have in your life? What’s one habit that you’d like to change? What about in your classroom or school?

  • It’s been said that “The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.” Tom expanded on that statement to say, “Schools are filled with willing educators; those willing to create the future and those willing to watch them do so.” Which one are you? How do you know?

  • Tom shares the story of Kenyan runner Hyvon Ngetich from the 2015 Austin (TX) marathon. In reflecting on that story, what’s your marathon example? What race are you struggling to run? Do you have a clear vision for what you’re working to attain?

  • 10 Key Principles, as outlined by Digital Promise and the Institute for Applied Neuroscience, are highlighted in this chapter. Which principle resonates with you the most? Why? Which principles correlate with what you’ve read so far in this book? What’s one principle you could focus on more in your work?

  • Is your classroom or building more learner-centered or teacher-centered? How can you continue to take steps forward, relinquishing control over time, to refine the focus on your learners?

  • What can you do for your next group of students that will give them a first impression that they and their families will remember for years to come?


#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

Author’s 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.