Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences that impact a Lifetime
Author: Thomas C. Murray
Released: October 2019
As an educator, you have the power to leave a legacy by . . .
Making students’ learning experiences personal and authentic
Ensuring that the culture around you is personal and authentic
Developing and nurturing personal and authentic relationships
Being personal and authentic
In Personal & Authentic, Thomas C. Murray reveals the power of designing awe-inspiring experiences that are grounded in relationships and learner-centered by design. Inherently relevant and contextualized, it is this kind of learning that lasts a lifetime.
Be bold. Be fearless. Be proud. Be you.
Your story is not finished yet.
"In Personal and Authentic, Tom Murray taps into some of the deepest emotions we all share and know are essential as educators and parents. He helps us to focus on the relationships that we develop with children and adults, the self-reflection that we learn quickly is so important, and the impact we make on our schools and communities. After you read this book, you will become a better teacher and leader. And if not, you might want to read it again!"
—Salome Thomas-EL, Award-winning Principal, Speaker, and Author
“One of the most helpful, heartfelt, and unassuming stories I’ve ever read. Thomas C. Murray sets a new standard for what it means to be Personal & Authentic. This is the book every educator will be telling their friends, mentees, and future generations of educators about.”
—Brad Gustafson, National Distinguished Principal and Best-Selling Author
“As educators, we often are so busy doing the intricate, intentional work that is good teaching, that we don’t allow ourselves time to stop and reflect on the larger impact of our profession. Personal & Authentic gives us this much needed time, while weaving in space for reflection, suggestions from fellow educators, as well as easy to implement practical tips for all educators. Teachers will finish this book feeling inspired and empowered to continue the important work that we are called to do.”
—Luisa Palomo Hare, Kindergarten Teacher, 2012 Nebraska Teacher of the Year
“Wow! What an awesome source of inspiration, motivation, and hope for the future of our humans (students) and all those leaders in the education ecosystem that will have an impact on them. "Personal and Authentic" is a perfect description of this book as Tom engages both the mind and the heart making every word and interaction count. This book is for everyone! Tom's journey and lessons along the way will have you both in tears and laughing out loud. Give "Personal and Authentic" as a gift to yourself and share it widely! Thank you, Tom, for showing us the power of vulnerability and authenticity in this deeply personal connection to building a lifetime of impact.”
—David Miyashiro, Superintendent, Cajon Valley Union School District, California
“Tom Murray has found a way to weave heart-tugging stories, connected to research and practical tips that can provide a profound impact on education today. Personal and Authentic will leave a lasting imprint on how you lead at school, home, and in life.”
—Jessica Cabeen, Nationally Distinguished Principal, Author, and Speaker
“Murray has created yet another resource for teachers looking to make schools more impactful for students. Personal & Authentic not only demonstrates why our schools need to be built around what is best for not all children but each child but gives the tools and strategies to get it done.”
—Josh Stumpenhorst, High School Librarian, 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year
“In his inspirational book, Tom Murray helps educators make the connection between personal and authentic experiences through the power of storytelling. This philosophy sets the foundation for meeting the needs of students by building equitable opportunities for success. As Tom eloquently demonstrates in this book, in order for fundamental change to occur, one must remember it is ALL about fostering meaningful relationships first, everything else comes second!”
—Basil Marin, High School Assistant Principal, Georgia
"This book had me crying, laughing, and feeling inspired to work with students and teachers. When we think about the work we do each and every day, it can connect on such a deeper level when it includes the personal and authentic pieces of the human experience. As Murray says, 'Every child in our schools is someone else's whole world'. We have the opportunity to provide unique opportunities to each and every student!"
—A.J. Juliani, Director of Learning and Innovation, Author, and Founder of the PBL Academy
“As a follower of Tom's work for years, I have witnessed how his heart for children has touched so many of our colleagues. Personal & Authentic is no exception. Through the triangulation of personal stories, research, and practical tips from others in the field, this book is powerful, informative, and engaging. I highly recommend it!”
—Sarah Thomas, PhD, Regional Technology Coordinator, Affiliate Faculty, and Founder of EduMatch®
“Tom Murray takes you on a roller coaster of emotions throughout his book, Personal & Authentic. His heartfelt message of connection, empathy, and the need for equal opportunities for all students will leave you, regardless of your role in education, feeling inspired and wanting to do more for all kids. This book will touch the very depth of your core and remind you that every day is an opportunity to change the trajectory of a students life. A must read for all schools!”
—Jimmy Casas, Educator, Author, Speaker, Leadership Coach
“What a privilege it was to read this book! As a fan of Tom Murray's work, I knew his newest endeavor would be great, but what I didn't expect was to find it chock full of stories, social science, and surprises. Educators—at least those who want to ‘move’ people—should own this book. Finding a book for my teachers that can be easily learned from, regardless of their setting, grade level, or subject matter is priceless...the only qualifier for reading is that that you have a heart and passion for kids.”
—Amber Teamann, Principal, Author, Speaker
“The perfect title for a leader who “practices what he preaches,” Tom Murray’s latest book Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences that Impact a Lifetime captures what we are all looking for as educators; a powerful approach to achieving success at both the classroom and district level. The book serves as an exemplary overview for achieving both personalization and authenticity in our schools and classrooms.”
—Suzanne Lacey, EdD., Superintendent, Talladega County Schools, Alabama
“Personal & Authentic is a story from the heart. Tom Murray shares powerful stories from his teaching career as he conveys the importance of educating the whole child. I encourage anyone in the education field to read this book. The message resonates with teachers, leaders, and everyone involved in a school, by inspiring everyone to get to know the kids, let them tell their story, and above all else, show them you care.”
—Jerry Almendarez, Superintendent, Colton Joint Unified School District, California
“Tom Murray has poured his heart and soul into Personal and Authentic. This book is filled with compelling stories and examples that will inspire you to create learner-centered experiences that ensure students are equipped to not only succeed in school but lead meaningful lives. In a time where many educators are asked to do more than ever, this book serves as a powerful reminder about why our work matters and how we can prioritize the experiences that bring out the best in our students and each other.”
—Katie Martin, Educator, Author of Learner-Centered Innovation
“Students yearn for a learning experience that resonates with them on many levels. The time is now to usher in the needed change in this area so that school means something to those it is designed to serve. Tom Murray takes you on an emotional roller coaster where you will see firsthand why a shift to more relevant techniques will benefit kids now and in the future.”
—Eric Sheninger, NASSP Digital Principal and Senior Fellow, International Center for Leadership in Education
"Personal and Authentic is a true reflection of the title. Tom not only shares stories that share his core values and beliefs through the personal stories that he tells, but the tips he includes from other educators show a glimpse of their core values and beliefs as well. If you are looking for a read that cuts straight to the middle and touches the heart, but then leads to actionable results that will transform you as an educator and the relationships and experiences you encounter each day, "Personal and Authentic" is your go-to resource. This book will help you reflect, recharge, and refocus on the most important aspects of education--relationships and relevant learning experiences."
—Sanée Bell, Ed.D., Principal, Speaker, Author of "Be Excellent on Purpose: Intentional Strategies for Impactful Leadership"