Improving Education
for Every Learner

President's Message

Hello OhioASCD,

Have you made your plans to attend the Ohio School Improvement Institute November 16-17 at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown Columbus? Ohio ASCD will have 12 presenters on a variety of topics. We are also sponsoring Mike Anderson, author of Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn, as a keynote speaker. See the link to register elsewhere on the website.

I recently read a new book Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership through Solitude by Raymond M. Kethledge and Michael S. Erwin, Bloomsbury 2017.  As educators, we are leaders. We may be leading in the classroom, the department, the school or the district. We know we should reflect on our lessons as to what went well, what could be done better, what do students need next.  This book will give you tools to help reflection become habitual for you. The book “is based on the experiences of leaders—some contemporary, some historical—who have used solitude to function more effectively as leaders.”  If we take the time to look at our own lives, it is not difficult to find that devices and social media have captured much of the time we might have used for contemplation. But as leaders it seems we need more than ever to take periods of solitude to reset our expectations.  The authors suggest that we inform our colleagues when that time is so as not to be disrupted. Take additional personal time daily, whether that be daily running, walking, journaling or meditation to seek solitude. Chapter titles include clarity, creativity, emotional balance and moral courage. In addition, the book includes ideas on preparing for Solitude and what to focus on in your Solitude. Separate chapters delve into the lives of well-known people and how Solitude worked in their lives. Those examined are Dwight Eisenhower, Jane Goodall, T. E. Lawrence, Pope John Paul II, General James Mattis, Winston Churchill and several others. I ordered my copy through Amazon. If you read this book and it changes your habits in any way, drop me an email at and let me know how it is going.

Have a super school year!

Beth Muskopf, Ph.D.

President Ohio ASCD

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