Podcasts About Books

Want to do your professional reading on the go (in the car, at the gym, etc.)?

Now, in addition to writing 8-page summaries of education and leadership books, Jenn has also started recording podcast conversations with Mike Doughty about each month’s books. Listen and learn below!


Students today are disengaged and belonging is something they desperately need. Listen to an interview with the author of Belonging in School as he shares the importance of schools focusing on belonging and concrete steps we can take to build it.

Listen Now: Belonging in School: Creating a Place Where Kids Want to Learn and Teachers Want to Stay


Mike and Jenn discuss a key element to help students read, and read well — enjoyment of reading. Research shows that lack of enjoyment undermines reading achievement. Learn five ways to improve the joy of reading: time, access, choice, response, and community.

Listen Now: The Joy of Reading


“If you’re not reading by the end of third grade, there’s a 70% chance you won’t become a proficient reader.” That’s what Karen Gazith told us as we talked about her most recent book. She shares how neuroscience and decades of research have provided a clear understanding of how children learn to read and we need to use that in our reading instruction.

Listen Now: The Power of Effective Reading Instruction: How Neuroscience Informs Instruction Across All Grades and Disciplines


In this episode, we shine a light on a pressing issue in the educational landscape: teacher burnout and attrition. With schools across the nation feeling the impact, we turn to expert Chase Mielke, for insights and solutions from his latest book.

Listen Now: Illuminate the Way: The School Leader’s Guide to Addressing and Preventing Teacher Burnout


This quote captures the power of Ruchika Tulshyan’s latest book — “Diversity is being invited to the party: inclusion is being asked to dance,” —Verna Myers. Leaders want staff to feel they belong, but don’t know the steps to get there. Tulshyan shows leaders how.

Listen Now: Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work


Many of us as educators have assumed that the kids with strong grades and strong test scores were set up for success, but that’s not the case. Listen to Jenn’s conversation with Dr. Borba to learn the character skills our students really need to thrive.

Listen Now: Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine

Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things

Listen as Mike and I discuss Adam Grant’s latest work: the 3 character skills we should be teaching our students to propel them forward and the scaffolds and systems needed for our schools to support this character development.

Listen Now: Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things


Educators of color are leaving schools. Luckily there are a number of things you as the leader can do to stem this tide. Listen to Dr. Gabbadon describe 6 things you can do.

Listen Now: Support and Retain Teachers of Color


A number of schools are experiencing a downturn in their culture. With so much stress and change, the norms of civility are being dropped. You need to nip that in the bud now — learn how.

Listen Now: Trust Your Canary: Every Leader’s Guide to Taking Workplace Incivility

The Advantage - Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business Summary

Right now what schools need more than anything is organizational health. Although it is not a new book, The Advantage clearly and powerfully explains what your school or district needs to do to become healthy: 1) Build a cohesive leadership team, 2) Create clarity, 3) Overcommunicate clarity, and 4) Reinforce clarity.

Listen Now: The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business


We need to stop teaching our students to mimic math procedures and instead teach them to think and persevere! Listen to how Peter Liljedahl researched what is wrong in our math classes and found practices that truly put students on the path to thinking and learning.

Listen Now: Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics (K-12)

Watch, Listen, Ask, Learn: How School Leaders Can Create an Inclusive Environment for Students with Disabilities

School leaders don’t need a degree in special education to lead their school toward a more inclusive place for students with disabilities. Learn the law, the ways to support staff, and the steps to make this a reality now.

Listen Now: Watch, Listen, Ask, Learn: How School Leaders Can Create an Inclusive Environment for Students with Disabilities

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You don’t need to go to the gym at 4am to be healthy and pain-free. The health and exercise experts who wrote this book say you just need to MOVE throughout the day — something busy principals CAN do. Listen and learn how!

Listen Now: Built to Move: The 10 Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully

Differentiated Supervision: Growing Teachers and Getting Results By Ann Mausbach and Kim Morrison (Corwin, 2023)

Tired of teacher supervision going nowhere? The authors and Jenn talked about their new approach to improving teaching through supervision. The key? You need to EXPAND your supervisory practices beyond the typical 1-1 observation and feedback we all do.

Listen Now: Differentiated Supervision: Growing Teachers and Getting Results


It’s time to find joy (in teaching!) We chat with author Berit Gordon about ways to support new and veteran teachers in strengthening all aspects of teaching from class management to building relationships.

Listen Now: The Joyful Teacher

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If you want some concrete strategies you can implement TOMORROW to improve school culture, instructional practices, student engagement, and community partnerships, this book is for you.

Listen Now: The Instructional Change Agent

Mini-sode 3 Being organized and productive

You can’t lead well if you don’t feel organized. Mike and I share overviews of 4 fantastic books that can absolutely help: Atomic Habits, The Power of Habit, Getting Things Done, and The Together Leader.


Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected Summary - Jim Knight

There’s nothing more important for a school leader than knowing how to conduct effective conversations. Learn what’s essential from the coaching guru himself, Jim Knight.

Listen Now: Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected

Educator Burnout

Low on bandwidth, burnt out, and struggling? Listen to the authors of Educator Bandwidth as we discuss what is hurting educator bandwidth these days and what we can do to manage it.

Listen Now: Educator Bandwidth: How to Reclaim Your Energy, Passion, and Time

Supporting Student Mental Health: Essentials for Teachers - Michael Hass and Amy Ardell

Your teachers aren’t counselors, but students often come to them with their mental health issues. Listen to the authors of this book share important tips for all educators to keep in mind when supporting those students.

Listen Now: Supporting Student Mental Heath: Essentials for Teachers

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Author Bill Sommers chats with Jenn and Mike about his book Responding to Resistance. Bill is a seasoned leader with a ton of experience and the sense of humor to match. His no-nonsense, straightforward approach to conflict is something we can all learn from.

Listen Now: Responding to Resistance: 30 Strategies to Manage Conflict in Your School

Looking Backward to Move Forward: Based on ideas in The Power of Regret by Dan Pink

Mike & Jenn discuss how regret doesn’t have to be bad — it can propel you to make needed changes in your life and your job. School leaders can conduct a simple PD to help their staff members use regret to plan for a more hopeful 2023.

Listen Now: The Power of Regret

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Author Joe Feldman shares how our current grading system — which is so central to our work as educators — was designed for schools a few centuries ago! He explains how some of our practices are outdated and inequitable and what we might do instead.

Listen Now: Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms

How to Reclaim Your Energy, Passion, and Time By Jane A. G. Kise and Ann C. Holm

Mike & Jenn interview Elena Aguilar as she shares the secrets behind planning and leading truly transformational PD. With the tips and suggestions from her new book, this is something all school leaders CAN learn to do even if they have never led a PD session before.

Listen Now: The PD Book: 7 Habits That Transform Professional Development

Becoming a Trauma-Sensitive School - From Trauma-Sensitive Leadership by John F. Eller & Tom Hierck

Listen to this podcast with the authors to learn how trauma affects learning and what you can do, as a school leader, to build a culture that supports the emotional well-being and learning of all.

Listen Now: Trauma-Sensitive Leadership: Creating a Safe and Predictable School Environment

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Imagine being able to transform all of the gatherings we have in schools — from PD & faculty meetings to everyday classes — to deeply impact those who attend. Find out how in this conversation with Mike & Jenn.

Listen Now: The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

Summary of Running the Room - The Teacher’s Guide to Behaviour By Tom Bennett

Student behavior has become increasingly difficult since the pandemic. Listen to this hysterically funny behavior guru as he describes ideas and strategies to better understand and address this problem.

Listen Now: Running the Room: The Teacher’s Guide to Behaviour

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In this podcast, Mike & Jenn discuss a new approach to school transformation (Listen-Uncover-Reimagine-Move) that focuses on gathering “street data” (qualitative data) from those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized.

Listen Now: Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation

Mini-sode 2 Interpersonal Skills for School Leaders

In this mini-sode #2, Jenn & Mike discuss 4 must-read books on the topic of INTERPERSONAL SKILLS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS in just 20 minutes.

Listen Now: 4 must-read books on INTERPERSONAL SKILLS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS: The Listening Leader, Thanks for the Feedback, Working with Difficult and Resistant Staff, & Trust Matters

Mini-sode 1 Leadership Resilience

In this special mini-sode (mini-episode), Jenn & Mike discuss 3 must-read books on the topic of LEADERSHIP RESILIENCE in just 15 minutes.

Listen Now: 3 must-read books on LEADERSHIP RESILIENCE: Onward, From Burnt Out to Fired Up, and The Mindful School Leader

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Listen to the author share how academic conversations help students build their thinking, content knowledge, and interpersonal skills. Consider a school-wide focus on academic conversations K-12 and all subjects!

Listen Now: Next Steps with Academic Conversations

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Burnout is real; here’s how to beat it. Listen to Jenn and Mike interview author Morgane MIchael about research-backed strategies for helping your staff bounce back from their burnout.

Listen Now: From Burnt Out to Fired Up

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Teaching and learning can’t improve unless leaders give teachers candid feedback. Listen to Jenn and Mike’s interview with Joe and TJ who share why honest feedback is so important and how to give it.

Listen Now: Candid and Compassionate Feedback

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Jenn & Mike interview the authors to discuss ways school leaders can forge a path toward racial equity in their schools. Now is the time!

Listen Now: Principal Leadership for Racial Equity

Randall - image of Trust Based Observations

Without trust, teacher observations fail. To learn ways to develop trust in your teacher observations, listen to Jenn & Mike interview the author of this book.

Listen Now: Trust-Based Observations

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We need to prepare kids for the future! Mike interviews an author of this book to discuss ways to move toward 21st century learning in our schools.

Listen Now: Deep Learning

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Mike and Jenn interview the book’s authors to learn key practical strategies to navigate the challenges of the principalship.

Listen Now: Principaled

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Mike interviews Doug Fisher and Dominique Smith to discuss “must-dos” for leaders to open schools given the pandemic.

Listen Now: Leading the Rebound

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Jenn & Mike interview Cornelius Minor about all things equity, especially how to improve schools for all kids.

Listen Now: We Got This

Influential School Leader

Jenn and Mike discuss tips for handling complex change from The Influential School Leader.

Listen Now: The Influential School Leader

Image of The Price You Pay for College

Learn strategies for saving on the price of college in this podcast conversation with Jenn, Mike, and Jenn’s husband, Tim! A good one to share with families and school counselors.

Listen Now: The Price You Pay for College

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Jenn and Mike discuss the best strategies for making distance learning engaging and effective from The Distance Learning Playbook — Part 1 (self care, the 1st days of school, relationships, & teacher credibility).

Listen Now: The Distance Learning Playbook – Part 1

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Jenn and Mike discuss the best strategies for making distance learning engaging and effective from The Distance Learning Playbook — Part 2 (teacher clarity, student engagement, quality instruction, and feedback & assessment)

Listen Now: The Distance Learning Playbook – Part 2


School leaders must now be skilled in PR, too! Jenn and Mike interview author Will Parker about ways for school leaders to improve their communication and messaging.

Listen Now: Messaging Matters

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Nothing matters in schools if students aren’t engaged. Mike & Jenn discuss concrete strategies for engaging students in this book by Doug Fisher and colleagues.

Listen Now: Engagement by Design


Educators have the toughest job in the world. Listen to Jenn and Elena Aguilar discuss ways to prevent burnout and build resilience in educators.

Listen Now: Onward 

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Listen to Jenn and Mike interview author Grant Lichtman about where the world of education will be heading in the future.

Listen Now: Moving the Rock

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Jenn and Mike were math teachers and this is definitely the book they wish they had! Listen to them nerd out about how teachers SHOULD be teaching math.

Listen Now: Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had


What if you observed teachers DAILY? Listen as Jenn and Mike interview author Justin Baeder who will tell you exactly how you can do this to truly impact teaching and learning.

Listen Now: Now We’re Talking

The Listening Leader

If school leaders could improve just one interpersonal skill, I would vote for LISTENING. Mike & Jenn discuss how leaders can develop the mindset and skills to improve their listening so students, staff, and families feel they belong.

Listen Now: The Listening Leader

The Gift of Failure

Mike and Jenn interview New York Times bestselling author Jessica Lahey about why it’s crucial to let children fail so they can persevere and learn. We discuss motivation, executive functioning, and what school leaders can do to change mindsets about failure.

Listen Now: The Gift of Failure 

The Art of Coaching Teams

Mike and Jenn discuss practical strategies for working with and improving all of the teams you work with. The Art of Coaching Teams by Elena Aguilar is one of the best resources for those who work with teams!

Listen Now: The Art of Coaching Teams


School leaders can’t focus on teaching and learning if they don’t know how to be efficient with their time. Mike and Jenn discuss systems and strategies for helping the busy school leader get organized from The New York Times bestselling classic, Getting Things Done by David Allen.

Listen Now: Getting Things Done


Paul Bambrick-Santoyo helps school leaders develop teachers more in one year than many do in 20 years. Mike and Jenn discuss his strategies for doing this in his book Get Better Faster.

Listen Now: Get Better Faster


Between Mike and Jenn, we have 4 teenage girls so together with Jenn’s husband Tim David-Lang we had a great discussion about understanding girls’ development and strategies to better engage with them. This is a great one to share with counselors and deans or even with parents.

Listen Now: Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood

Thanks for the Feedback

This book will change how you view feedback forever. Mike and Jenn discuss why giving and receiving feedback can be so difficult and how to get better at both — great insights from Thanks for the Feedback.

Listen Now: Thanks for the Feedback

The Mindful School Leader

If you’re a school leader who doesn’t have time for mindfulness practices, you may need them more than anyone. Given that leaders lead complex and unpredictable organizations, listen to Mike and Jenn as they discuss simple mindfulness strategies to better deal with stress, make better decisions, and lead more effectively.

Listen Now: The Mindful School Leader

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