Cain Notes were not named by me, it was an underground name that an AP said out loud one time and it stuck.
I read a lot. Not quite as much as I used to, but still much more than the typical educator. I can’t help myself, if it has words on it and I have 2 seconds, I’ll read it. When I was a teacher and an assistant principal, I assumed that everyone read at least as much as I did and I had no compelling reason to check to see if my assumption was correct.
When I became a Principal, I found out I was wrong. My first response was to suggest, beg, plead and chastise my staff into reading more. That worked a little (or at least they learned that if they nodded their heads “yes,” I would move on to the next topic). But, as I hired new staff I found out that waiting for them to catch up with the specific knowledge base of the existing staff took too long. So, I started typing up my book notes and commentary to use as a training tool. That way they would have an idea about what we were talking about until they had a chance to read the book.
ALWAYS READ THE BOOK.
As my staff got promoted and went to other schools, some of them would ask that I keep them in the Cain Note loop. Not a problem.
When I began working with struggling schools across the State of Texas, I dusted off the Cain Notes. When a particular book was a good fit for the problems that a campus was facing, I’d leave the notes, to prime the pump for a campus-wide book study. Some principals didn’t care, some found the notes useful.
Now I am posting the notes on the Lead Your School consulting website, just in case other school leaders might find the notes useful. I’ll put a 1 to 3 up each month. Here is all that I ask:
READ THE BOOK.
1. The notes are based on what I think is important from the book. They are not a replacement for the book.
2. Let me know what you think. Did you like the book? Were the notes helpful? Was I on the track or did I miss the boat?
Currently, I have notes for the following books posted:
- Corp Business, by David H. Freedman
- Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Environments for Learning, by Eric Jensen
- Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, M.D.
You can get to the notes by clicking on the following link, www.leadyourschool.com/Cain_Notes.htmlOr, on the left side of this page, click on “Sean’s Book Notes.”
Did I mention, that you should read the book?
Think. Work. Achieve.