This blog post is an accompaniment to our Podcast episode with Sean Gaillard. Sean is a middle school principal, author, and founder of the school culture movement called #celebratemonday. He has spoken at conferences and contributed to a number of education blogs and publications. Here you will find links to resources we discussed, as well as Sean’s books, and the works of some of his named collaborators (or bandmates, if you will).
Sean’s book is called “The Pepper Effect”. It takes a close look at pivotal moments in the career of the infamous rock band, The Beatles, and creates a wonderfully unique guide for educators to bring innovation, collaboration, and creativity into their classrooms. The anecdotal stories of The Beatles are interesting, and the insights are invaluable. Here’s a link to purchase “The Pepper Effect”
Sean is also working with a collective of rock star educators on a new book called “Education Write Now – 2nd edition”. Other educators on the project include Jeff Zoul, Sanée Bell, and many others. The idea behind this project is to pull together a group of thought-leaders in education for a weekend. In just a few days of collaboration the team puts together an entire book of key takeaways from their retreat. You can pick up the first edition here.
Sean also recommended checking out the work of Todd Whitaker, who in fact worked with Jeff Zoul on “Start. Right. Now.: Teach and Lead for Excellence”. Todd is a prolific writer committed to improving education and inspiring teachers and administrators, with titles such as “What Great Teachers Do Differently” and “School Culture Recharged”. Find a list of his publications here.
Other fun resources and facts shared from our conversation with Sean:
- Sean Gaillard is a middle school principal, but he is still a high school English teacher at heart. Emily and Sean had a great time talking through some ideas for teaching George Orwell’s “1984”.
- Did you know David Bowie wanted to create a theatrical production based on Orwell’s novel and was declined by the late author’s estate? Instead he wrote the album, “Diamond Dogs” which thematically is still based on the concept of Orwell’s novel. Check out the Open Culture article about it and listen to the song, “1984” here.
- I played “Rebel Rebel” live with a band for years and am embarrassed to say I never knew this background about Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” record.
- How about the amazing Superbowl commercial for the new Macintosh Apple computer, released in 1984? There are some pretty cool ways an English teacher and a Technology teacher could collaborate to create a project inspired by this commercial. What if the students make their own commercials to describe the future world of technology.
These topics and more were covered in our conversation with Sean. We hope you enjoy listening, and that perhaps this discussion will give you some ideas for innovation in your classroom or school house.
Sean’s twitter handle is @smgaillard
“The Pepper Effect” is published by Dave Burgess Consulting @dbc_inc