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Eat, Move, Sleep

This was a particularly dismal winter for anyone like me who likes to run outdoors. The difference for me this year was that for the first time in recent memory, I had a treadmill nearby, in the gym at Wooster, so I started to make like a hamster and run on the wheel. I discovered that one of the great advantages of treadmill running is that, unlike road running where you need to have every sense fully activated just to survive, you can actually listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Listen for understanding even. It opened up a whole new block of time for me to explore some of the latest thinking about education and human behavior.  

Based upon a recommendation, one of my first forays was into a book called Eat, Move, Sleep by Tom Rath. As the title suggests, it’s a book about the most basic elements of our life and how we routinely do things that run counter to what research suggests we should do if we want to be healthy. Most compelling is the practical advice that Rath offers about how we can change our behaviors, through small routines and an examination of our habits, in a way that could vastly improve our quality of life. Most important to me as I read was that so much of it rang true. I saw myself again and again in the vignettes that Rath uses to illustrate his points. I also love that his recommendations come with plenty of fascinating research to back them up. Rath himself has a very interesting story to tell, which I won’t spoil for you before you read the book. 

As I listened, I couldn’t help but think about how so many of the small things that I could change in my own life to have more energy, be more healthy, and yes, be happier, were things that were directly connected to the life of our school. We can’t call ourselves a school that provides a personal, meaningful, and visible experience if we are not thinking about healthy, positive practices and behaviors for our students. We need to think more, and learn more, about the importance of healthy eating, movement, and sleep in the lives of our students. We also need to spend more time engaging out parents in conversations about the same. 

So, as a handy beach read, I’ve given every one of our teachers and staff members a copy of Eat, Move, Sleep. With this blog entry, I am anointing it as the summer read for our whole community! I would urge parents and students to read it, look at the research, and think about the small changes that you can make in your lives to be healthier and happier.  

I just raised my step goal on my Jawbone Up24 band to 15,000 steps a day. Have a great summer. READ MORE AND LISTEN MORE!

Posted by Matt Byrnes in Learning, Thinking on Monday June, 23, 2014 at 12:28PM


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Matt Byrnes

Matt Byrnes
Head of School

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What I Have Been Reading:


The Martian, Andy Weir

Not just for sci-fi fans. Fun, exciting, and interesting story about what it would be like to survive on Mars.

Sold, Patrica McCormick

The story of a 12 year-old Nepalese girl who is sold into slavery in the sex trade of India. Based upon true accounts. Tough to read, but important to read as well because human trafficking is a real, and growing, problem.

Non-fiction for Fun:

The Boys in the Boat, Daniel J. Brown

Great story and some very interesting history.

An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle, Rick Atkinson

The first two books of the Liberation Trilogy will teach you a lot about the evolution of our involvement in World War Two.

About School, Thinking, Teaching, Learning, etc.:

Why Children Don’t Like School, Daniel Willingham

Lots of neuroscience well-connected to the life of school, teaching, and learning.

Make it Stick, Peter Brown, et al.

More neuroscience but a deeper dive into how we (and students) can “forget less” if we make some changes to our behaviors, routines, and assessments. Our faculty read this past summer.

Leadership, Innovation, and making things work:

The Hard Thing about Hard Things, Ben Horowitz

How successful start-ups and innovators work.

Things a Little Bird Told Me, Biz Stone

Twitter Founder writes about his journey -- a great read for any teenager or parent of one.

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