I have had the pleasure of hearing Dan St. Romain speak at several conferences. He is a powerful and engaging speaker, so it’s not surprising that his book is as well.

Dan starts the book with what doesn’t work, so we can “avoid the failure system.” This chapter really resonated with me, because I could identify so many things my schools are doing or have done, that aren’t impactful. While it wasn’t “new” information for me, it certainly was validating.

I love that he poses the question, “What are your ultimate outcomes?” Hopefully, your answers aren’t to punish, shame, and teach compliance, but to shape behaviors and help students be successful.

It’s easy to get pulled into doing things that aren’t necessarily the best, but Dan writes about those systems that many schools do every day in a way that isn’t judgemental but helps us see things from a different point of view so we can be reflective and change.

He poses thoughtful questions that guide this reflective thinking. For example, “Do our strategies strengthen or tax teacher, student, and parent relationships?” or “Do our strategies yield improvement in long-term behavior?”

I would encourage this book to be used as a guide by your PBIS or discipline team as you run meetings or do a book study over the summer for PD.

Dan doesn’t just focus on what NOT to do but guides you with ideas of what TO DO.

We know it’s important to teach students self-regulation skills, but that can be overwhelming. I really appreciated him breaking down skill examples into tangible behaviors students could understand and demonstrate.

While I wouldn’t describe this book as a book on “growth mindset,” it really helps you reframe behaviors and explore how you can help lead your school into systemic change.

Get your copy here.

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