Celebrate Employee Learning Week with Ryan Harvey

This post is the third of a series highlighting the Round Rock ISD team members who were most recognized by their peers as the people from whom they learn the most. We are showcasing these individuals each day during ATD Employee Learning Week, Dec. 5th-8th. Visit www.pd.roundrockisd.org to view all 300 recognitions.

Harvey in his Cedar Ridge HS Office

“If I could go back and talk to my 25-year-old self I would tell him to be more disciplined. By that I mean balancing, not taking everyone’s advice and then trying to do five times more than that,” secondary English Instructional Coach Ryan Harvey opens with as we talk about his career as a teacher and coach. “I was very fortunate to have lots of awesome department chairs, coaches, and principals who have helped me realize that discipline is important to remain effective over a long period of time.”

Harvey currently serves as an English/Language Arts Instructional Coach at Cedar Ridge High School. Prior to moving into coaching three years ago, he spent ten years teaching middle and high school English. He’s a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a Masters in Education Administration from Concordia University.

“One of my main “go to” people when I need help is Laurie Humphries. She was my coach when I was a teacher and she is an incredibly creative and natural teacher. She has a great critical ear and is always helping me refine my thinking and continually pushing me to learn more,” Harvey tells us.

Senior Chief of Schools and Innovation, Dr. Danny Presley, was principal of Cedar Ridge High School during Harvey’s career as a classroom teacher. “He triggered a big turning point in how I looked at myself. He would always ask questions about where I was going to be in five years. How was I going to lead? What are you going to do for us next year? But it was never really a question. It was an assumption. He talked to me as if I was already a leader and really helped me frame myself in that light,” Harvey says of Presley.

We asked Harvey which books currently influence his work:

Here are some of my favorite professional books from the past few years:

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning — Straight from cognitive scientists, this book explains how we can learn well.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us — A great overview about human motivation.

Where Good Ideas Come From — This is an excellent read about creativity as a process — and a social one at that. Creativity is always building on what came before.

The Art of Learning: Perspective and Cognition — This book, from the Syfr company, merges art with current research about learning. The authors are able to show through art the principles of how learning works (and how it works best).

What these books have in common is that they each contain research-based conclusions that inform and motivate me as an educator. Although I sometimes reference professional works that contain ready-made material, they do not inspire me like the above books do. I love reading research about creativity and learning and then applying the principles to my work. Discussing the application of great books like these with others has been a source of great ideas for improving instruction so that each of our diverse student learners can be inspired.

Harvey is excited about the opportunities still to come as an Instructional Coach in Round Rock ISD and would like to thank those who recognized him. Please join us in recognizing his contribution to professional learning in the comments below. Also, continue sharing who you learn from on Twitter using #rrisdelw.