#DBC50Summer 49/50: The Pepper Effect

Once upon a time in the far away land of #edcamprss on March 7, 2015 there was a second year media coordinator who was a huge fan of this book called Teach Like A Pirate. She had delved into the world of Twitter and was super excited to meet some epic twitter friends & #EduHeroes, like Mandy Casto and Derek McCoy. While enjoying a session on the book, I get a tweet from Dave Burgess (you may have heard of him before <insert sarcasm font here>)!

Um… no, it’s never too late, Captain! After some technical difficulties, we were able to chat with Dave live during our #tlap session!

(Yep, that’s me in the white shirt standing up)

One of the people in our packed out room was a principal. My friend and mentor, Lucas Gillispie, tweeted his question while I typed it into the chat box in Skype (Dave couldn’t hear us, but thankfully we could hear him.)

Wait a minute… that twitter handle looks awfully familiar! And the name… where have I heard that name?

This was the first time I got to chat with Dave and hear his enthusiasm! I declared then and there that I was #foreverApirate!

Who else was in the room, again?

Who is this guy?

Are you putting it all together? The day that Sean Gaillard, author of book 49 in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line “met” Dave Burgess and first committed to reading Teach Like A Pirate, I was fortunate enough to be in the room typing the questions to Dave so he could answer them. I actually typed the question to Dave from Sean about how to best support teachers who are teaching like pirates as the admin.

Isn’t that insane? Now, here we are, over 3 1/2 years later, and I’m writing a #DBC50Summer blog post on Sean’s book, published by Dave and released on June 4, 2018! I’ve got to tell you… I love that story! THAT is the power of being a connected educator!

So which book is Sean’s? Sean is a self-proclaimed walking encyclopedia of facts about The Beatles and their music. As a nod to Sgt Pepper in Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sean wrote The Pepper Effect.

This book isn’t just for fans of The Beatles! I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan. Not my style of music. I can appreciate their rise to fame, their willingness to go against the grain of pop music of the era. However, to me, music of the 60s and 70s isn’t that appealing. (Yep, and there goes the followers list back to zero… hahaha)

For the record, I’m a fan of late 90s boy bands and the teen pop and dance-pop music, as well as contemporary R&B and hip hop of the 2000s. I will sing every word to every Usher, Nelly, Destiny’s Child, and any of the teen pop songs at the top of my lungs on any given day.

Even with our vast differences in musical selection, I was still able to gain so much from Sean in the 85 pages of The Pepper Effect! I love how he weaves musical jargon throughout the book and makes these spot-on connections between the Beatles story and educational applications.  His style of writing is both detail-oriented and insanely creative, a cool mash-up of right- and left-brained traits! I especially love his use of Side 1 and Side 2 to tell the Beatles’ story and then shares how we apply it in our schoolhouses in Side 2. He has interludes between chapters and uses the concept of mixed tapes to encourage reflection and action at the end of each chapter. It’s a genius set list, for sure!

There are four main steps that bring together The Pepper Effect (both the book and the ideal). These are:

  • Believe in your vision.
  • Believe in your masterpiece.
  • Believe in your collaborators.
  • Ignore the naysayers.

These are instrumental (See what I did there?) in creating a positive culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in our schools. Through stories of The Beatles, Sean encourages us to do things like finding time to balance our personal and professional lives using “White Space” and to shed the status quo. He empowers us to create whimsical (I love that word) moments for our students and teachers. He reminds us that our students have masterpieces within them and it is our moral imperative to help them discover those. He share his heart in that he desires for the schoolhouse to be a place of love where “one teacher’s words can set a life-changing course for a student to take bold, giant steps toward building a dynamic future” and where teachers “encourage each other to pick up [their] instruments and play [their] songs in unrelenting passion…rooted in service and support”! Isn’t that powerful stuff?

This is an exceptional book that I highly recommend to Beatles fan, and non-Beatles fans alike! Sean certainly outdid himself! I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t bring to light one of things Sean is most well-known for creating! His own gift to the world is the #CelebrateMonday movement. (Ahhh, yes; now you’re getting a clear picture of what Sean is about and why I adore him so doggone much.)

The idea behind #CelebrateMonday is that many people dread that first day back at work. But why? His idea is to be excited Mondays because it becomes the positive catalyst for the week! Using the #CelebrateMonday hashtag, share awesome stuff happening in your school. Use that opportunity to celebrate your bandmates. What is going on that makes the day excellent? It’s about finding the positive with intentionality on a day that is normally an excuse to be negative. Find out why educators across the globe #CelebrateMonday by following the hashtag and venture into Sean’s new flipgrid space here! Share your own responses here as well!

I was so excited to attend Sean’s book release party this summer! While there, he signed my book and I got a selfie! (As a bonus, I also got to meet the amazing @mospillman!)

Sean is truly that amazing and that kind. He exudes positivity and is genuinely the nicest guy. I just can’t say enough great things about him, and his book is incredible, too! Connect with Sean on twitter at @smgaillard! Be sure to #CelebrateMonday each and every Monday; it’s not hard to find something positive if we’ll just look! That’s what I plan to do this year! I commit to finding something positive about staff members, students, or my school every Monday for the remainder of the year and tweeting it to the hashtag. As we have a growing population of parents, teachers, and students on Twitter, it is important to build culture in digital spaces as well as physical spaces. This can only help foster a trusting relationship between all stakeholders. As Sean points out, this leads to creativity, collaboration, and innovation!

You can follow Sean’s blog here. He recently appeared on DisruptED tv which you can see below.

There are several other podcasts on which he has appeared including #LeadUpTeach, Leader of Learning, and Reimagine Schools. He was interviewed at the Transformative Leadership Summit as well. He’s just started a new podcast called The Principal Liner Notes; follow it here. Keep watching for great things coming from Sean! With his kindness and servant heart for leadership, he is going to continue to do amazing things! He was currently chosen as Principal of the Year for his district and his school was selected as School of the Year! The biggest thing I can share about Sean is that every time I speak with him, I am inspired and uplifted. I appreciate Sean’s friendship and I adore his book! As per usual, the flipgrid is available for your reflections. Huge shoutout to Andrea Paulakovich who created this amazing space for global collaboration during the #DBC50Summer and beyond! She has a heart for connecting and educating, so be sure to follow her, and her own #DBC50Summer journey!

*One other random connection between Sean and I (these blow my mind) is that this girl, Jessie DeLapp, who had the first ever signed copy of The Pepper Effect (<– order your copy)… she babysat my oldest daughter before she ever started teaching. Crazy, right?!


Do you know time it is? Can you believe we’ve reached this moment? The next blog will be for Book 50 in the #DBC50Summer! I am so excited to reach this goal, but I can’t get ahead of myself – can’t “count my chickens before they hatch,” as they say. According to my initial goal of reading the first 50 books published (#DBC50) as written in #DBC50Summer Explained, the deadline was by the last day of summer. Do you know today is? The last day of summer! Officially… summer ends at 9:54 pm EST. I still get to enjoy one more book, connect and reflect, and create an implementation plan for book 50. What a celebration it was on Twitter when #DBC50 came out! I’m going to morph from a PIRATE into a ninja to read book 50 – The EduNinja Mindset by Jennifer Burdis! Join me later on today (after a bit of rest and some family time) for the blog post for book 50!

Jen’s book will not be the final blog for #DBC50Summer. In keeping with tradition, I will create a #DBC50Summer Recap for 41-50 and plan to also do one final fun post with a super important announcement – stay tuned!

One thought on “#DBC50Summer 49/50: The Pepper Effect

  1. Pingback: #DBC50Summer Book 41-50 Recap | AliciaRay.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s