Call For Submissions



The greatest lecture I was never taught: Leadership lessons and mentoring moments from the lives of everyday educators

John H. Curry, PhD and Sean R. Jackson, EdD, editors


We are currently accepting submissions for an edited volume titled: The greatest lecture I was never taught: Leadership lessons and mentoring moments from the lives of everyday educators. Inspired by non-fiction volumes of essays like Harvey Penick’s little red book: Lessons and teachings from a lifetime in golf by Harvey Penick, and All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten by Robert Fulghum, this volume would be a compilation not of scholarly text, but rather instructional vignettes of educators from all sectors (K12, Higher Education, Educational Administrators, Medical, Military, Coaching, etc.) sharing the greatest lesson they learned from their mentor that was never taught, but was rather observed.    

The format of the book would most specifically influenced by the This I believe series started by Edward R. Morrow, and would follow a modified format of those essays’ specifications:

  • Tell a story about you: Be specific. Take your lesson out of the ether and ground it in the events that have shaped your core values. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence and shaping of your mentoring and leadership philosophy.

  • Be brief: Your statement should be between 500 and 600 words. That’s about three minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.

  • Name the lesson: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be what we’re looking for. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief. Avoid statements of religious dogma, preaching, or editorializing.

  • Name your mentor: Besides sharing the lessons learned, this book is meant to celebrate the mentors in the lives of the contributors.  So name your mentor, and let everyone know who it is that has impacted your life.

  • Be positive: Use a positive experience, not a negative one. We are looking for positive examples of leadership and mentoring.

  • Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Tell a story from your own life; this is not an opinion piece about social ideals. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo the lesson learned and the way you speak.

  The following are three sample essays following this format:

When I need a class clown, I'll let you know

Have you met . . .?

These ties aren't for me


  All authors should understand the following:

  • By submitting an essay,  authors agree to be available as peer reviewers for other essays, and they should expect to be asked to do so.

  • The submission of an essay does NOT guarantee acceptance for publication or inclusion in the text.  All submissions will be reviewed for appropriate writing conventions and mechanics, adherence to the written guidelines, suitability of the submission for the text, and the appropriateness of the topic or lesson learned.

If you would like to submit an essay for consideration, please write it according to the above guidelines and submit an electronic copy in Word format (.docx) to by December 15, 2019. 


If you have any questions, feel free to contact John Curry at