Book Review

Top 5 Books For Principals And School Administrators

Sugandhaa Pandey
Top 5 Books For Principals And School Administrators

Principals and school administrators are the chief decision-makers within the education sector. That’s why they must become Reader Leaders, too! This can bring a change in the reading culture of a school. One can start a culture of sharing books with students. Building a strong reading community will create an affinity between students and the leaders, and help the students grow intellectually. Further, this will help the leaders stay on top of the current titles and trends in children’s and young adult literature, promoting a more interactive environment at school.

Here is a list of top 5 books for principals and school administrators which will help them in bringing the desired changes in their schools. This list is by no means exhaustive, and the titles are arranged alphabetically. Happy reading!

Being a Successful Principal: Riding the Wave of Change Without Drowning 


Authors: David R. Schumaker and William A. Sommers
Publisher: Corwin (October 25, 2000)

Authors of this book believe that the job of the boss in a school is one of isolation among a crowd of adults and children. This book is, therefore, written to guide principals and school administrators on a successful journey. It is readable like a journal - pick up any chapter and start reading. It is a collection of experiences covering important topics like - communication, building trust, learning to change, mediating conflict, and how to stand your ground even in quicksand. It is not a book with lessons for a lazy Sunday but, one which helps you utilise the extra 15 minutes of work on a Saturday.

“It is not the end-all, but it will make you think, maybe laugh, and you may pick up some ideas and hints that will help you be the best you can be.” - Schumaker and Sommers in Being a Successful Principal.

Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up

Author: Ken Robinson
Publisher: Allen Lane (April 23, 2015)

Ken Robinson is an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human potential. In this inspiring book,  Robinson has beautifully penned down his brilliant thoughts. He deftly argues against the industrial system of mass schooling and proposes a more personalised approach. He draws his readers towards adopting a more organic approach to education that helps in developing individual abilities. He believes that to change the scenario of the present education system, one needs three forms of understanding. They are -
1.    A critique of the way things are.
2.    A vision of how things should be.
3.    A theory of change of how to move from one to the other.

This stimulating book is a product of personal experiences of Ken Robinson and a must-read for school administrators and directors who wish to actualise their vision.
“As I see it, the aims of education are to enable students to understand the world around them and the talents within them so that they can become fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens.” - Ken Robinson in Creative Schools.

Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy and Responsibility Using Restorative Justice

Authors: Nathan Maynard and Brad Weinstein
Publisher: Times 10 Publications (March 11, 2019)

One of the most challenging factors of the professional lives of a school administrator or principal is challenging student behaviours. The usual practice to deal with such situations resonates with the adage ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’. Zero-tolerance policies ensure delivery of predetermined punishments, like suspension, expulsion, etc. Maynard and Weinstein, with their 25 years of educational leadership experience, write this book to suggest an alternative way to deal with challenging student behaviour. They believe that every behaviour - even faulty behaviour - is a form of communication. Further, they state that removing a student from an educational setting can have multiple negative effects. They have developed a methodology of restorative discipline which is constructive in its process. 

“With the help of responsible and caring discipline, we believe all schools can become physically and emotionally safer - which will help us launch our students into healthier and more productive lives.” - Maynard and Weinstein in Hacking School Discipline.

If You Don’t Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students!: Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers


Author: Neila A. Connors
Publisher: Incentive Publications (May 1, 2000)

Described as ‘much fun and very resourceful’ on Amazon, this book focusses on ensuring that teachers are supportive of all students. It guides the school administrators into creating a professional, safe, secure, and encouraging environment where everyone feels appreciated and respected. The role of the administrator is the crucial element in determining the morale and climate of any given school.

“Successful administrators FEED their teachers continuously to make sure the students ARE NOT EATEN. Meaning, the best leaders focus on providing a climate where teachers are encouraged to take risks and act as coaches  guiding students through journeys of success.” - Connors in If You Don’t Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students!

Motivating & Inspiring Teachers: The Educational Leader’s Guide For Building Staff Morale

Authors: Todd Whitaker, Beth Whitaker, and Dale Lumpa
Publisher: Eye On Education (2000)

Filled with personal anecdotes, this book contains excellent ideas that can be applied by education leaders in daily routine. Authors of this book believe that a terrible day and a terrible state of mind is a consequence of terrible morale. In their opinion, every good school needs faculty and staff members that have positive morale. They have written this book with the belief that education is the most important profession. This book is a guide for every educational leader (principal and school administrator) who wishes to enhance the positivity of their school culture.

“In education, we cannot afford a bad day - simply because the students we work with never deserve to have a bad day because of us.” - Authors of Motivating & Inspiring Teachers.

About the Author:

Sugandhaa Pandey, Art & Content Creator

 

 

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