Leadership Books to Read Over Break

Check out these great reads for principals looking to learn and grow.

December 2015, Volume 39, Issue 4

Great educators never fail to remind students that long breaks are the perfect time to pick up a book and continue their learning at home. It makes sense, then, for principals to heed their own advice and brush up on some reading over the winter break. Fortunately, Principal magazine has got you covered with reviews of some of the best books for principals looking to grow professionally. Here are just a few ways great books can help you, your teachers, and your school.

Ensure high-quality teaching:

Building Trust in Teacher Evaluations
By Shelly M. Arneson
“Shelly M. Arneson takes an in-depth look at the topic of trust and how it can build or be a barrier to a school. She argues that developing trust is vital for educational leaders if they want to successfully and effectively evaluate teachers.” Read more

Hire Better Teachers Now: Using the Science of Selection to Find the Best Teachers for Your School
By Dale S. Rose, Andrew English, and Treena Gillespie Finney
“The authors of Hire Better Teachers Now: Using the Science of Selection to Find the Best Teachers for Your School suggest a research-based approach that can enhance hiring practices. The authors describe a step-by-step approach to help principals make the best hire by eliciting evidence from candidates. Through a variety of tools designed to identify the best candidate for the position, the authors provide a strong foundation of considerations, including the use of work samples.” Read more


Make the most of technology:

What Connected Educators Do Differently
By Todd Whitaker, Jeffery Zoul, and Jimmy Casas
“Whether it is creating engaging classroom lessons, developing dynamic schoolwide programs, or taking control of their own professional development, collaboration is a critical practice for educators. Todd Whitaker, Jimmy Casas, and Jeffrey Zoul model this in their latest collaboration, What Connected Educators Do Differently. The trio provide expert advice on how to overcome the two biggest challenges to collaboration: time and people. By harnessing the power of technology and social media, the “connected educator” can collaborate anytime and with anyone, anywhere.” Read more

Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times
By Eric Sheninger
“If he awoke today, where in the world would Rip Van Winkle feel most comfortable? I think that Eric Sheninger, author of Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times, would answer: today’s schools and classrooms. Our children spend much of their time in environments that have changed the least, while the world has continued to evolve through increasing dominance of technology. Sheninger argues that educational leaders must model use of Web 2.0 approaches in order to engage, empower, and prepare students for the unknown jobs of the future.” Read more

Go beyond academic instruction:

The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students
By Daniel Rechtschaffen
“How much better would your school be if the teachers in your building were focused, attentive, and compassionate? Extend those same thoughts to students. Would your school be an ideal learning environment if your students were trained to handle the stress and trauma that can keep them from realizing their full potential? In The Way of Mindful Education, Daniel Rechtschaffen offers educators the tools to develop classrooms and schools that cultivate attention while promoting kindness toward ourselves and others.” Read more

Awaken the Learner: Finding the Source of Effective Education
By Darrell Scott and Robert J. Marzano
“More than 15 years have passed since the tragic shootings at Columbine High School. This event, and subsequent school shootings, has left educators and communities wondering why such violence befalls our schools. It is clear that a call for transformation is needed. In Awaken the Learner, two very different voices come together to inspire educators to develop new approaches that help students become caring individuals. It empowers educators to find ways to ensure students become confident and invested in their own learning.” Read more

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