WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
School Leadership: Resource Roundup
For principals and other school administrators, this list of videos, blogs, and articles includes advice and tips on effective leadership strategies, partnering with teachers, and cultivating and retaining strong leaders.
Originally Published: April 2, 2012 | Updated: June 1, 2015
Top Tips for School Leaders
- 5 Strategic Tips for First-Year Administrators, by Ross Cooper (2015)
For admins just starting out, it's helpful to establish relationships, visit classrooms, understand others, flatten the hierarchy, and become an active social media presence.
- 8 Top Tips for Highly Effective PD, by Vicki Davis (2015)
Among the top strategies for highly effective professional development are making it useful, making it relevant, and making sure that teachers start practicing it ASAP.
- 8 Tips to Create a Twitter-Driven School Culture, by Elana Leoni (2014)
Administrators can create a more connected school culture by modeling Twitter use and encouraging staff to work, play, and learn through the medium. For more ideas about using technology to communicate, check out Josh Work's five-part series "Technology SAMR Model for Administrators," which examines how administrators can use the SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) for clarity and efficiency in presenting to and communicating with school staff.
- School Administrator's Guide to Supporting School Counselors, by Dr. Kimberlee Ratliff (2013)
Ratliff, a National Certified Counselor and APUS Associate Professor and Program Director, offers school administrators a checklist for what they should and should not expect from their school counselors.
- How To Expand a Successful School Model, by Suzie Boss (2013)
Karen Kodama, the founding principal of John Stanford International School in Seattle, shares advice for administrators on expanding and replicating successful programs.
- Four Suggestions to Help You Lead by Relationships and Realize Your Vision, by Scott Taylor (2013)
Taylor, an assistant superintendent, writes about the importance of leading by relationships in order to realize your vision.
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Partnering with Teachers
- Administrators: How to Get Out of the Office and Into Classrooms, by Ben Johnson (2015)
Johnson, a school administrator and Edutopia blogger, writes about the importance of and strategies for interacting with students and teachers in the classroom.
- When Teachers and Administrators Collaborate, by Anne O'Brien (2014)
O'Brien highlights what it looks like when a district that has a strong collaborative culture undertakes a major initiative like implementing the Common Core.
- A Teacher Perspective: Advice for Principals, by Ben Johnson (2013)
Johnson offers his observations to help administrators build better relationships with teachers. Also see Johnson's blog post, "Five Ways to Build a Partnership With Your Principal."
- How Coaching Can Impact Teachers, Principals, and Students, by Elena Aguilar (2013)
Effective coaching cultivates leaders in education. Here, leadership coach Aguilar provides tips for implementing a coaching program.
- School Leaders: Guiding Teachers into the Digital Age, by Anne O'Brien (2013)
As more schools integrate technology into classrooms, effective leadership is necessary to achieve new media learning goals. O'Brien offers strategies that school leaders can use to help teachers embrace tech tools.
- How Principals Can Grow Teacher Excellence, by Mariko Nobori (2011)
At Cochrane Collegiate Academy, teachers credit their principal with helping them continually improve their practice through effective PD, ongoing support, and mutual trust. More on this school.
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Cultivating Great School Leaders
- School Leaders: Tips for Coaching Your Super Teachers by Ben Johnson (2015)
School leaders and administrators: Check out these suggestions for supporting growth and development in the teachers you lead.
- It Takes Courage to Make Schools Better by Maurice Elias (2015)
Making one's school better requires honest conversation, and that requires courage. Check out these questions and conversation starters that can be used in faculty meetings or as a professional development activity. Also from Elias, "You Need an Elevator Pitch About School Culture and Climate," which highlights how your school's leadership team can help the community understand the importance of culture and climate -- and improve it.
- What Makes a Great School Leader? by Elena Aguilar (2014)
Longtime Edutopia contributor Aguilar highlights the three qualities she thinks most indicative of a great school leader: visionary leadership, community builder, and emotional intelligence.
- Encouraging Teacher Leaders to Become Principals, by Bob Lenz (2014)
Lenz discusses how a recent report offers a road map for system leaders to establish new standards, practices, and management structures for growing a strong pipeline of principals.
- Don't Be Afraid to Give Direct Feedback, by Scott Taylor (2013)
Superintendent and adjunct professor Taylor returns with advice about using reflective questions as a constructive way of delivering direct feedback.
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