Creating conditions for better teaching and learning to occur has become an important responsibility for today’s school leaders. Principals must attend to building and sustaining healthy school cultures. The authors take the reader on a journey through several different situations that occur at the elementary, middle and high school levels and focus on a different and challenging aspect of educational leadership every time. The reader can read and analyze different scenarios and decide whether or not the outcome was the best for all stakeholders involved. Not only do all of the vignettes offer beneficial advice to educational leaders of all levels and experience, but they also provide research that demonstrates how and why each educational leader does what he or she does in each situation and how those choices affect everyone involved.
We believe that these vignettes support the most important quality of school leadership: “Promoting the success of every student by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth” (ISLLC Standard 2.0, 2008).
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About the Author
Dr. Phyllis Gimbel has enjoyed a lengthy career in education, serving as middle school principal, foreign language department chair and French and Spanish teacher. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Secondary Education and Professional Programs at Bridgewater State University, where she served as Assistant Coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum and Faculty Fellow in the Office of Teaching and Learning.
Lenesa Leana has been a teacher, counselor, administrator, principal, head of school, and trustee. She has studied the multiple factors that contribute to the growth of healthy school cultures. Her background in developmental psychology provides an important perspective on her observations of school communities, always with an eye toward what is good for the students.
Table of Contents
1 Establishing a Clear Vision 1
2 Creating an Atmosphere of Open Communication 11
3 Building Interpersonal Trust 21
4 Encouraging Collaboration 35
5 Communicating Expectations 53
6 Developing High Expectations 67
7 Managing Conflict 79
8 Sharing Multiple Perspectives 103
9 Facilitating Professional Development 115
10 Creating Pride in the School 123
11 Nurturing Creativity 135
12 Taking the Long View 143
About the Authors 163