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Leadership Best Practices

Summer Reading for School Leaders

July 1st, 2022

Thinking young businessman in suit reading book outside. Concrete columns and trees in the backgroundA good book makes the perfect companion for summer days, whether reading out by the pool or from the comfort of an air-conditioned room. While summertime provides a welcome respite after a busy school year, it’s also a great opportunity to mull over new ideas and consider leadership strategies before autumn rolls around.

Exploring education-focused resources can help school and district-level leadership gain insights into current and emerging trends, implement new and innovative practices, and achieve multi-level goals.

With the virtually unlimited number of books out on the market today, knowing which ones to focus on can be a challenge. We’re here to help by recommending nine of our favorite books to dive into this summer.

Disclaimer: SuperEval does not promote or endorse any of the following authors, we just happen to like their work.

  1. From Teacher to Leader: Finding Your Way As a First-Time Leader Without Losing Your Mind by Starr Sackstein

Navigating a new role can be overwhelming. In this book, Sackstein provides guidance and tips to support new school administrators in becoming successful while handling job-related stress. This is an informative and helpful read for both teachers who are currently transitioning into school administration roles or those who are considering making the change.

2. Leading School Change: How To Overcome Resistance, Increase Buy-In, and Accomplish Your Goals by Todd Whitaker

For school leaders who have ideas for driving positive school change but are struggling with implementation, this book outlines proven techniques for delivering effective change management, establishing attainable goals, developing strategies, and monitoring progress. Featuring a strong emphasis on team collaboration, this book is an excellent read for education leaders at all levels.

Ridiculously amazing schools3. Ridiculously Amazing Schools: Creating A Culture Where Everyone Thrives by Tracey Smith and Jeff Waller

In this impactful book, Smith and Waller discuss the importance of appreciating and supporting teachers when it comes to creating a positive and effective school environment for all. When teachers receive respect and support, it creates more opportunities to help students thrive within the classroom. By analyzing leading schools across the nation, the authors highlight practical strategies and plans for driving meaningful change.

Five Practices for Equity-Focused School Leadership4. Five Practices for Equity-Focused School Leadership by Sharon I. Radd, Gretchen Givens Generett, Mark Anthony Gooden, and George Theoharis

This book is an ideal pick for the innovative school leader ready to improve educational equity by disrupting traditional school practices and models. The authors provide five practices aimed at reducing academic and social differences based on disability, race, and other factors within the school environment. The included change framework, recommendations, self-discovery activities, tips on building equity leadership teams, and other resources provide a solid foundation to help leaders create a more inclusive atmosphere for all.

CleverLands5. Cleverlands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World’s Education Superpowers by Lucy Crehan

Providing insights into education systems in various countries, Crehan showcases practical differences between successful systems and those that are lacking. What are these countries doing differently? How does education policy affect the quality and success of schools? To offer a more comprehensive view, the author discusses the impact on and view of students, teachers, and educational leaders.

Everyday Courage for School Leaders6. Everyday Courage for School Leaders by Cathy J. Lassiter

In changing and uncertain times, we could all use a little courage. While serving in an education leadership position is incredibly rewarding, it doesn’t come without its challenges. In this book, Lassiter outlines steps for taking action in difficult times and opportunities for self-reflection. Readers will also find daily practices for fostering a spirit of courageous leadership that creates trust-based, accountability-focused, and inclusive environments.

School Leadership: Learner-Centered Leadership in Times of Crisis7. School Leadership: Learner-Centered Leadership in Times of Crisis by Tom Butler

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought its fair share of challenges to the education environment, it also provided school leaders with an opportunity to determine what is or is not working within schools. In this story, Butler highlights the challenges, strategies, and successes of a superintendent determined to execute a learner-centered approach to leadership. The author outlines practical steps towards creating learner-centered school environments and enabling positive change.

Being a Successful Principal: Riding the Wave of Change Without Drowning8. Being a Successful Principal: Riding the Wave of Change Without Drowning by David R. Schumaker and William A. Sommers

For experienced and new school principals alike, this book offers helpful tips, insights, stories, and guidance from current and past school leaders. Whether seeking insights on navigating challenging situations or a heartwarming story, this book has it all, making it a delightful and easy read for the summer months.

If You Don’t Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students!: Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers9. If You Don’t Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students!: Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers by Neila A. Connors

In a time where teachers are feeling overworked, showing appreciation and providing support is more important than ever. In this book, Connors provides tips on how school administrators can build positive relationships with teachers, improve the school climate, and drive impact in the lives of students. With straightforward language, this is a great one to pick from the bookshelf on a slow and lazy summer day.

Creating a summer reading list can provide key insights into strategies and initiatives for the upcoming school year. Whether working towards a goal or just exploring novel ideas, picking up a new book is a great way to expand skills and knowledge. Learning about emerging ideas and theories in the education space is a powerful first step towards improving school operations and the overall student learning experience.

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