The Art of School Leadership

The Art of School Leadership

The Art of School Leadership

The Art of School Leadership

Synopsis

What do school leaders need to know? Drawing on more than 25 years of leadership experience, Thomas R. Hoerr offers invaluable advice on running a school. From evaluating teachers to working with parents, from managing meetings to making a difference, Hoerr addresses the challenges of school leadership and shares his proven strategies for success. Hoerr explains that, above all, leadership is about relationships. The best supervisors support teamwork and collegiality, value diversity, and encourage everyone around them to grow. Using examples from his own school, Hoerr outlines ways to become a more effective leader and create a culture of learning. He also discusses the history and future of leadership, focusing on how educators can move schools forward. With more than 100 quotes on leadership from educators around the world, The Art of School Leadership is a thorough and thoughtful account of what it takes to lead a school. Thomas R. Hoerr has been the head of New City School in St. Louis, Missouri, since 1981. He is the author of Becoming a Multiple Intelligences School and a regular columnist for Educational Leadership.'Through playfulness, joyfulness, honesty, and jargon-free authenticity, Hoerr earns credibility and respect. His depiction of life in the schoolhouse will resonate with the experiences of most teachers, administrators, and parents.' --Roland S. Barth

Excerpt

Strong leaders are artists. They inspire, applaud, chastise, steer, and stand on the side. They create, monitor, reinforce, encourage, and stand in the back. Yes, sometimes they stand in front, too. They recognize that it is their responsibility to help create a setting in which each individual can flourish and everyone can grow. Strong leaders understand that leadership is about relationships.

Strong leaders are artists because they recognize that there is no one formula, no particular policy, no set of procedures that will always work with everyone or, even, will always work with any one person. Each unique situation and every idiosyncratic individual must be appreciated. We know that we must take a developmental approach to how our students learn; we also know that they learn best when they learn constructively, by creating their own meaning. It is no different for our teachers. They, too, must be viewed developmentally; they, too, learn best constructively. I believe that this is true of leaders and followers everywhere, in all settings, and I am sure that it is even more true of leaders in schools.

As I write this introduction, I am nearing my 28th year of leading a school. This longevity means that I have made many mistakes. I hope that I have learned from these mistakes. I certainly don't lack opportunities to learn, those times when I look back and see what I should have done differently or what I should do in the future. Just last week, for example, an entire inservice day was allocated for teachers to meet individually . . .

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