Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools through Fearless Leadership

Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools through Fearless Leadership

Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools through Fearless Leadership

Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools through Fearless Leadership

Synopsis

Many urban educators live in fear: of their schools being labeled failures, of increasingly punitive sanctions, of loss of respect and livelihood. This fear pervades the entire school community, affecting the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of its members.

The authors of this guide to transformation in urban schools are convinced that the key ingredient for school renewal is fearless leadership. Fearless leaders work in schools under-resourced and overburdened and serve disproportionately large numbers of children who live in poverty and face racism daily. They are ordinary educators committed to proving that demographics need not be destiny.

This inspirational yet practical book will help you bridge the divide that separates urban students from their birthright of a high-quality education. You will learn how to

• Adopt a leadership approach, consisting of affirmation, inspiration, and mediation (AIM), that will transform your school into a flourishing learning community.

• Build a leadership team of important stakeholders--including students--that is committed to improvement.

• Tap into the resources that already exist in your school and jettison institutional arrangements that prevent your school from becoming an enriching and creative community.

• Create supports that enable teachers to nurture their students' potential to meet high standards and become self-actualized learners.

Each chapter closes with reflections and activities that will help your leadership team produce its own roadmap for change.

Succeeding in the tough landscape of urban schools requires more than just passion and a sense of urgency; it requires real skills. Aim High, Achieve More provides insights gleaned from real-world experiences that will enable you to create a successful, vibrant learning environment.

Excerpt

A different world cannot be created by indifferent people.

—Horace Mann

Fearless Leaders

The fearless leaders we know—and we know many—are just like you. They are district office administrators, building principals, coaches, and teacher leaders of various types, some of whom are anointed with titles, many of whom are not. They work in schools under-resourced and overburdened, often located in the deepest recesses of our nation’s inner cities, but also found on country roads and suburban lanes. They serve disproportionately large numbers of children who live in poverty, children who come from immigrant families, and children who face racism daily. They are also ordinary educators committed to proving that demographics need not be destiny (Cooper, 2005). If they have given up on anything, it is the false hope that outside resources will ever be directed their way in sufficient amounts to make a difference. Instead, they have mined the . . .

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