Insights into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works

Insights into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works

Insights into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works

Insights into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works


Do you ever wonder whether researchers and professional developers really know what it's like to be a school leader? Do you sometimes struggle to connect articles and conference presentations with the challenges you face day to day?

For award-winning educator William Sterrett, the answer to those questions was a resounding yes. So he made it his mission to identify the most important issues facing today's school leaders and offer practical, effective strategies for success. Drawing on his own experience as a teacher and principal and on interviews with nine distinguished practitioners--including Carol Ann Tomlinson, Richard DuFour, Baruti Kafele, and James Popham--Sterrett merges current research and theory with lessons from successful educators who have truly "been there, done that."

Each chapter of Insights into Action carefully examines a particular topic of relevance, translating research and experience into replicable, sustainable practices and offering ways to overcome barriers to success. You'll learn

• How to be a more effective leader, including ways to turn your school vision into reality, become a learning leader, make professional development more meaningful, and achieve the elusive work-life balance;

• How to strengthen your learning community by differentiating instruction and leadership, fostering a positive school climate, and incorporating learning experiences outside the classroom; and

• How to face the challenges of today, including ways to infuse technology into your school community, gather and apply useful data, and turn crises both big and small into success for all.

Each chapter includes Action Items and In-the-Field Activities to extend the discussion, help you apply the book's insights and strategies, and enable you to realize actual growth in your school.

In a job filled with constant stressors and challenges, it's important to have a solid, well-grounded perspective. Insights into Action offers both practical lessons and inspiration to handle whatever comes your way.


At some point during my first year as an elementary school principal, I looked out of my office window at the winter landscape and thought, “Am I really prepared for this?” I was 28 years old, did not have an assistant principal, and was facing the prospect of telling my staff that one of our colleagues had just passed away. Earlier in the week, an angry parent had informed me that she was “contacting a lawyer,” and I had several discipline referrals sitting on top of the stacks of paper that covered my desk. I turned from the window and saw my phone’s red message light flashing. I was lucky enough to be working with some trusted veteran administrators in the district who had taken me under their wing, and I knew I could count on them for advice, wisdom, and a chance to simply share my difficulties and challenges with them. And yet, at that moment, I felt very alone.

In my first year as a principal, I faced enormous challenges. By all accounts, I was ready for the job. I had a solid track record of teaching, had served as an assistant principal, and held a Ph.D. in educational administration and supervision. My school division was rich in resources, and I had attended a host of useful conferences and professional development sessions. But I just . . .

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