Why the Principalship?: Making the Leap from the Classroom

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9781607097723: Why the Principalship?: Making the Leap from the Classroom

This book provides step-by-step, concrete advice for aspiring school administrators as they strive to achieve principal certification. Each chapter's snapshots illustrate key challenges that face principal candidates. The last third of the book includes exercises that help candidates and mentors, as well as colleagues, move through the program. Written in an easy-to-read manner, the book invites continued conversation.

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About the Author:

Dale L. Brubaker is professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and has served on the faculties of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He has authored or coauthored more than twenty books on leadership and cultural studies in education. Misti Williams is clinical assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is the principal investigator of a research project on Sustained Staff Development on the Performance of Assistant Principals in Their Current Roles and as Newly Appointed Principals.

Review:

This is the book I should have had when I began my graduate program in educational administration. The authors give me advice as to what I should do next to be successful in the program and as an assistant principal. The book has professional development materials that I can use as a teacher leader in my school. I strongly recommend this book to all graduate students who want to be school administrators and educational leaders who work with these graduate students. (Douglas Clarke, elementary school teacher at Reeths-Puffer Elementary School, Muskegon, Michigan)

Dale Brubaker and Misti Williams have written a very practical guide that will help the aspiring administrator move smoothly into the role of school leader. The header quotes that introduce and guide the chapters are especially meaningful, and the questions for discussion at the end of each chapter will aid professional development communities as administrative interns, mentors, and school leaders come together to talk about what is best for students and teachers. (Vicky Ratchford, professor, School of Education, Gardner-Webb University)

This book is brilliant in its simplicity. The main steps facing the aspiring administrator are made plain. Brubaker's writing is in the middle ground between theory and practice, where each informs the other. Williams' contribution is to anchor powerful ideas with her own experiences as well as those of graduate students she leads toward principal certification. It is a coauthorship that works, a gift to us as readers. This book offers guidance that is rarely found in any other source than in a successful personal mentor. It is a highly readable and compact book that is hard to put down because of its engaging content. (Lawrence H. Simon, professor of education, Elon University)

Why the Principalship? is just the book for people beginning their journey to school leadership. It shares the experiences of many who have made the transition by incorporating a set of 'snapshots'―the actual words of certification students, assistant principals, and principals. These vignettes lessen the isolation that many feel and provide concrete examples of how to deal with the ambiguity generated by beginning to step out of the classroom. (Ronald D. Williamson, professor of leadership and counseling, Eastern Michigan University)

Anyone who ever attended a school overseen by a bad principal ought to be able to answer the question posed in the title of Why the Principalship? Gifted teachers form the most powerful memories of education for students, but the principal is responsible for creating the atmosphere in which the best teachers either flourish or wither. A great principal is, above all, the school's head teacher. The only thing I would add to this lively, informative, encouraging book is that an excellent principal ought to keep one foot―or at least a toe―in the classroom. At a time when education has never been more crucial to the future of our nation, and public schools are under attack from all sides, there has never been a greater need for school administrators who understand that their job is to be leaders true to the Latin root of the word "educate," which means to "lead out." (Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason and Never Say Die)

I am a little more than halfway through my master's program and find this a must-read book. It speaks to me as if a travel agent is mapping my graduate school adventure to ensure success. I like the quotes that introduce each chapter and the references to research and writing that I can use in assigned papers. The 'snapshots' are stories that tell me what I should and should not do to successfully complete my master's degree. (Joseph Ellinger, full-time graduate student, Georgia State University)

The attention this book gives to the civilities of leadership―public speaking, listening, and going on television―is worth the price of the book, and we will add this to our media instruction at The Buckley School of Public Speaking. (Reid Buckley, best-selling author of numerous books, including An American Family: The Buckleys)

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