With summer break just a few days away, many teachers are eagerly awaiting the time where they can rest up and recharge their batteries before spending a majority of their break cultivating their professional trade through graduate schoolwork, lesson plan and curriculum design preps, professional development seminars, and summer reading.
For the summer time, these two and a half months will provide educators with the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop within their field. To help you with this, I have highlighted three very instructional educational leadership books that every teacher should read. These books will provide you with the necessary education pedagogies and practices that you can utilize within your classroom for the next up and coming school year. Remember, it is not just the idea of learning that is important. It is the act of learning that makes the biggest difference in your life and the lives around you. What you do with that knowledge is something that can truly transform and change the entire course of your academic career.
Cultivating Leadership in Schools: Connecting People, Purpose, & Practice by Gordon A. Donaldson, Jr.
Gordon provides his readers with excellent tips and practical models for teachers, principals, and school leaders to utilize with the next up and coming year. He establishes the concept of ‘shared-leadership’ amongst teachers and school administrators. He believes that this type of collective leadership can better prepare teachers for working more effectively and purposefully each and every day. With the field becoming extremely competitive, this type of ‘team’ mentality is something to consider, especially with its longer lasting impact on classroom management, school culture, and overall academic goals. In addition to the various tactics, Gordon also highlights the problems and frustrations educators face within the field itself. He utilizes several of his tips as possible solutions to overcome these obstacles so that teachers can provide their students with strong, efficient, and effective lessons each and every day.
Transformational Leadership by Gary Vurnum
In Gary Vurnum’s book, Transformational Leadership, Gary uncovers ninety-two tips in developing your leadership strengths in an easily digestible format. This comprehensive ease read discusses various tactics of management and dichotomizes the different style of leadership a teacher or administrator can utilize within the classroom and school. While some of these tactics may be seen as standard practices, many of them explore new approaches in how to increase motivation, morale, and effective teaching by internalizing and reflecting on previous mistakes and flaws.
Steven Farr and Teach For America share what the organization has learned about effective teachers over the last twenty years within the education sector. Many of these approaches look to explore the problems of the academic achievement gap and various solutions in how new educators and new corps members can tackle these problems in the most efficient and effective way possible. Steven highlight these methods through six defining principles:
- Set Ambitious Goals for Student Achievement
- Invest Students and Families in Working Hard to Achieve the Goals
- Purposeful planning to Achieve the Vision of Student Success
- Execute Plans with Judgment and Adjustments
- Continuously Increase Effectiveness to Accelerate Student Learning
- Work Relentlessly to Navigate Challenges
Much of these principles highlight look to build stronger relationships and reflect on the past, present, and future obstacles and goals.