Leadership in the world of education is quite different than leadership in the world outside of a school setting. For this reason, there is an entire category of books dedicated to helping teachers and principals deal with the challenges they face. To help educators sift through the myriad of titles available, this list focuses on books that come highly recommended by educators from across the globe.
1. Schools of Fish!, by Phillip Strand
This is, hands-down, the most highly recommended book for educators. Schools of Fish! builds upon the four original tenants of the FISH! Philosophy: Be There, Play, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude. Each of these principles is divided into a section full of inspirational stories that impart valuable lessons to educators. Schools of Fish! also offers practical advice for common challenges like classroom management, personal accountability and internal motivation. Instructors and principals that recommend this book say that it has helped them rediscover why they love teaching. The FISH! Philosophy website offers additional insight for teachers.
2. Finding Your Leadership Style: A Guide For Educators, by Jeffrey Glanz
Author Jeffrey Glanz believes that everyone has innate leadership abilities in one form or another, even those who don’t believe they are capable of leading. His book identifies seven categories of leaders and provides full descriptions of each. Educators will recognize themselves as well as their coworkers in each of these styles of leadership and come away with a better understanding of how to harness their own strengths into effective leadership. In addition to these seven types, he identifies seven traits of successful educational leaders and offers questionnaires to help teachers analyze their leadership potential.
3. Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, by Dr. Spencer Johnson
This book has become recommended reading for anyone in the workforce, but it is particularly useful for educators. Change is uncomfortable, but in a classroom setting, changes come rapid-fire with little warning. Who Moved My Cheese? teaches educators how to gracefully handle change while remaining in charge of the situation. It is an excellent tool for self-evaluation and learning new techniques for managing the anxiety and stress that often accompanies change.
4. School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results, by Robert Marzano
Researchers Marzano, Waters and McNulty conducted a meta-analysis of 69 studies done over 45 years in the education system to compile the information found in this guide. They answer questions about best practices for day-to-day school management, the impact school leadership has on students’ learning abilities and which leadership practices produce effective change in a classroom setting. Instructors will learn:
- 21 specific leadership responsibilities that produce real change
- How to craft a five-step plan for school leadership
- An 11-factor framework for improving student achievement
For instructors that enjoy analysis and hard data, this book is a wonderful, helpful read.
5. Leading in a Culture of Change, by Michael Fullan
With the education world in a constant state of flux, effective leadership can be challenging on all levels. Successful educators recommend Fullan’s book because it offers five simple principles that every effective leader can implement to deal with complex changes in a chaotic environment. Fullan’s innovative methods for setting and achieving goals in the midst of change will transform teachers into exceptional leaders both inside the classroom and out.
Related Resource: 15 Cheapest Online Programs in Educational Leadership and Administration
Leadership in education requires a special set of skills that aren’t always taught beforehand. These five books are a great way for teachers to improve on old skills and learn new ones to become the most effective leaders possible.