What administrators are reading this month.
Turning Average Instruction Into Great Instruction
School Leadership’s Role in Student Achievement
By John O’Connor; Rowman & Littlefield Education
Want to push teaching to the next level? Classroom change happens when a leader has a clear picture of what needs to happen, argues O’Connor, and can focus all efforts on getting there. The book champions creating a positive school environment, using materials and staff wisely, and getting the community involved. O’Connor lays out what great instruction looks like and what you have to do to get there, such as aligning a leadership team and supporting struggling learners. He also tackles getting rid of what’s not working, from poor annual planning to ineffective professional development.
Talk About Teaching!
Leading Professional Conversations
By Charlotte Danielson; Corwin Press
Bone up on management skills with this helpful guide, which leads you through all manner of professional discussions with teachers, from five-minute chats in the hallway to tough conversations about pedagogy. With the understanding that all administrators aren’t experts in leading these discussions, Danielson, an educational consultant, provides conversation starters and how-tos for communicating, always keeping the focus on improving teacher learning. Chapters are conveniently organized around the various components of successful work in the classroom.
An Essential Guide for the Accidental Admin
By John Ross; No Starch Press
How many times have you been left scratching your head when IT staff discusses what the school or district network can or can’t do? This book translates geek-speak into understandable concepts and is a solid recommendation for newly hired tech staff, or for anyone who needs to understand the big networking picture. Ross covers hardware, software, and setup, as well as how to share documents and media. Handy screenshots and diagrams are helpful for at-a-glance troubleshooting, as well as a specific chapter dedicated to solving common problems.
The Technology Director’s Guide to Leadership
The Power of Great Questions
By Don Hall; ISTE
If you’re putting together a technology team, or have one that just needs to be reorganized, this book can help. It considers all the players tech directors have to deal with on a daily basis—from technology specialists and instructional technology staff to classroom teachers to the community at large. It shows ways to map out the responsibilities of each team member, and has checklists to help organize and monitor progress. The author also suggests ways to help make those new technology calls successful. Major points are reviewed after each chapter.