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Stories of Caring School Leadership
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Stories of Caring School Leadership



August 2020 | 168 pages | Corwin
Real-life examples to inform and inspire caring in your leadership practices!

The practice of caring is essential to effective schooling. Published as a companion to Caring School Leadership, this comprehensive resource of powerful, real-life stories will make clear the connection between caring leadership and student academic success and well-being. Stories of Caring School Leadership includes a guide for using the stories in self-directed reflection and learning, for educators practicing in schools and professional preparation programs. Readers will find stories that

• will help aspiring and practicing leaders reflect upon and further develop caring as a quality of their leadership 
• affirm the importance of caring as a fundamental quality of school leadership 
• provide examples of caring school leadership in action that can be analyzed, reflected upon, and used to develop practice 

Stories have the power to inform and inspire. The stories in this book are evidence of what is possible when caring leadership is practiced in our schools.

 
List of Illustrations
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction: Caring School Leadership
 
Collection I: Stories of Being Caring in Relationships with Students
Introduction

 
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

 
 
Stories From PreK and Elementary Schools
1. Walk You to School?

 
2. Terry

 
3. Ana

 
4. I Don’t Have a Knife

 
5. Opening Up

 
6. Had It Gone a Different Way

 
7. Three Musketeers

 
8. Fever Free and Smiling

 
9. Now What Do I Do?

 
10. Sheila

 
11. Pizza and a Football

 
12. Connecting

 
13. Two Yearbooks

 
14. The Lunchroom

 
 
Stories From Secondary Schools
15. Minister of Presence

 
16. Sue Knows She Is Loved

 
17. What’s Going on With Renee?

 
18. Promise

 
19. Red Sneakers

 
20. Nate

 
21. Patrick

 
22. Four Years With That Student

 
23. On the Bus Ramp

 
24. Giving and Taking the Chance

 
25. You Just Gotta Be Calm

 
26. Not Giving Up

 
27. The Last Leg

 
28. I’ve Got Your Back

 
29. Toss and Turn

 
30. Authentic Care

 
31. Jason

 
32. Let Me Work on That

 
33. The Business Card

 
34. Not All Who Wander Are Lost

 
35. Not Too Tired to Be Caring

 
36. Swimming Upstream

 
37. Try This

 
38. The Tux

 
39. Breaking the Law

 
40. No Pity, Just Care

 
41. It’s Because My School Family Loves Me

 
42. Natalie

 
43. Our Collective Responsibility

 
44. Bicycle Built for Two

 
 
Collection II: Stories of Cultivating Schools as Caring Communities
Introduction

 
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

 
 
Stories From Elementary Schools
45. We Like the Egg Chairs

 
46. Hear My Message, Not My Tone

 
47. Family Connect Time

 
48. Our Transformation

 
49. Dots

 
50. Season of Giving

 
51. Evaluating Faculty With Challenge and Support

 
52. Coaching With Care

 
53. Accepting Your Feelings

 
54. Seth

 
55. Learning Together

 
56. Helping a Teacher Build Relationships With Students

 
57. Buddy Bench

 
58. 360 Degrees of Caring

 
59. The Results Are In

 
60. Always There for Me

 
61. Lunch With the Principal

 
62. School Welcomes

 
 
Stories From Secondary Schools
63. We Choose Relationships

 
64. Small Steps

 
65. Getting You Ready to Walk

 
66. Student Advocates

 
67. Grab a Sandwich

 
68. Welcome to Refugee High

 
69. Do We Really Know?

 
70. Setting Rules and Policies

 
71. No One Graduates Alone

 
72. Responding to the Crises

 
73. Good Works Toward Each Other

 
74. Fostering a Caring Faculty Culture

 
75. Promoting Safety and Community Through Near Peer Mentoring

 
76. When It Is Actually Not Easy

 
77. Mama Bears

 
78. Celebrating Matt

 
79. Everyone Has a Voice

 
80. Our Work Is Really All About Caring

 
81. A More Inclusive Culture

 
82. Enforcing the Norms

 
83. True Safety

 
84. Gail and Her Girls

 
85. Our Food Pantry

 
 
Collection III: Stories of Fostering Caring in Families and Community
Introduction

 
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

 
86. Engaging Parents in Equity Dialogues

 
87. The Fire

 
88. Family Support

 
89. This School Is Here for You

 
90. An Open Letter to Parents of Children Throughout New York State Regarding Grades 3–8 Testing

 
91. Community Career Fairs and Pop-Up Food Banks

 
92. Born and Bred

 
93. We Are Going to Be Together in This

 
94. My Mom Is in Trouble

 
95. We Just Couldn’t See It

 
96. Our Next Mayor

 
97. Promoting Early Childhood Education in Families and the Community

 
98. Visiting With the Kids

 
99. Parent University

 
100. What Can We Do?

 
 
Bibliography

Captivating, moving, and sincere; a beautiful collection of stories of caring leadership practice. Full of dilemmas around boundaries and privacy, ambiguities and ethics, inequities and responsibility, this book illuminates, instructs, and inspires. It will be an eye-opener for anyone skeptical of the hard and necessary work that is caring and that schools and educators do on a daily basis. 

Milena Batanova
Research and Evaluation Manager, Making Caring Common, Harvard Graduate School of Education

What an interesting time we are in where a book that feeds the spirit presents a perspective that is both bold and lacking in today’s discourse! Our society’s future lies in our ability to guide the youngest among us towards social and emotional health. We will have left an indelible mark on society if we are able to cultivate in our future leaders with the capacity to be thoughtful, intelligent, kind, and caring. It will take a journey to get there from where we are today. This book should be required reading for the trip. 

John C Borrero
Executive Director, Collaboration for Early Childhood

The voices of these inspiring educators and their stories of hope bring to life how “caring lies at the heart of schooling” (p. xii). We are reminded that the little things are the big things. The stories illuminate the power of caring, loving, holding, listening, and being present—physically and psychologically—to and for each other. The storytellers create a tapestry made up of the textures of care in different forms—helping us to move closer together in our relationships and connectedness. Get ready to open your heart and be filled with goosebumps.

Ellie Drago-Severson
Professor of Education Leadership and Adult Learning & Leadership, Teachers College—Columbia University

Anyone who has ever worked in a school understands how important caring leadership is for human flourishing. With provocative questions for immediate application, these three highly respected scholars have framed stories that prove that caring leadership is happening in schools right now. The stories told by school leaders themselves are instructive and inspiring. The student artwork is a perfect complement. This book is more than a must-read for educators - it is a pure joy.

Jon Eckert
Professor of Educational Leadership, Baylor University

These stories truly capture what is at the heart and soul of good school leadership: authentic and unwavering care. These accounts are inspiring and motivating for anyone beginning, proceeding along, or reflecting on their own journey as a school leader. I’m forever grateful for the gift these authors have given us all. This will be a frequently called upon resource to share with the current and aspiring leaders I support.

Richard Frank
Coach and Consultant, CT3 Education

The stories in this book remind us that caring is an indispensable quality in teaching and leadership. Stories of Caring School Leadership is an essential resource for those charged with supporting students and adults for today's world—and tomorrow's.

Kevin Gallick
Principal, George Washington High School Chicago Public Schools

This profound and practical book animates the irreplaceable presence of caring necessary for the learning and development of children and youth. Constructed from practitioners’ stories with multiple avenues for access, the moving narratives give examples of why high school parents will flock to conferences, how middle school students were helped to address concerns about a teacher, an elementary child on the autism spectrum was given timely support, an equity committee was formed, and how an organizational context for caring was created.

Robert Garmston
Professor Emeritus California State University, Sacramento Co Founder of Cognitive Coaching and Adaptive Schools

Stories of Caring School Leadership brings compassionate, caring leadership to life through poignant stories and inspiring artistic expressions. The National Association of Secondary School Principals is committed to supporting gtreat leaders in every school who are committed to the success of each student. The sharing of student artwork lets the reader peer into the hearts of our most vulnerable and most precious assets—our students. This book “shows and tells” what school leadership should look like. Congratulations to Mark, Joe, and Karen for bringing authenticity to the vision of school leadership that NASSP finds crucial.  

Beverly J Hutton
Deputy Executive Director, Programs and Services National Association of Secondary School Principals

At times both touching and heartbreaking, this book is a rich source for learning that helps us envision equity -- truly caring about each individual student and valuing their unique set of experiences, assets, and needs. I connected with so many of these stories, and I applaud the authors for embracing the power of stories to bridge the gap between theory and practice. To lead for equity, we must do the internal work to see and recover from our own biases and assumptions about students, teachers, and families. These stories are a powerful tool for connecting though our shared humanity and for co-creating the culturally responsive and just school experiences that will free our young people to flourish.

Rebecca D. Kaye
Chief of Equity & Accountability Oklahoma City Public Schools

This collection of stories presents an authentic picture of what it means to be a school leader today. As I read the book I cried, laughed, nodded, and said aloud, “Oh, yeah, that happens, sometimes more than we’ll ever know.” The storytellers paint a picture of the challenges students face each day that extend beyond their academic success and how school leaders are instrumental in shaping and nurturing schools in which students’ very existence and well-being depend on caring school administrators. This book illustrates the many ways leaders cultivate and model caring within their community to extend collective responsibility for student, staff, and family success. These stories show how vital it is for today’s school leaders to act with compassion and urgency so that all students, staff members, and community members have advocates, are acknowledged, and feel worthy, valued, and cared for.

Joellen Killion
Senior Advisor Learning Forward, The Professional Learning Association

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ISBN: 9781071801826
CAD$ 38.95

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