The issues addressed in this easy to read book address the most common issues faced by new or veteran principals such as: attributes of successful principals, leading instructional improvement, crafting a school improvement plan, overcoming resistance from naysayers, leading effective teams, creating conditions for the success of teachers, motivating unmotivated staff, increasing the attendance of students, handling disciplinary issues to help students become self-managed, communication strategies to build respect for the school, maximizing the use of time, and handling conflict productively. It also contains a chapter entitled, “Friendly Advice” with prudent advice for school leaders in any stage of their career.
The proven strategies in each chapter are based upon bedrock principles—unassailable values that will help principals ground their actions in student-centered, achievement-oriented, relationship-filled leadership.
In short, Inside the Schoolhouse is a compendium of dozens of practical, proven strategies to enable principals to flourish in their highly important roles.
John Gratto worked five years as a K-12 principal and 23 years as a superintendent of schools in school districts ranging from 450 to 4500 students. Since 2012, he has served as an associate professor, teaching graduate classes and supervising teachers who are interning as principals in Virginia Tech’s principal preparation program.
Chapter 1: How would you like to have you as a Principal? Whom do you serve?
Chapter 2: Management precedes leadership. Make the ordinary things ordinary
Chapter 3: Leading Instructional Improvement. Ten, No-Cost, High-Yield Actions to Improve Instruction
Chapter 4: A three-step improvement process for improving virtually any aspect of a school. Overcoming the 7 steps of stagnation with the success questions
Chapter 5: Crafting a school improvement plan. Continuous improvement consists of goal-setting and motivating teams
Chapter 6: Leading Effective Teams. How to hold productive meetings
Chapter 7: Creating Conditions for Success and Retention of Teachers. Strategies to help teachers be successful and choose to stay at your school
Chapter 8: Motivating the Unmotivated. Getting Teachers and Staff Members to Do Their Best
Chapter 9: You can’t teach kids unless they are in School. Ten High-Yield Strategies to Improve Student Attendance
Chapter 10: Preventing and Addressing Disciplinary Issues. Free Up Time to Be an Instructional Leader
Chapter 11: Maximizing the Use of Your Time. Time-savings principles and strategies
Chapter 12: Communicating to build confidence in you and your school. Proactive communication strategies
Chapter 13: Master Communication and You Manage Conflict. Tips for Preventing and Dealing With Conflict
Chapter 14: Friendly Advice. Ideas to Help Principals Personally and Professionally
About the Author
Inside the Schoolhouse: What Great Principals Know and Do is practical, relevant, and real. It is exactly what aspiring and early career leaders need to help them recognize and navigate the realities of successful building-level leadership. Dr. Gratto’s text reads like a go-to guide written by an authentic and well-informed mentor. Through exploration of key leadership behaviors such as daily management systems that allow schools to function effectively, building motivated teams, and effective problem solving, the book rewards readers with a knowledgeable voice and a positive, fresh approach. A sincere and genuine tone resonates throughout the work.
Inside the Schoolhouse encompasses critical issues for school leaders without making this vital work seem overwhelming. Graduate students studying educational leadership clearly would benefit from this text, but it also serves as a valuable resource for school deans and assistant principals seeking their next level of leadership as well as current principals looking to refresh and refocus their skills.
Dr. Gratto's practical advice drawn from decades of experience makes “Inside the Schoolhouse: What Great Principals Know and Do” is an indispensable resource for new school administrators as well as a reminder for those of us who have experience. Unlike other texts that present pages of theory, each chapter poses practical, realistic suggestions for principals that are followed by essential questions, checklists and recommendations that guide decision making.
If you're a looking for a resource for educators in a principal preparation program, look no further. This is the most practical, relevant, realistic, and digestible text I've seen.
Dr. Gratto presents practical information in an intriguing format. One chapter titled "How would you like to have you for a Principal?," challenges all of us to "treat everyone with dignity and respect" in a way that goes beyond the cliché by offering key considerations that we often overlook followed by practical suggestions and recommendations for being mindful and reflective as a school leader.
Helpful for both aspiring principals as well as seasoned administrators, this is an indispensable resource that no school leader should be without.
Inside the Schoolhouse: What Great Principals Know and Do’s proactive approach to educational administration overflows with successful practices and leaves no leadership stone unturned. From discussions regarding productive meetings and retention of teachers to a template for yearly school improvement goals and ideas to maximize instruction, this book is a practical and logical guidebook for principals. Operations, discipline, and communication – it’s all there. Whether you are new to the role of principal or a veteran administrator looking to improve, this book is valuable and highlights all of the management areas that principals handle on a daily basis. I found myself scribbling notes in the margins and making a list of ideas for the upcoming school year. Give this book a read; your teachers, parents, and students will be glad you did!
Inside the Schoolhouse: What Great Principals Know and Do will serve as an essential resource for any new principal, or for any instructional leader looking to get into school administration. The contents of this book provide principals with a road map to success, and will serve as a constant reference for them every step of their journey. As a division leader, it is essential to offer trustworthy support to our school administration, and this book will certainly become a new and powerful support for our leaders.
The wealth of knowledge and experience Dr. Gratto brings to Inside the Schoolhouse: What Great Principals Know and Do will help aspiring, new and experienced principals alike hone their craft, aiding them to become even stronger school leaders than they currently are. This text would be especially useful in principal preparation programs, as we work to develop strong, competent leaders for the schools of the future. School divisions could also benefit from the information in the text when working with newly appointed administrators, guiding them through the best practices for instructional leadership based on both solid research, and practical experiences. I highly recommend this text, and Dr. Gratto without reservation.
Inside the Schoolhouse: What Great Principals Know and Do is an excellent resource for educators considering a school leadership role or for experienced Principals looking for practical guidance. For example, Chapter one notes the value of consistently asking "whom do you serve", when making decisions involving faculty, staff and parents. Knowing that students are the focus makes navigating different constituencies more straightforward and manageable. This book presents practical information and thoughtful questions that inform critical decisions with regard to building a quality school.