The Principal’s Hot Seat: Observing Real-World Dilemmas, 2nd edition provides a window through which aspiring and practicing school leaders observe and evaluate some of the most challenging, authentic, and unpredictable interactions common to the principalship. With video footage from an unscripted role play in which teachers, parents, and stakeholders share a variety of issues and emotions with the principal, the Hot Seat challenges readers to unpack the ways principals attempt to address routine and unpredictable challenges in school leadership. From distraught, pushy, or irate parents to teachers refusing to collaborate, curriculum controversies and cultural responsivity, readers assume the “hot seat” and feel the challenge principals face in navigating conversations and issues in ethical, individual, standards-based ways.
Each chapter begins with stage setting and scenario background information, along with relevant literature, research, and resources, followed by a transcript of the interaction, and questions promoting discussion, reflection, and constructive critique. Each scenario comes alive through several minutes of video footage of the unscripted interaction, allowing examination of body language, tone of voice, and non-verbal communication.
The second edition adds new scenarios related to teacher collaboration, controversial curriculum, current social issues, updated literature and resources, and cases in which the principal must interact with more than one stakeholder at a time. New questions examine principals’ performance related to equity, when to seek assistance from others, and more.
Video footage located at: https://textbooks.rowman.com/principals-hot-seat2e
Nicholas J. Pace, former social worker, teacher, coach, and principal, serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Shavonna L. Holmanis an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL).
Cailen O’Shea is a former mentor, interventionist, teacher, athletic and academic coach, and currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Educational and Organizational Leadership at North Dakota State University.
Hot Seat #1: Stop Picking At Kids! (High School)
Hot Seat #2: Will You Hold Him Accountable? (High School)
Hot Seat #3: She Has It Out For All The Athletes! (High School)
Hot Seat #4: It’s Time For Them To Go (Middle School)
Hot Seat #5: Do You Support My Program? (Middle School)
Hot Seat #6: Stick a Fork in it (Middle School)
Hot Seat #7: I Get Him Here, You Send Him Home (Middle School)
Hot Seat #8: Who Called DHS? (Elementary School)
Hot Seat #9: Look What I Found! (Elementary School)
Hot Seat #10: What Are They Doing In There? (Elementary School)
Hot Seat #11: He Needs To Back Off! (High School)
Hot Seat #12 – The Training Isn’t Taking (Elementary School)
Hot Seat #13: My Son is a Good Boy (Elementary School)
Hot Seat #14: I’m a Good Mom (Elementary School)
Hot Seat #15: The Ruler and The Walkout (High School)
Hot Seat #16: Nobody’s Boy (High School)
Hot Seat #17: Pornography or Literature? (Middle School)
Hot Seat #18: I Think They’re Immoral Topics (Elementary School)
Hot Seat #19: Just a Nod (High School)
National Educational Leadership Proficiency (NELP) Standards
About the Contributors
The principalship is a complex and challenging role, and is key to supporting student and staff success. In The Principal’s Hot Seat, the authors bring a depth of experience, understanding of relevant and timely issues facing today’s leaders, and a synthesis of key research implications into our classroom through short leadership vignettes and video clip scenarios. These relevant cases provide a timely resource for addressing the key issues facing school leaders today. I highly recommend this as a read for aspiring administrators seeking to better understand—and tackle—challenges and opportunities in today’s schools.
Being a principal has never been more complex or more difficult. It is difficult to be fully prepared for all of the challenging scenarios that principals encounter each day. Books such as this one provide an excellent opportunity to engage in both preparation and reflection. It would be valuable for a principal to engage with on an individual basis and also provide for rich conversations in groups. I think both new and experienced principals would find value in it as well as those studying to become building leaders in the future.
Case studies are incredibly important because they situate school leaders' learning in authentic dilemmas and contexts. With 19 different scenarios, The Principal's Hot Seat provides both text and video simulations that address real-world problems of practice for principals such as teacher evaluation, special education, bullying, and professional learning communities. The numerous discussion questions that are provided after each scenario are guaranteed to spark robust conversation regarding educational leaders' decision-making and problem-solving. I can't recommend this resource highly enough for school districts, principal preparation programs, and administrators' practice with courageous conversations.
The Principal’s Hot Seat is an enthralling, absolute must-read for current and aspiring school leaders. It brings the reader up close into the day-to-day, oh so dynamic, interactions that are quite simply engrossing. Readers will be enlightened and transformed through the very pertinent and leadership lessons with relevance with every school context imaginable. The authors do an amazing job in igniting the reader to think clearly and critically about the multitude of “unexpected” situations and issues that arise in education. Anyone involved in the development of school leaders will treasure this book because it provides an avenue to help future leaders become both more observant, and introspective.
Bonus footage of Hot Seat scenarios is located at: https://textbooks.rowman.com/principals-hot-seat2e