Becoming a School Principal

Becoming a School Principal Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn

Sarah E. Fiarman, Foreword by Richard F. Elmore
cloth, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-847-4
Price: $60.00

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paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-846-7
Price: $30.00

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Pub. Date: October 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-848-1

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The principal’s role is increasingly understood as a critical lever for school improvement. Yet the job can be a solitary one, offering few opportunities to reflect with colleagues. What does it take to manage the work of continuous improvement—to push staff members constantly to operate outside their comfort zones? What dilemmas and challenges must principals confront? How can school leaders learn from their mistakes and move forward?


In education we speak a lot about making the implicit explicit. Sarah Fiarman provides a useful road map for creating a community of learners (both students and staff) aimed at positive growth for all. — Thabiti Brown, principal, Codman Academy Charter Public School, Massachusetts

Becoming a School Principal is an essential resource not only for new principals but for principals moving to new schools—especially urban schools with racial mixes and achievement challenges. Sarah Fiarman skillfully reflects on her struggles and missteps and specifies the strategies that she adopts to lead her staff into a learning-focused culture that impacts student results. — Alexander D. Platt, lead author, Skillful Leader Series

Sarah's sharp insights both validate my efforts and challenge me to be better – to continue seeking an elusive balance between the humanity, humility, accountability, and urgency required of school leaders today. — Emily Glasgow, K–8 principal, Portland Public Schools, Oregon

Sarah writes as she speaks—with compassion, insight, and wisdom. The book is a learning experience for any principal, no matter how experienced. — Jon Saphier, founder, Research for Better Teaching

Becoming a School Principal represents a powerful vision of professionalism for school principals. — Elizabeth Zumpe & Heinrich Mintrop, Teachers College Record

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About the Author

Sarah E. Fiarman, a former public school teacher and principal, is a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she teaches instructional leadership for elementary, middle, and high school principals. She is a coauthor of Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning and a contributing author of Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard F. Elmore

Author Interview: EdCast

Author Interview with The Principal Center

E-book available through online booksellers

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