The School Principal’s
Building the How-To Path to Excellence
The eternal, unvoiced plea of every school principal is “HELP!”
But who helps the building leaders with everyday answers, encouragement, practical tips, how-to lists, and almost any resource needed so they can continue to lead with joy and passion—and change their students' world?
Finally, help for principals has arrived! It's Jim Burgett’s The School Principal’s Toolbook: Building the How-to Path to Excellence. This book provides a practical and fun set of tools to understand, confront, and resolve almost every dilemma afoot or ahead! It's written for the rookie, veteran, or for those just needing a shot in the arm of potent leadership rejuvenation! And, like all of Jim's books, it's based on good, solid, practical information.
The book isn't confined to principals either. Burgett's words offer help to everyone responsible for school building leadership, including assistant or associate principals, deans, special education directors, head teachers, and building leaders.
Rights and Responsibilities ♦ Setting Priorities ♦ The School Family ♦
Building the Best Staff Possible ♦ Leading the Leaders ♦ Change, Vision, and Motion ♦
Communications ♦ Zoom Learning ♦ Team Leadership ♦ Expert Advice ♦
Care for Yourself Too! ♦ Tools / Ideas for the Principal
Further information: (800) 563-1454
Education Communication Unlimited
There may not be enough superlatives in the English language to describe Jim Burgett’s The School Principal’s Toolbook. This book does not belong on every administrator’s bookshelf; it belongs open on his or her desk. Every chapter is filled with informative, inspiring and entertaining advice and wisdom delivered in Jim’s conversational, engaging style.
… While the Toolbook has no footnotes, it is well-researched and evidence based as Jim incorporates all that he has learned—and is still learning—from his 40+ years in education; it also includes anecdotes, case studies, and ample examples of successes and failures from colleagues willing to share their experiences.
Above all, Jim is a coach. Whether (you are) a first-year assistant principal or a grizzled veteran superintendent, you will be a better leader after reading this book. Guaranteed. Whether you are looking for a fun, quick read or a profoundly deep read, you have found it, and whatever time you invest with the Toolbox it will pay enormous dividends. You will be (better) equipped to make an enduring difference in your school, district, community, and beyond.
Dr. Glen “Max” McGee, Superintendent
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Rights and Responsibilities
1. The Right to Take Your Time
2. The Responsibility to Think Before You Make Decisions
3. The Right to Make a Mistake
4. The Responsibility to Discipline
5. The Right to Delegate
6. The Right to Have a Life
7. The Right to Seek Help
8. The Responsibility of Knowing the Expectations of You!
9. The Responsibility to be a Role Model
10. The Responsibility to be Unforgettable
Chapter 2. Setting Priorities
Personal Priorities and the Rocks
Handling the Baggage
Administrative Priorities—Be Visible
Administrative Priorities—Do Right
Institutional Priorities—Be Passionate
Institutional Priorities—Be a Salesperson
Institutional Priorities: Know the Mandatory Skills
Institutional Priority: Build Character
Institutional Priority: Implement the “A” Theory
Chapter 3. The School Family
Who are the Educators?
Know the Kids in the Family
Know the Adults
Build Family Pride
Chapter 4. Building the Best Staff Possible
Evaluate Toward Improvement
Four Steps Toward Improvement
The Law is Changing
Chapter 5. Leading the Leaders
Leaders are Innovators
Leadership vs. Management
Classic Leadership Styles
Leadership Styles for Principals
Developing Your Style of Leadership
Leadership and Criticism
Responding to a Complaint
Comments about Leadership
Chapter 6. Change, Vision, and Motion
Assessing the Need
Watch the Pendulum
Do it. Make it Work.
Chapter 7. Communications
Know Your Audience
You Care, They Forgive
Know all Sides
Communication is Visual
Communication is Speaking
Communication is Attitude, Energy, and Honesty
Communicating with Zoom
Communication vs. Information
20 Slides/20 Seconds
Faculty Meetings, Newsletters, Website
Chapter 8. Zoom Learning: Understanding and Embracing How Kids Learn
What Does This Mean to Principals?
Google vs. Apple
Knowing the History
So How Do We Learn to Zoom
Chapter 9. Team Leadership
What is a Team?
The Big Team
The Team Player
Professional Learning Communities
Chapter 10. Expert Advice
Chapter 11. Take Care of Yourself Too!
You Are in Control
Ten Basics You Already Know
This is NEAT
Social Wellness: The Art of Good Relationships
Chapter 12. Tools and Thoughts for the Principal
“Practical is often neglected when discussing the ’how to’s’ of being a school principal. This is a phenomenal resource that every new principal or school leader should have at their disposal. If I only had this ‘Toolbook’ when I became a principal many problems could have been avoided.”
L. Earl Franks, CAE, Executive Director of the
“The School Principal’s Toolbook is well done and extremely practical for administrators. At so many points I had to stop and think about situations I encountered as an assistant principal or as a principal as well as issues that I discussed with administrators during my 16 years at MASSP. I wish I‘d had it when I began my career and at different times. The lists of ‘how to’ skills, the practical examples of real world situations, and the valuable insight into school leadership makes this a must read for all aspiring or new administrators. It would also serve as a great refresher for administrators regardless of the number of years of experience.”
Jim King, Executive Director,
Secondary School Principals, 1998-2014
“The School Principal’s Toolbook by Jim Burgett is a refreshing combination of tried and true expertise and forward thinking for principals in today’s complex and rapidly changing school environments. I found myself wishing this valuable resource had been available to me when I began as a middle school principal: forging connections with the school family, setting priorities and learning strategies for dealing with difficult conversations and situations would have been easier with this seasoned and straightforward guide. Reading Jim’s book felt like having a candid conversation with a trusted mentor.”
Karen Bronson, Director of Professional Development for the
School Administrators Association of