What Great Principals Do Differently

Eighteen Things That Matter Most

by Todd Whitaker

Number of pages: 160

Publisher: Routledge

BBB Library: Education

ISBN: 9781596672000

About the Author

Whitaker is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University. He is the author of "50 Ways to Improve Student Behavior" and "Teaching Matters."


Editorial Review

This book frames the landscape of school from the perspective of great principals. What do they see when they view their schools and the people in them? Where do they focus their attention? How do they spend their time and energy? What guides their decisions? How can we gain the same advantages? There is no one answer; if there were, surely we’d all have it by now. Education is extremely complex, and so is school leadership. But we can work toward understanding what the best principals do. We can gain insight into how effective we are as leaders. Most of all, we can continue to refine our skills.

Book Reviews

"In his book What Great Principals Do Differently, Todd Whitaker works to provide guidance to school leaders. Based on his research as a Professor of Educational Leadership at Indiana State University and his experiences as a principal at the middle and high school level, Whitaker defines 15 essential behaviors of excellent administrators. 'Clarifying what the best leaders do," he writes, "and then practicing it ourselves can move us into their ranks.'" - Teaching Quality

"Whitaker’s tools are helpful for assessing and growing as an educator and as a leader of educators. I’d recommend this book to anyone…even if you aren’t a principal…this book is a great resource!" - Megan Strange

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

Rule#1: Great principals never forget that it is people, not programs, who determine the quality of a school.

Rule#2: Great principals have clarity about who they are, what they do, and how others perceive them

Rule#3: Great principals take responsibility for their own performance and for all aspects of their school.

Rule#4: Great principals create a positive atmosphere in their schools. They treat every person with respect. In particular, they understand the power of praise.

Rule#5: Great principals work hard to keep their relationships in good repair—to avoid personal hurt and to repair any possible damage.

Rule#6: Great principals consistently filter out the negatives that didn’t matter and share their positive attitude.

Rule#7: Great principals deliberately apply a range of strategies to improve teacher performance.

Rule#8: Great principals take every opportunity to hire and retain the very best teachers.

Rule#9: Great principals understand the dynamics of change.

Rule#10: Great principals keep standardized testing in perspective and focus on the real issue of student learning.