"Leaders looking to reach higher or who feel like they are drowning amidst conflicting responsibilities often feel like they have no time to grab a ladder or a lifeline, even though they know those tools would help them achieve their goals. This book is both ladder and lifeline, and I would encourage all leaders to take the time to reach for it."
“If education is the key to making positive change in the world, then schools must be real communities that educate in every dimension of the human condition for the betterment of self and the world. How can such places exist and succeed without enlightened leaders? This question has never been more critical than today, when the world exacts such demands of both the institutions we call schools and those who seek to lead them.
"In school environments where thick tension and palpable stress levels are all too common thanks to the pressures of high-stakes accountability, administrators struggle daily to navigate challenging terrain. This practical and hope-filled book by Kirsten Olson and Valerie Brown guides school leaders on a path toward transforming their practice in meaningful, mindful ways--and, in so doing, transforming their schools. The message here is simple yet powerful: To promote equitable and lasting change in America’s classrooms, we have to begin within."
“Not only does the typical school leader ricochet from one issue to the next, many administrators also carry a harness of skepticism toward the untried. In The Mindful School Leader: Practices To Transform Your Life and School, Brown and Olson offer practical, useful steps for both the full converts and the reluctant mindfulness neophytes whether they are based in a national or an international school environment. Even for those only willing or able to spare minutes a day, simple and me
"In the test, test, test world of education everyone needs a pause to rejuvenate, reenergize and raise creativity. Brown and Olson have written a book that will inspire school leaders and leaders in every walk of life to seek mindfulness for the sake of their life and those they lead. The beauty of this book is the inclusion of mindful practices that help leaders build the muscle necessary to embody mindful leadership. We can’t think our way to better leadership, we must practice!"
"The Mindful School Leader is a compelling invitation to school leaders everywhere to invest themselves in the practice of mindfulness. The many demands vying for the time and energy of educational leaders can often cause disconnects between the individual and the inner self, with family and with colleagues. This book brings attention to these issues and offers a roadmap to taking personal control of a busy life. It offers strategies and practices for educators to regain control of their time and relationships."
"Well-researched, lively, scientific, and heart-full, this book will not only help, but will truly inspire school leaders feeling besieged by overwhelming numbers of priorities to respond mindfully, being the best they can be for themselves and others. This book offers leaders the chance to re-find themselves by learning and practicing mindfulness, in the midst of the always-plenty demands on their time and their lives. Being a compelling leader of any school requires mindfulness, and this book makes the case for that in genuine, hopeful, pragmatic ways.
"Courageous, visionary, caring leadership is crucial to building and sustaining positive learning environments in schools. Such leaders recognize that to promote optimal social-emotional and academic learning, collaboration is essential, and ongoing. Given the unrelenting, complex demands of our education system, The Mindful School Leader is an indispensable resource for all who exercise leadership in schools.
"In June of 2013, as I was leaving Baltimore City Public Schools, I wrote a letter to all students in which I paraphrased Tolstoy’s beautiful parable, 'The Three Questions:' Now was the most important time, because it was the only time when we have power. The person with you was the most important person, because you didn’t know if you would ever have the chance to be true to that person. And the most important thing was to do good in the moment, because that was our fundamental purpose in life. This immensely wonderful book, full of practical lessons and next steps, as well as of stor
"Leaders and changemakers actively transforming the educational system to reflect the values of justice and equity frequently suffer from frustration, a sense of overwhelm, and burnout. These leaders need practical ideas and stories that nurture the self-compassion and mindfulness that can help them, their colleagues, and their students work in community to meet the challenges of education today. In this book, Kirsten Olson and Valerie Brown have provided just that."
“It’s hard to imagine school leaders surviving (or thriving!) in today’s often stressful teaching and learning environment without a process of regular self-reflection and other mindfulness practices. The Mindful School Leader offers an important set of practices and exercises that should be added to your personal/professional toolbox immediately, used regularly and shared with colleagues and friends.”
"Fireflies, cursing, conflict, and clarity - The Mindful School Leader stitches honest stories from everyday school leaders with practical guides and the most up to date research on mindfulness. I saw much of my own struggles and learning in its pages, and I suspect many educational leader will find resonance and helpful guidance for the ongoing challenges of growing our own souls and skills."
"Finally, after serving for fourteen years as a school leader and reading everything I could find, this is the book that I’ve been searching for. By deftly weaving together mindfulness theory, poignant personal portraits, and imminently practical advice regarding specific methods, the authors provide the antidote to the frenetic and oppressive toxins of contemporary education; they remind us that we should stop 'Racing to the Top' and take the time instead to plumb the depths of our own hearts and souls.
"This inspiring book makes a strong case for school leaders to include mindfulness in their personal and professional lives. Based on solid research and enhanced by compelling examples of real people, it shows how school leaders can feel more grounded, connected, clear and focused. Mindfulness makes leaders more effective with relatively little effort, but be advised that the benefits can be contagious, transforming your school from the inside out."
"The art of being a mindful leader requires just one thing, and that is cultivating the art of living mindfully. Truly being there for ourselves is the best way to bring positive change to our family, our colleagues, and our students - the future of our planet. I am convinced that happy teachers will change the world. This book offers simple practices for nourishing mindful leaders."
“How can K-12 schools possibly thrive today without wholehearted leadership? With The Mindful School Leader, Brown and Olson offer a sourcebook for bringing the age-old wisdom of mindfulness to current school leaders with compelling stories of people at work, current research, and simple, specific practices to apply. This book delivers an essential resource to the courageous school leader.”
“This is a book with deep wisdom on every page. While it draws its examples and targets its practical recommendations to educators, there is so much here of benefit to people in all manner of pursuits, pedagogical or otherwise. For me, this profoundly necessary book serves as a guide to being human in a world that seems determined to sap the humanity from us. And imagine the impact on our future that a more present and aware population of educators will make. Pay attention to this book, and it will teach you how to truly pay attention.”
"An important support for school leaders, this book is comprehensive, and well thought out. The personal stories within are compelling and encouraging. The Mindful School Leader is a tremendous asset to leaders worldwide to foster greater understanding and compassion within themselves and within schools."
"When school leaders are stressed, their tensions radiate to their staff. When teachers are stressed, their students reap the turbulent ripples. When students’ brains are stressed, optimal learning is unlikely. This book offers inspirational and practical advice to school leaders for calming their waters and spawning ripples of clarity and serenity throughout the school pond."
"Well-researched and beautifully documented, The Mindful School Leader is a wonderful addition to the growing literature on mindfulness practices applied to the many sectors of modern societies. This book is unique in its many vignettes relating the personal stories of education leaders from around the world who talk about their experience with mindfulness. The authors also provide simple meditations that can be used even during busy workdays.