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Passionate Leadership
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Passionate Leadership
Creating a Culture of Success in Every School

First Edition
  • Salome Thomas-EL - Head of School, Thomas Edison Charter School
  • Joseph Jones - Director of Assessment and Accountability at New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District
  • T.J. Vari - Assistant Superintendent, Appoquinimink School District


August 2019 | 216 pages | Corwin

Watch the video!

Reignite your passion for serving children!

Have you fallen into a rut? Has your position become simply a “role” or a “job?” The authors of this book will remind you why education, the most important profession in our society, demands passionate leadership.

Passionate Leadership is an aspiring call to action for teachers and principals around the world to recommit to passionately serving children, building the communities children deserve, and celebrating our successes. Take ownership, push to new heights, and break old boundaries by following the strategies in this book. Discover

  • Practical ideas and suggestions for how to serve as a beacon of hope in the field
  • First-hand experiences from enthusiastic leaders modeling what passionate leadership looks like
  • Charts and graphs that will help you assess your strong points and identify areas you can improve on

Student success and growth begin with leaders who commit to taking courageous action!

 
 
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments and Dedication
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction: Fueling the Passion in Our Schools
 
PART I: INSPIRING TO GROW: A CULTURE OF STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
 
Chapter 1: A Learning Culture, Not a Teaching Culture
Everyone Works to Learn

 
Unintended Consequences

 
An Aligned System of Improvement

 
Growth From the Inside Out

 
Quality Levels of Support

 
Support and Growth Through Feedback

 
Leadership: Choosing Your Direction

 
Charting the Difference

 
Fueling Passion Through Opportunity

 
A Culture of Joy and Fulfillment

 
Creating A Learning Culture by Design: Commitment and Desire

 
 
Chapter 2: Developing the Desire for Change to Grow Faster
Speeding Up the Process

 
Feedback Faster: Creating Systems of Improvement

 
Systematizing PD and Feedback

 
Defining the Outcomes

 
Something for Everyone

 
Technical Tip #1: Everyone Gets a Personal Growth Plan

 
Technical Tip #2: Hire for a Growth Mindset

 
 
PART II: EVERYONE CONTRIBUTES: NO PASSENGERS ALLOWED
 
Chapter 3: The Wonder of a Work Ethic
Everyone Contributes

 
Everyone Means Everyone

 
Break the Cycle of Failure

 
Embrace an I Believe Attitude

 
Leadership: Choosing Your Direction

 
Charting the Difference

 
Empower Student Ownership by Creating New Opportunities

 
A Culture Where Everyone Is Connected and Leadership Matters

 
Creating a Community of Support by Design: Networking and Storytelling

 
 
Chapter 4: Stronger Backs, Not Lighter Loads
A Contribution is Mandatory

 
Making a Mark: The Best Ways to Make an Impact

 
Systematizing Strengths

 
Defining the Roles and Naming the Positions

 
Everybody Makes a Difference

 
Technical Tip #1: Survey for Strengths, Hobbies, and Fun Projects

 
Technical Tip #2: Hiring Contributors

 
 
PART III: POSITIVITY FUELED BY CELEBRATIONS: BEYOND THE BASICS
 
Chapter 5: Committing to a Culture of Celebration
The Power of Connection

 
The Revolving Door

 
You Can’t Lift Anything Up While You’re Pushing It Down

 
There’s More Than One Way to Define Success

 
Leadership: Choosing Your Direction

 
Charting the Difference

 
Know Where You’re Going, How to Get There, and if You’re in the Right Vehicle

 
A Culture of Celebration

 
Creating a Positive Culture by Design: Recognition and Understanding

 
 
Chapter 6: Positive Educators Ignite the System
Celebrate Like You Mean It

 
Two Data Treasure Troves: Create Short-Term Wins Through Goal-Setting

 
Systematizing Celebrations

 
Defining What and Why We Celebrate

 
Diversifying the Who

 
Technical Tip #1: Building the Budget to Celebrate

 
Technical Tip #2: Hiring Positive People

 
 
Conclusion: A Blueprint for Sustaining Passion in Our Schools
 
References
 
Index

Passionate Leadership: Creating a Culture of Success in Every School is a callto-action that will inspire every leader to rekindle, grow, and sustain their passion for education. Jones, Thomas-EL, and Vari share stories, research, and examples that will compel you to act in powerful ways to serve your school community and to overcome obstacles. Schools are meant to be environments that spark abundant passion; fueling a culture that ignites the desire to be a lifelong learner, resulting in growth. We want our schools to foster a learning culture where every individual is wholeheartedly committed to advancing, and this book will support you in your journey. Filled with actionable ideas, Passionate Leadership is one you’ll return to in your pursuit to continuously improve, while simultaneously transforming lives.”

Elisabeth Bostwickn

“As I visit hundreds of schools and districts across the U.S. and Canada every year, I share my passion for kids and respect anyone who has that same passion! This book is a great manual for those who want to reignite their passion for this work!”

Robert Jackson

“If you’re looking to make meaningful and lasting changes in your classroom, school building or district, Passionate Leadership is the right book for you. The authors Jones, Thomas-EL, and Vari address possible pitfalls and how to avoid them. With all the great leadership books available, leaders should choose Passionate Leadership because it will inspire action from reflection to make real change.”

Starr Sackstein
West Hempstead Union Free Schools

“Education is the engine of a great society and effective leadership is the fuel! This book conceptualizes leadership passion in a way that is accessible to anyone with the desire to lead a school to greatness. The framework provided in this book is sound, practical, and relevant to school leaders at
all levels. This book is a must read for those genuinely concerned about improving school effectiveness.”

Anthony Muhammad, PhD Author and educational consultant

“As a district leader, principal, and instructional coach, I have always been passionate about my work with and for educators and students. The work for children and the battles that administrators and educators face at the frontline are so important that we need to continue to ignite our passion for building positive school cultures. In Passionate Leadership, the authors do a great job of inspiring us all to reflect on the impact we make on our students and schools each day. If you want to become a better educator or leader for your students, you must read this book!”

Dr. Rosa Isiah
Norwalk La Mirada USD

“Through research, real examples, and powerful reflection Salome Thomas-EL, Joseph Jones, and T.J. Vari have created an invaluable road map for leaders to better serve the children that are entrusted in our care each day. The authors help us to recognize the common obstacles that get
in the way of high levels of learning and instead build bridges to success for ALL students. Through the pages of Passionate Leadership: Creating a Culture of Success in Every School you will find inspiration, motivation, and a drive to be the best leader that you can be. It is a resource I wish I had as I started my leadership journey and I highly recommend it to all educators.”

Beth Houf
Fulton Middle School

“Education leaders, listen up! Whatever book you’re reading right now, put it down, and pick this book up right away. This book is not just for principals or administrators—it’s for any passionate person who works with and leads students. We are ALL leaders. As the 2019 North Dakota Teacher of the Year and advocate for kids everywhere, I cannot give Passionate Leadership: Creating a Culture of Success in Every School high enough praise. This book will hook you from the very first page, as it includes passionate real-life scenarios from leaders still in schools, immediate takeaways to use in your schools tomorrow, and tools to reshape your thinking. It’s one of those books you will highlight, underline, fill with sticky-notes, and come back to time and time again. Teaching and leading are far from easy, and this book is just the positive pickme- up you need to reignite or reaffirm the passion burning within you.”

Kayla Delzer

“Passion is about vision and the guiding principles that fuel our work with teachers, students, and families. It is also about the energy, excitement, and enthusiasm that we demonstrate in our daily work, which inspires others to join and identify with our vision. Rarely is someone inspired by a leader who lacks passion for their work. School improvement is not easy, but when we bring our passion for change and growth, we can overcome even the most difficult circumstances. If we are going to build the capacity to do the work that needs to be done in every school, we must ignite a coalition to support students and families in new and different ways. Passionate Leadership provides the formula for all of us to create the commitment we need to work together, collectively, for the success that we all know is possible within our current educational systems around the world.”

Amber Teamann
Wylie ISD, Texas

“Student learning is a relationship between teachers and learners. In order to foster and grow such learning environments, strong leadership is required. We can no longer operate in transactional spaces that promote silos. Schools are dynamic ecosystems that require transformational, visionary leadership, that is student centered. Passionate Leadership unpacks the complexity of school leadership in an effort to build communities where students, educators, families, and other stakeholders experience success!”

Dorrell Green
Red Clay Consolidated School District

“My entire career as a teacher, school and district leader has been fueled by my passion for our students and schools. My goal has always been to build positive classroom and school cultures that inspire others to care about our profession. Culture is built and cultivated by gaining trust of and building relationships with stakeholders. While positive culture is a feeling you get when walking into a school or classroom, it is intentionally built and grown. In Passionate Leadership, Thomas-EL, Jones, and Vari have written the manual on how we can commit to serving our students and communities in a powerful way. After you read this book, you will feel a spark igniting you to be even more passionate about our kids and their success.”

Jenny Nauman
Cape Henlopen School District

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ISBN: 9781544345697
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