7 Essential Books for School Leaders to Read

essential books for school leaders

The winter holidays are coming later this month and there’s no better time for school administrators to boost their performance with some helpful reading. This list presents the essential books for school leaders to improve at their jobs and create better schools. These books offer unique knowledge gained from real-world experience and scientific theory. Whether you are looking for practical knowledge, general tips, specific insights or abstract ideas, there is something for you on this list.

The Tech-Savvy Administrator: How do I use technology to be a better school leader?

Technology offers many practical advantages for school leaders. This book provides the ‘how and why’ knowledge so administrators can leverage technology to streamline their work and achieve superior results. The book includes tips on how to leverage social media to connect with educational stakeholders, recommended online tools to manage activities and collaborate seamlessly with staff members, and organizational aids to work smarter and faster.

If You Don’t Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students!: Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers

Don’t let the silly title fool you – this is a pioneering book that offers wisdom and practical advice for school administrators. It includes tips that cover a range of administrator responsibilities such as communication, student education, and fostering positive school atmosphere. Even better, it presents such dry material in an eminently readable, funny format with neatly organized chapters that you can consult on demand as a reference.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Range is a recent book release that has captivated people across a broad scope of professions and life stages. It presents general insights into the growth and development of those who excel in their given field. Using data, anecdotes and theory, the book makes the case that generalists achieve better results than specialists who concentrate on one singular interest. It is a fascinating read for educators who may be surprised to discover the value of failure, quitting, and experimental dabbling in the journey of educational development.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

An essential read for anyone who wants to understand how humans, think, learn and make decisions. It may seem abstract at first but school administrators especially can benefit from an enhanced understanding of human cognition. Armed with this knowledge, they can help drive better practices to educate students such as adapting information to suit common heuristics. Furthermore, gaining an awareness of biases and errors in thinking can be leveraged into better individual performance and leadership.

School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results

This book is another practical guide for school administrators, but with a greater emphasis on leadership responsibilities and strategies.  The authors rigorously analyzed an extensive collection of research studies to compile the activities, characteristics and strategies that effective school leaders use to boost student achievement. If you are looking for a practical and scientific resource to improve as a school leader then this book will aid your passion for helping students in a positive school environment.

Leverage Leadership 2.0: A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools

As the title implies, this is another practical resource for school administrators to improve their work. The material insights of this book are based on expert observations and thorough anecdotal research. The stories and advice provided from real-world school leaders are highly relatable and easy-to-read, providing broad perspectives and concrete information. These cases should help to identify what a successful school looks like and provide steps on how to achieve that. On top of that, the book includes a DVD with 30 real-life videos for a visual demonstration of effective leadership in schools.

Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them

If you have specific difficulties with managing challenging behaviour from students then this is a useful resource. Disciplining students is among the most unsettling and difficult responsibilities that a school administrator has to address. This book helps to delve deeper into the root causes of disruptive classroom behaviour so you can resolve those issues and prevent conflict altogether. It includes tools to identify antecedents to problem behaviour and guidance on how to interact with students, parents and teachers to create a sustainable plan that ensures success for everyone involved.

Thanks for Reading

We hope that you find these essential books compelling and helpful for leading better schools. Let us know in the comments if you have read any of these books and enjoyed them. Leave a comment if there is a book that you found especially useful that is not listed here and others can follow that advice.

Happy reading and enjoy the holidays (soon)!