Back to Educational Leadership April 2021 The Empowered Principal
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The Empowered Principal
Volume 78, Number 7
What training, system supports, and strategies help principals feel empowered, capable of leading schoolwide improvement, and equipped to create thriving learning environments? The April 2021 issue of Educational Leadership explores ways to strengthen school leadership pipelines, build capacity, and support principals at all career stages.
14 The Most Powerful Tool in a Principal’s Arsenal
A school’s vision statement shouldn’t be pro forma. It should say what you’re passionate about and what you commit to—for all students.
21 What Great Principals Really Do
Jason A. Grissom, Anna J. Egalite, and Constance A. Lindsay
A new research study sheds light on the impact of effective principals—and what makes them different.
26 Constructive Conflict
Robert Feirsen and Seth Weitzman
Dealing with conflict is part of a school leader’s job. How well you handle it can make a big difference.
32 Why Every Principal Should Write a Racial Autobiography
Mark Anthony Gooden
Examining your own racial history is an empowering exercise in antiracist leadership.
38 Rethinking the “Superhero” Principal Narrative
Soraya Sablo Sutton and Nate Gong
School leaders’ resilience is best built as a collective effort.
44 Growing Principals into Strategic Talent Leaders
Amy Holcombe, Shannon Brown Peeples, and Tina Johnson
Why aren’t we guiding principals to be stewards of a crucial resource—teacher talent?
50 The Best-Laid Plans Can Succeed
Coby V. Meyers and Bryan A. VanGronigen
School leaders often neglect a key mechanism for empowerment: The school-improvement plan.
56 Making Classroom Observations Matter
Lynda Tredway, Matt Militello, and Ken Simon
When school leaders use evidence- based tools for observations, they have greater potential to improve classroom practice.
63 Follow the Instructional Leader
Three critical actions that principals and their supervisors can take to strengthen instructional leadership.
68 Empowered Leaders Soar with Feedback
Learning to process feedback wisely is essential to school improvement—and personal growth.
7 Reader’s Guide/A Time for Principal Empowerment
74 Research Matters/What Kind of Leader Are You?
Bryan Goodwin and Kent Davis
The times call for leaders who can navigate change and inspire others.
76 Show & Tell: A Video Column/Retellings as Formative Assessment
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Having students “retell” a text is a powerful practice for virtual settings.
78 Leading Together/Power to the People
Jill Harrison Berg and Monakatellia Ford Walker
True empowerment comes from helping others tap the power in themselves.
80 Confronting Inequity/Getting the Endings Right
Matthew R. Kay
A psychological theory on the power of endings offers lessons for educators, especially this year.
82 ASCD Policy Priorities/What to Watch for as Biden’s Term Begins
As the Biden administration sets policies and funding for education, lessons from the Obama era loom large.
6 Readers React
81 Index to Advertisers
84 Tell Us About/Readers debunk the great myths about school principals.
86 Whole Child Spotlight/"Trickle-Down" Leadership
87 ASCD Community in Action
88 EL Takeaways