Stories of Caring School Leadership
- Mark A. Smylie - University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
- Joseph F. Murphy - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
- Karen Seashore Louis - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
The practice of caring is essential to effective schooling. Published as a companion to Caring School Leadership, this comprehensive resource of powerful, real-life stories will make clear the connection between caring leadership and student academic success and well-being. Stories of Caring School Leadership includes a guide for using the stories in self-directed reflection and learning, for educators practicing in schools and professional preparation programs. Readers will find stories that
• will help aspiring and practicing leaders reflect upon and further develop caring as a quality of their leadership
• affirm the importance of caring as a fundamental quality of school leadership
• provide examples of caring school leadership in action that can be analyzed, reflected upon, and used to develop practice
Stories have the power to inform and inspire. The stories in this book are evidence of what is possible when caring leadership is practiced in our schools.
Captivating, moving, and sincere; a beautiful collection of stories of caring leadership practice. Full of dilemmas around boundaries and privacy, ambiguities and ethics, inequities and responsibility, this book illuminates, instructs, and inspires. It will be an eye-opener for anyone skeptical of the hard and necessary work that is caring and that schools and educators do on a daily basis.
What an interesting time we are in where a book that feeds the spirit presents a perspective that is both bold and lacking in today’s discourse! Our society’s future lies in our ability to guide the youngest among us towards social and emotional health. We will have left an indelible mark on society if we are able to cultivate in our future leaders with the capacity to be thoughtful, intelligent, kind, and caring. It will take a journey to get there from where we are today. This book should be required reading for the trip.
The voices of these inspiring educators and their stories of hope bring to life how “caring lies at the heart of schooling” (p. xii). We are reminded that the little things are the big things. The stories illuminate the power of caring, loving, holding, listening, and being present—physically and psychologically—to and for each other. The storytellers create a tapestry made up of the textures of care in different forms—helping us to move closer together in our relationships and connectedness. Get ready to open your heart and be filled with goosebumps.
Anyone who has ever worked in a school understands how important caring leadership is for human flourishing. With provocative questions for immediate application, these three highly respected scholars have framed stories that prove that caring leadership is happening in schools right now. The stories told by school leaders themselves are instructive and inspiring. The student artwork is a perfect complement. This book is more than a must-read for educators - it is a pure joy.
These stories truly capture what is at the heart and soul of good school leadership: authentic and unwavering care. These accounts are inspiring and motivating for anyone beginning, proceeding along, or reflecting on their own journey as a school leader. I’m forever grateful for the gift these authors have given us all. This will be a frequently called upon resource to share with the current and aspiring leaders I support.
The stories in this book remind us that caring is an indispensable quality in teaching and leadership. Stories of Caring School Leadership is an essential resource for those charged with supporting students and adults for today's world—and tomorrow's.
This profound and practical book animates the irreplaceable presence of caring necessary for the learning and development of children and youth. Constructed from practitioners’ stories with multiple avenues for access, the moving narratives give examples of why high school parents will flock to conferences, how middle school students were helped to address concerns about a teacher, an elementary child on the autism spectrum was given timely support, an equity committee was formed, and how an organizational context for caring was created.
Stories of Caring School Leadership brings compassionate, caring leadership to life through poignant stories and inspiring artistic expressions. The National Association of Secondary School Principals is committed to supporting gtreat leaders in every school who are committed to the success of each student. The sharing of student artwork lets the reader peer into the hearts of our most vulnerable and most precious assets—our students. This book “shows and tells” what school leadership should look like. Congratulations to Mark, Joe, and Karen for bringing authenticity to the vision of school leadership that NASSP finds crucial.
At times both touching and heartbreaking, this book is a rich source for learning that helps us envision equity -- truly caring about each individual student and valuing their unique set of experiences, assets, and needs. I connected with so many of these stories, and I applaud the authors for embracing the power of stories to bridge the gap between theory and practice. To lead for equity, we must do the internal work to see and recover from our own biases and assumptions about students, teachers, and families. These stories are a powerful tool for connecting though our shared humanity and for co-creating the culturally responsive and just school experiences that will free our young people to flourish.
This collection of stories presents an authentic picture of what it means to be a school leader today. As I read the book I cried, laughed, nodded, and said aloud, “Oh, yeah, that happens, sometimes more than we’ll ever know.” The storytellers paint a picture of the challenges students face each day that extend beyond their academic success and how school leaders are instrumental in shaping and nurturing schools in which students’ very existence and well-being depend on caring school administrators. This book illustrates the many ways leaders cultivate and model caring within their community to extend collective responsibility for student, staff, and family success. These stories show how vital it is for today’s school leaders to act with compassion and urgency so that all students, staff members, and community members have advocates, are acknowledged, and feel worthy, valued, and cared for.