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The Instructional Leadership Toolbox

The Instructional Leadership Toolbox
A Handbook for Improving Practice

Second Edition
Edited by:
  • Sandra Lee Gupton - Department of Educational Leadership, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, President and Chairperson, Pravah, New Delhi

November 2009 | 216 pages | Corwin

Leadership Solutions

"I applaud Gupton's focus on the learner. This is the most important tenet for a school administrator's decision making. Each chapter describes a portion of school leadership that the successful principal needs to master."
—Sharon Madsen Redfern, Principal
Highland Park Elementary School, Lewistown, MT

Use these powerful leadership tools to build teamwork and improve instruction!

Every school leader needs a toolbox of strategies for improving teaching and learning schoolwide. In this second edition of The Instructional Leadership Toolbox, Sandra Lee Gupton examines the role of principals in leading instruction and provides practical ways for leaders to reflect on and improve their practice.

Emphasizing a democratic approach that involves stakeholders in instructional leadership, this resource offers a compendium of helpful skills and strategies drawn from current research and theory in school administration. The book provides:

  • Updated standards from NAESP and ISLLC
  • New research that shows how a principal's actions can affect student achievement
  • Questions for reflective practice
  • Quotes and examples of instructional leadership strategies by practicing principals and veteran educators
  • Additional resources such as Web sites, workbooks, books, and articles

This valuable guide provides a blueprint that demonstrates how school leaders can focus on student learning, while using specific tools to empower others and build teams for a common goal: increased student achievement.

About the Author
1. A School Leader’s Compass: In Who’s Interest?
Introspection: Clarifying Core Beliefs and Values  
Personal Skills Assessment  
Professional Skills Assessment  
Sampling of Published Assessment Instruments  
Pointers for the Principal  
2. The Nuts and Bolts of School Leadership
Leadership for Today’s Schools: What the Literature Says  
Accountability and the Principalship: Making the Grade  
Standards for Today’s School Leaders: Measuring Up!  
Defining Instructional Leadership  
Pointers for the Principal  
3. Blueprints for Success
Goals and Objectives  
Pointers for the Principal  
4. A School’s Organizational Superglue
Assessing School Climate and Culture  
Leadership Essential to Positive School Cultures  
From Classrooms and Cubby Holes to School Community  
Pointers for the Principal  
5. Organizational Conduits: Communication Strategies for Effective Instructional Leadership
Seeking First to Understand  
Facilitating Collaboration Within the School  
Connecting With Parents and the Community as Partners  
Pointers for the Principal  
6. A Learning Organization’s Whetstones: Best Leadership Practices for Facilitating Professional Growth and Development
Reflective Practice  
Supportive Supervision  
Cooperative Evaluation  
Collaborative Professional Development  
Pointers for the Principal  
7. The Lens of Instructional Leadership
Focusing on Learners and Learning  
Creating a Climate for Learning  
Communicating High Expectations for Learning  
Looking for Indicators of Effective Teaching and Learning  
Pointers for the Principal  
8. Tape Measures, Plumb Lines, and Common Sense: What Counts in Accountability
Assuming the Accountability Reins  
Making Good Sense and Best Use of Standards  
Focusing on Classrooms for Accountability and Students’ Achievement  
Pointers for the Principal  
9. The Instructional Leader’s Power Tools: Cutting-Edge Leadership Strategies
The Leader as Architect of Change  
Putting Data to Work  
Tapping Into the Power of Technology  
Pointers for the Principal  
10. The Ultimate Leadership Tool: Personal Fitness
Investing in Personal Fitness  
Common Pitfalls of the Principalship  
In Conclusion  
Recommended Toolbox Resources

"Provides a solid base to understand the many hats that must be worn to provide for all facets of a school setting. I applaud Gupton’s focus on the learner. This is the most important tenet for a school administrator’s decision making. Each chapter describes a portion of school leadership that the successful principal needs to master."

Sharon Madsen Redfern, Principal
Highland Park Elementary School, Lewistown, MT

"This is a text for curriculum leaders who prize learning in themselves and others. Sandra Gupton's love of learning and ability to frame issues are evident in each chapter with the instructional toolbox metaphor graphically holding the reader's attention each step of the way."

Dale Brubaker, Professor of Education
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"I really really liked the book. In fact, I am going to suggest this book to be read as a bookshare for the 52 principals in our district."

Barbara Gerard, Secretary
Alaska Charter School Association, Academy Charter School, Palmer, AK

"Highly Recommended. This is a book that administrators should read and keep on their bookshelf."

Kathy Zachel
OAESA Principal Navigator magazine, Winter 2011

format was clear and point-to-point, included the basics

Dr Lillian Breckenridge
Religion Dept, Oral Roberts University
October 19, 2013
Key features
  • Reader-friendly text, using "tools" as metaphors to represent key instructional leadership skills
  • Chapter-opening lists that provide a quick reference to what follows
  • "Pointers for the Principal" bulleted at the end of each chapter
  • Question sets for reflective practice
  • "Tool Extenders" or suggested resources for further reading listed at the end of each chapter
  • Quotes and examples of instructional leadership strategies given by practicing principals and veteran educators, especially in the "Walking the Talk" sections added at the end of chapters
  • Additional resources that include selected websites, workbooks, books, and articles relevant to the chapters

Sample Materials & Chapters



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ISBN: 9781412975407
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