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Anyone who says teachers have the summers off has probably never met a teacher. With the two and a half months of summer break, many educators usually spend this time cultivating their profession through graduate schoolwork, lesson plan and curriculum design preps, professional development seminars, and, of course professional development and educational leadership reading.

For the summer time, these months provide educators with the much-needed free time to recharge their batteries and practice, inform, and enlighten their spirit for the education sector. To help with this, I have highlighted four incredible educational leadership books that you should read over the summer. These books will provide you with the necessary education pedagogies and educational leadership tactics that you can utilize and implement into your classroom for next year. Remember, education is a constant and ever-evolving entity. In order to provide your scholars with the best set of education, you as a professional need to invest and learn in acquiring the best practices and approaches that can shape your classes for the better.

Transformational Leadership by Gary Vurnum

In Gary Vurnum’s book, Transformational Leadership, Gary uncovers ninety-two tips in developing your leadership strengths in an easily digestible format. This comprehensive read talks about different leadership traits that a person can possess and develop each and everyday and how to apply them throughout a multitude of scenarios. By learning and recognizing these different traits, you will be able to apply specific tactics, especially with your students, in a more transformative and effective way. This, in turn, will allow you to increase motivation and morale while also enhancing your own personal awareness to any mistakes and flaws preventing you from success.

Educational Leadership: A Bridge to Improved Practice by William G. Cunningham and Paula A. Corderio

Educational Leadership describes how successful and effective schools and administrators operate in an increasingly challenging and fast-pace academic environment. In this text, Cunningham and Corderio discuss various leadership theories and best practices that are implemented in the present conditions and operations within American schools. For education, teachers are constantly demanded to know and perfect the concept of leadership and management on a daily basis. But for many novice, and even veteran teachers, this skill can be hard to develop, especially without the knowledge or practice to do so. For Cunningham and Corderio, they provide an overall crash course on leadership theory, school management, community relations, and instructional and curriculum leadership.  

Cultivating Leadership in Schools: Connecting People, Purpose, & Practice by Gordon A. Donaldson, Jr.

Gordon Donaldson provides his readers with excellent tips and practical models for teachers, principals, and school teams to utilize within their schools. He establishes the idea of culture and shared-leadership amongst teachers and school administrators and gives various insights into how school-leaders can better internalize and execute at their jobs more effectively with strong and purposeful management. But what makes this book a truly impactful read are the tangible model-based tactics that can be implemented within the realities of a school and its overall school culture. This book is, of course, realistic about the ups-and-downs and frustrations with the job, but still provides helpful tips in how to overcome these obstacles in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Teaching As Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher’s Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap by Steven Farr

Steven Farr and Teach For America share what the organization has learned about effective teachers over the last twenty years in their work to close the academic achievement gap in under-privileged and under-resourced areas in the United States. The book includes a framework that explains the traits of some of the most effective and successful Teach For America corps members and breaks down leadership into six different principles:

  1. Set Ambitious Goals for Student Achievement
  2. Invest Students and Families in Working Hard to Achieve the Goals
  3. Purposeful planning to Achieve the Vision of Student Success
  4. Execute Plans with Judgment and Adjustments
  5. Continuously Increase Effectiveness to Accelerate Student Learning
  6. Work Relentlessly to Navigate Challenges

Much of these principles highlight the daunting battle many Teach For America Corps members undergo every day. With these principles, young educators are able to implement the best approaches in giving their students an excellent set of tools to complement their education.