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Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, school counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.


Updated Edition of Bestseller

Beginning the Principalship

A Practical Guide for New School Leaders
Fourth Edition
By: John C. Daresh, Linda Alexander
This hands-on guide helps principals navigate everyday leadership challenges. Practical Questions, Points to Ponder, and numerous examples help foster reflection and collaboration to build a shared vision for campus improvement.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483380117
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2015
  • Page Count: 224
  • Publication date: October 28, 2015

Price: $40.95

Price: $40.95
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The Ultimate Resource to cultivate self-awareness and excellence in Today’s Principals

A commitment to continuous improvement paves the road to true leadership. New and veteran principals who understand this will translate thoughts into sound decisions and inspire a vision that can nurture others. They will drive progress and invite innovation. These are today’s newest superheroes, leading by example and cultivating greatness in others.
But every superhero needs a mentor. In this updated bestseller, Beginning the Principalship, Daresh and Alexander offer intensive encouragement and help in a practical hands-on guide to help principals navigate the challenges of school leadership. The strategies and cases included here will inspire all school leaders and nurture their passion for the immense responsibility they have undertaken.

Practical Questions, Points to Ponder, and numerous examples in every chapter help foster reflection and collaboration to build a shared vision for campus improvement. Plus, discover how to:

  • Drive student learning as the primary mission of the school
  • Deal with others’ expectations of you as principal
  • Master the technical skills needed to run an efficient school
  • Create and clarify a personal professional growth plan
  • Work effectively with the greater community and parents
  • Celebrate instructional and non-instructional staff in a positive school culture

Don’t just survive your years as principal. Read this guide and thrive!

“Novice and seasoned principals, and new and seasoned administrators would really benefit from reading this book for skill building and improvement. Each chapter provides a wealth of information and has a space to record one’s own plan for self-improvement.”
Delsia Easley, Principal
Gadsden City Schools, Gadsden, AL

“I am disappointed that I didn’t own this book when I started as a principal. This book would have answered some of my pressing questions and guided the work I did my first few years. I will recommend this to any friend or colleague starting a new principalship.”
Kelly VanLaeken, Principal
Ruben A. Cirillo High School, Walworth, NY

Key features

Each chapter contains practical questions designed to allow you to adapt ideas and strategies to your specific campus.

In addition, Points to Ponder sections concluding the chapters emphasize reflective questions that also serve as excellent discussion points for collegially building a shared mission, vision and campus improvement plan for your school.

Space for notes allows you to design it into a personalized reference for your leadership platform and your campuses specific goals -- from your own ethical platform to parent/community relations to understanding and implementing Accountability requirements and goals.

Rich cases and examples challenge and inform school leaders to develop insights and answers.



John C. Daresh photo

John C. Daresh

John C. Daresh is professor of educational leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso. Over the years, he has held faculty or administrative appointments at the University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University, the University of Northern Colorado, and Illinois State University. He has also worked as a consultant on high school reform and administrator professional development for universities, state departments of education, national and state professional associations, and individual schools and districts across the United States, and also in Barbados, Canada, France, Holland, Israel, Turkey, South Africa, and Taiwan. By far, the bulk of Daresh’s international service has been in the United Kingdom where he served an advisor and trainer for the School Management Task Force that developed and promoted support programs for beginning headteachers, the National College for School Leadership, the Welsh Office of Education, the North West Network for Diploma Development in Cheshire, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Lincoln, the University of Hull, CREATE Consultancies, and literally dozens of Local Education Authorities and individual schools across England and Wales.

Daresh recently completed three years of service as the lead consultant on principal mentoring programs for the Chicago Public Schools as that megadistrict was faced with the challenge of bringing in mostly inexperienced principals to serve in nearly of the school system’s elementary and high schools.

Linda Alexander photo

Linda Alexander

Linda Alexander is a teacher and department chair for social studies at the Mission Valley Early College High School for the Socorro Independent Schools. Prior to that, she spent her teaching career as a teacher and testing coordinator at Coronado High School in El Paso. Her academic career included a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The Ohio State University and Masters degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Plan for the Book

A Word of Caution

Suggested Readings

A Framework for Understanding the Beginning Principal

Case Study: I’m Not a Politician

Case Study: To Go or Not to Go

Case Study: Figuring Out the Papers

Balance is the Key

Suggestions for Improvement and Professional Development

Suggested Readings and References

PART I: Self Awareness

Affirming Your Ethical Stance

Returning to Elijah’s Dilemma

Knowing the Difference between Right and Wrong

Foundations of Ethical Judgments and Behaviors


Reviewing Personal Values

Case: Because It’s Important to Me

Case: But What About the Children?

What Do You Do with the Platform?

Your Personal Platform

Being a “Boss"

Others’ Perceptions

So What Do You Do?

Strategies to Reduce Isolation

Easing into the Principalship as an Assistant

Your Personal Plan

Suggested Readings

A Personal Leadership Checklist

Critical Leadership Skills

Your Personal Plan


PART II: Socialization

Seeing Your Invisible Heroes

Office Workers

Custodial Staff

Food Service Workers

Building a Personal Plan

Suggested Readings and References

We’re All on the Same Side: Home-School-Community Relations

Traditional Functions of Home-School Relations

Fostering Effective Two-Way Communication as Relational Trust

Utilizing Community Resources

Your Personal Plan


Learning Your School’s Culture

Don’t Just Look…See

Listen… Don’t Just Hear

Celebrate the Past

Develop an Action Plan

Others’ Expectations

Critical Skills for Beginning Principals: A Survey

So What Does this Mean?

Your Personal Plan

PART III: Technical and Managerial Skills

Understanding the Environment of Accountability

No Child Left Behind

What Happened with NCLB and Where do we go from Here?

Price: $40.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.