Skip to main content
Location: United States |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

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


Caring in Crisis - Book Cover Look Inside

Caring in Crisis

Stories to Inspire and Guide School Leaders

By: Joseph F. Murphy, Mark A. Smylie

Dig into 40 stories from caring school leaders who lead their school communities through crises and learn to prepare for, respond to, and recover from your own.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071846988
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2021
  • Page Count: 120
  • Publication date: May 03, 2021

Price: $32.95

Price: $32.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Exam Copy

By selecting the request for exam copy above, you will be redirected to our parent site, Sage Publishing, to process your inspection copy request.  Thank you.



Learn, reflect, and grow from 40 true stories of caring school leadership during times of crisis

Each crisis brings its own issues and unique traumas, and when they happen, most leaders handle the moment by leaning into triage and logistics. This book suggests focusing on morespecifically, on the people they serve. Are you up to the task? 
These 40 real stories, from a wide range of schools and settings during many types of crises, show how caring school leadership adopted caring people-first strategies. This book will help you and your teams be inspired to prepare for, perhaps prevent, respond to, and recover from your own school crises. Within these pages, you will find:

  • An introduction to what crisis and caring school leadership means
  •  Helpful lists to guide caring leadership practices
  • A review of current crisis management literature
  • Questions, reflection, and prompts to engage with story learnings

Prepare now to be the concerned, caring, and constant leader your school will need when crises come as well as making your leadership and school more caring when those same crises subside. 


Joseph  F. Murphy photo

Joseph F. Murphy

Joseph F. Murphy is the Frank W. Mayborn Chair and associate dean at Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Illinois and The Ohio State University, where he was the William Ray Flesher Professor of Education. In the public schools, he has served as an administrator at the school, district, and state levels, including an appointment as the executive assistant to the chief deputy superintendent of public instruction in California. His most recent appointment was as the founding president of the Ohio Principals Leadership Academy. At the university level, he has served as department chair and associate dean.

He is past vice president of the American Educational Research Association and was the founding chair of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC). He is co-editor of the AERA Handbook on Educational Administration (1999) and editor of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) yearbook, The Educational Leadership Challenge (2002).

His work is in the area of school improvement, with special emphasis on leadership and policy. He has authored or co-authored 18 books in this area and edited another 12. His most recent authored volumes include Understanding and Assessing the Charter School Movement (2002), Leadership for Literacy: Research-Based Practice, PreK-3 (2003), Connecting Teacher Leadership and School Improvement (2005), Preparing School Leaders: Defining a Research and Action Agenda (2006), and Turning Around Failing Schools: Lessons From the Organizational Sciences.\

Mark A. Smylie photo

Mark A. Smylie

Mark A. Smylie is professor of education emeritus in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and visiting professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. Before his work in higher education, Smylie was a high school social studies teacher. Smylie served as secretary-treasurer of the National Society for the Study of Education and as a director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. His work has appeared in the American Education Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy, Journal of School Leadership, and Review of Research in EducationSmylie has worked with schools, school districts, and school administrator and teacher professional associations through joint projects, advising, and school leader development activities. He has served on advisory boards of numerous regional and national professional and policy organizations concerned with education generally and leadership in particular. Smylie’s research focuses on school organization, leadership, and change.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



About the Authors

Introduction: Crises and Caring School Leadership

     Crisis Comes

     The Meaning of Crisis

     Crisis Leadership and the Through Line of Caring

     Caring School Leadership in Times of Crisis

Guide for Engaging the Stories

     Overview of Practices

     Questions That Promote Understanding

     Questions That Prompt Application

The Stories

     1. Through the Eyes of Children

     2. Speak Life

     3. Giving Ourselves Permission to Be Human

     4. Building a Family

     5. Reflections on Healing Staff With Compassion

     6. Caring for Kids by Taking Care of Teachers

     7. Laura

     8. Guarding Against Sexual Misconduct

     9. One Sows, Another Reaps

     10. A Million Times More

     11. Commitment to Community Health

     12. Da Bears!

     13. My Zoom Isn’t Working!

     14. Imagine the Possibilities

     15. On Day 2, 9/11

     16. Responding to the Crises

     17. A Deadly Threat

     18. Start Simple

     19. Keeping Connected With the Kids

     20. Prioritizing Our Students

     21. A District Office Caring for Teachers

     22. We Need to Talk About Sarah

     23. Coping With Loss

     24. Bring Your Dog to Work Days

     25. “With Every Difficulty, There Is Relief”

     26. Tone Deafness

     27. Centering on Community

     28. Biting

     29. The Magnolia

     30. No One Saw It Coming

     31. No Hugs, No Bugs

     32. Two Storms in One Week

     33. And Then There Was Mold

     34. I Am Here for You

     35. Winning and Losing

     36. Summer Meals

     37. Sharing the Peace

     38. The Tsunami

     39. Leading Through the Storm

     40. The Work of My Life


     A Culture of Caring

     Who Cares for the Caring School Leader?