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Caring in Crisis

Caring in Crisis
Stories to Inspire and Guide School Leaders

May 2021 | 120 pages | Corwin
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. 

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?


Free resources

The Tsunami

The Tsunami

This story of a Tsunami of difficult circumstances: "How did we make it through? In the end, we managed to come together around a vision rooted in a commitment to social justice and to being a caring and supportive community for all our students, teachers, and families."

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What Cares for the Caring School Leader?

What Cares for the Caring School Leader?

"To serve others well . . . all who give care need to regularly replen-ish the water they pour. Without replenishment, they will run dry and be of little use to anyone."

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Preface: Caring in Crisis

Preface: Caring in Crisis

"In the many years that we have worked in educational leadership and school improvement, we have come to believe that caring lies at the heart of schooling and promoting the learning and development of children."

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ISBN: 9781071846988

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