Title: I’m in the Principal’s Seat, Now What? The Story of a Turnaround Principal, by Allan R. Bonilla. Corwin (Sage), 2013.
Description: This title offers a wealth of concrete strategies for school leaders, based on successful practices from the business world. These strategies include being visible, delegating tasks, collaborating and more. Each chapter offers examples, stories and hands-on activities. Based on the premise that a school turnaround does not have to involve closing a school or firing faculty, the book offers solutions to common challenges such as teacher retention, professional learning communities and teacher observation.
The proven model of school success is described as “People first, then programs and initiatives, and professional development.” Accordingly, at the end of each chapter, Bonilla provides an “afterthoughts and reflections” section that guides readers through the process of putting this model into practice.
Bottom Line: Bonilla believes that “team building and relationships form the foundation for what will bring about student achievement and teacher effectiveness.” The author spends the rest of the book explaining how to achieve that vision. Avoiding jargon and abstract theoretical frameworks, he simply focuses on what works. Even better, Bonilla’s strategies involve little, if any, cost.
About the Author: A former teacher of English and Spanish, Dr. Allan R. Bonilla served as assistant principal at several Florida middle schools and as a “turnaround” principal at the troubled Palm Springs Middle School in the Miami-Dade district. Selected as Principal of the Year, he has since served as a mentor, trainer and leadership coach. Bonilla is also a frequent speaker at educational leadership conferences.
How to Purchase: The book retails for $28.95 and is available on the Sage Web site.