Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.
Opinion Blog

Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org. Read more from this blog.

School & District Management Opinion

Q&A Collections: Administrator Leadership

By Larry Ferlazzo — August 14, 2021 7 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

During the summer, I am sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past 10 years. You can see all those collections from the first nine years here.

Here are the ones I’ve published so far:

The 11 Most Popular Classroom Q&A Posts of the Year

Race & Racism in Schools

School Closures & the Coronavirus Crisis

Classroom-Management Advice

Best Ways to Begin the School Year

Best Ways to End the School Year

Student Motivation & Social-Emotional Learning

Implementing the Common Core

Challenging Normative Gender Culture in Education

Teaching Social Studies

Cooperative & Collaborative Learning

Using Tech With Students

Student Voices

Parent Engagement in Schools

Teaching English-Language Learners

Reading Instruction

Writing Instruction

Education Policy Issues

Assessment

Differentiating Instruction

Math Instruction

Science Instruction

Advice for New Teachers

Author Interviews

Entering the Teaching Profession

The Inclusive Classroom

Learning & the Brain

Today’s theme is on administrator leadership. You can see the list of posts following this excerpt from one of them:

administratorscanmakepowell

* A Superintendent’s Thoughts on Reopening Schools in the Fall

With the coronavirus as a backdrop, a district superintendent weighs the pros and cons of different strategies for reopening schools in the fall.

* A Superintendent Explains Why Having to Decide About Fall Reopening Is the ‘Absolute Worst’

District schools Superintendent PJ Caposey shares the challenges and questions he is grappling with as he plans for a school year during the pandemic.

* Ways to Handle Student Absences in Remote Teaching & When We’re Back in School

Four educators share advice on dealing with student absences. These include trying to find out the real reasons behind the lack of attendance and building positive teacher/student relationships.

* Responding to Absenteeism During the Coronavirus Pandemic & Beyond

Four educators share strategies for responding to absenteeism—whether from remote learning or from the physical school. They include a reduced emphasis on negative consequences and a renewed focus on relationship-building.

* Administrators Shouldn’t Try ‘Too Many Initiatives’

A five-part series on mistakes made by school administrators is wrapped up today with commentaries from Lynell Powell, Stuart Ablon, Alisha Pollastri, Diane Mora, and many comments from readers.

* Administrators Can’t Lead From ‘the Confines of Their Office’

Julie Hasson, Ryan Huels, David Bosso, Cindy Terebush, and Kelly Wickham Hurst contribute their thoughts on administrators and the mistakes they make.

* ‘Principals Shouldn’t Be Lonely’

Jen Schwanke, Jenny Grant Rankin, Harvey Alvy, Michael Haggen, James Erekson, and Michael D. Toth write about their experiences working as, or with, school administrators.

* The Biggest Mistake by Administrators ‘Is Putting Tasks Before People’

PJ Caposey, Sarah Said, Amy Fast, Andrew Miller, Anthony Kim, and Edward Cosentino share their observations on mistakes administrators make and how to avoid them.

* Common Administrator Mistakes & What to Do Instead

Commentaries from Anne Vilen, Marcy Webb, Jason Kotch, Roxanna Elden, Baruti Kafele, and Manuel Rustin “kick off” this five-part series on administrators’ mistakes.

* Central Offices Shouldn’t Be ‘Directive Arms’

Scott Ratchford, Michael Lubelfeld, Jody Spiro, Jonas Chartock, and Victoria L. Bernhardt comment on the best roles central offices should play in providing school support.

* ‘Authoritarian-Style Mandates’ From Central Offices Don’t Work

Adeyemi Stembridge, Douglas Reeves, Amber Teamann, PJ Caposey, Rachael George, Patrick Darfler-Sweeney, and Sherry Lanza share their ideas on how school district central offices can best help schools.

* Looking for ‘Solutions’ in the Face of Staff Conflict

Greg Giglio, Jane Kise, David Bateman, Jenifer Cline, Tom Hoerr, and Jennifer Abrams contribute their suggestions for dealing with staff conflict.

* Don’t ‘Ignore’ Staff Conflict in Schools

Sanée Bell, Ed.D., Todd Franklin, Jenny Edwards, Julie P. Combs, Stacey Edmonson, Sandy Harris, and Amber Teamann discuss how to handle workplace conflict at schools.

* Principals Should Realize ‘They Are Still Learners Themselves’

Jen Schwanke, William Sterrett, Amy Dujon, Raymond Smith, Pete Hall, Sandi Novak, Bonnie Houck, Ed. D., and Daniel Rechtschaffen share their ideas on how principals should do their jobs.

* Principals Should Be ‘Connecting With Kids’

Mike Janatovich, Ann Mausbach, Kim Morrison, Otis Kriegel, Jonathan Eckert, David Geurin, and Robert Cunard contribute their thoughts on how principals should spend their time.

* Being a Principal Means ‘Spending Time Each Day Building Relationships’

PJ Caposey, Stephanie Brant, Megan Allen, Sanée Bell, and Rachael George share their ideas about how principals should spend their time.

* An ‘Important Challenge for a Principal Is Prioritizing’

Michael Haggen, Donna Wilson, Marcus Conyers, Tom Hoerr, David Bateman, Jenifer Cline, and Jennifer Abrams provide commentaries on the challenges facing principals.

* Challenges Principals Face & How to Respond to Them

Sanée Bell, Jen Schwanke, Mike Janatovich, Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Cynthia L. Uline, and Lynne G. Perez share their ideas on challenges facing principals and how best to respond to them.

* Leaders Must ‘Walk the Walk’ and Create a Culture of Innovation

PJ Caposey, Amber Teamann, Matt Renwick, Paul Barnwell, and Mitch Barnes share their ideas on the roles of administrators in making curriculum innovations.

* Support Curriculum Innovations by ‘Failing Forward’

Sanée Bell, Mark Estrada, Sally J. Zepeda, Adeyemi Stembridge, Kenneth Baum, David Krulwich, and Daniel Venables contribute their suggestions about how administrators can support curriculum innovations.

* Principals ‘Need to Step Back & Forward Through Time’

Myron Dueck, PJ Caposey, Pete Hall, and Christina Post contribute their commentaries on the topic of qualities potential principals should develop and maintain.

* Principals ‘Must Be Reflective Daily About the Work’

Catherine Beck, Mark Estrada, Bill Sterrett, and Ben Fenton share their suggestions about the qualities aspiring principals should cultivate within themselves.

* Ways Principals Can Assist Social Studies Teachers

In this post, Troy Hicks, Kristina J. Doubet, David Sherrin, Kirke Olson, and Barbara Blackburn share their thoughts on how principals can support teachers, specifically in the social sciences. I’ve also included comments from many readers.

* Effective Principals Must ‘Work Collaboratively’

In this post, Shawn Blankenship, Pete Hall, Jennifer Hindman, Steven Anderson, and Aubrie Rojee share their suggestions on how principals can mentor teachers.

* Principals Must Support Teachers in ‘Quest of Continuous Improvement’

This piece features commentaries from Mark Estrada, Diana Laufenberg, Bryan Harris, Ben Spielberg, Sarah Cooper, and William & Pérsida Himmele on how principals can best support teachers.

* School Leaders Must Focus on ‘Authentic Learning,’ Not ‘Test Prep’

Justin Baeder and Kelly Young (who I consider my mentor in education) contribute their answers here. I include comments from readers, too.

* Administrators Must Make ‘Alliances With Students, Teachers, & Parents’

This post shares guest responses from three educators—Anne Reeves, Justin Tarte, and PJ Caposey.

* Education Innovation Is Like a ‘Stradivarius Violin’

This column shares responses from Maurice J. Elias and Elise Foster, plus comments from readers.

* ‘Educators Are Suffering From Innovation Fatigue’

This post includes commentaries by Scott McLeod, Sally Zepeda, and Tony Frontier.

* Advice for Aspiring Principals: ‘Shadow, Connect, & Dream

Scott McLeod, Kelly Young, John Gabriel, and Paul Farmer all offer their advice here.

* So, You Want to Be a Principal?

Justin Baeder, Allan R. Bonilla, and Josh Stumpenhorst share their reflections.

* Advice for Educators Wanting to Be Principals—Part One

Lyn Hilt, Joe Mazza, and Cheryl James-Ward contribute to this post.

* We Need ‘Fewer John Waynes & More John Deweys

This is Part One in a series responding to the question: “How can teachers best relate to superintendents—and vice versa?”

This post provides responses from a teacher’s perspective, with contributions from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association; and Barnett Berry of the Center for Teaching Quality.

* Teachers & Superintendents Must ‘Work to Understand Each Other

This is Part Two, which provides responses from a superintendent’s perspective, with contributions from three superintendents (along with comments from readers): Joshua Starr, Pamela Moran, and John Kuhn.

The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management This State Created a Retention System for Principals. Here’s Why It Worked
Missouri has deepened the support it offers to new principals through a partly federally funded, two-year mentoring program.
6 min read
Photos of principals walking in school hallway.
E+ / Getty
School & District Management Opinion 5 Reasons Why Education Leaders Avoid Controversial Topics
Understanding why we shy away from challenging conversations can be a path toward empathy and an opportunity for learning.
4 min read
Let's brainstorm!
Created on Canva
School & District Management Most Superintendents Try to Avoid Politics. This Group Encourages Them to Lean In
Superintendents increasingly face politically tricky situations. A new collaborative hopes to support them.
3 min read
Illustration of person riding a unicycle on a tightrope over shark infested waters.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
School & District Management Superintendent of the Year Focuses on How to ‘Do More’ in Minnesota
The 2024 winner of the national honor didn't want to spend pandemic relief funds "in the way that we’ve always spent our money."
2 min read
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021, where new federal school funding will help to hire staff, buy books and be used for building renovations.
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021. Gothard was named the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year on Thursday by AASA, The School Superintendents' Association.
Andy Clayton-King/AP