School & District Management

What Principals Were Reading This Year: Top 10 Stories

By Stacey Decker — December 22, 2023 2 min read
Blue colorized image of principal with student in school highway.
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The job of a school leader is multi-faceted. Take a look at the stories that resonated most with administrators in 2023 and you’ll get a glimpse of the myriad issues they had to grapple with this year.

The list includes stories on curricular issues—namely how best to teach math and writing—as well as critical leadership advice. Stories on supporting, rewarding, and communicating with teachers made the list.

There’s also a powerful essay from NaTasha Woody-Wideman, a middle school principal in Atlanta, that gives insights into the school leader mindset this year.

“I’m a leader that raggedly attempts to piece together my well-being daily,” wrote Woody-Wideman, who goes on to plea for an “overhaul in how school leaders are prepared, regarded, and supported.”

The ranking below shows the stories on that school leaders engaged with most this year. It’s based on a combination of how many people read the story, how much time they spent reading it, and how often it was shared.

Check out the list:

Kids Need to Know Their Math Facts. What Schools Can Do to Help

Illustration of a child in motion jumping easily across number block formations  and equations.

Teachers can optimize how they introduce math facts and teach strategies while not losing sight of conceptual knowledge.

Read the Story

What School Leaders Can Do to Ease Teacher Stress

Instructor Emily Daniels, left, raises her arms while leading a workshop helping teachers find a balance in their curriculum while coping with stress and burnout in the classroom, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Concord, N.H. School districts around the country are starting to invest in programs aimed at address the mental health of teachers. Faced with a shortage of educators and widespread discontentment with the job, districts are hiring more therapist, holding trainings on self-care and setting up system to better respond to a teacher encountering anxiety and stress.

New studies illuminate some factors that can help school leaders prevent or manage teachers’ stress levels.

Read the Story

The 4 Gifts Principals Should Give Teachers This Year (Hint: Not Another School Mug) (Opinion)

A Large yellow bow across the foreground of a  photo illustration group of teachers line up happily closely together along a wall

Instead of a staff pizza party or a school-branded mug, give them meaningful gifts that nourish their craft.

Read the Story

School Leaders Need Emotional Intelligence. Here’s How They Build It

Suzan Harris, principal of Henderson Middle School, makes her morning rounds greeting students and speaking to teachers at the school in Jackson, Ga., on Oct. 16, 2023.

The stress of the last few years has made emotional intelligence a crucial trait for educational leaders.

Read the Story

4 Ways Reading and Writing Interlock: What the Research Says

v42 19SR Reading Writing 4 Things to Know 1439825899

Here’s a cheat sheet for understanding what research tells us about how the two disciplines connect in literacy instruction.

Read the Story

Why Word Problems Are Such a Struggle for Students—And What Teachers Can Do

Illustration of some children arranging 10 apples in the foreground, while a group of children carry the word "ten" in the background.

Story problems can help young learners grasp math concepts, but teachers must design and scaffold them carefully.

Read the Story

5 Ways to Inspire a Love for Learning in Students

Kim King, an art teacher at Mansfield Elementary School in Mansfield, Conn., works with Ainsley Liebster, a pre-k student in her choice-based art class, on Feb. 13, 2023.

Education researchers and classroom teachers weigh in on what works.

Read the Story

‘I Was Ready to Walk Away’: The Silent Scream of School Leaders (Opinion)

Conceptual image of a leader lost in thought.

How do we juggle the crushing demands of school management and then return home to be healthy parents, caregivers, spouses, and partners?

Read the Story

How Does Writing Fit Into the ‘Science of Reading’?

White and Black elementary girls sitting side by side at their desks and writing in their notebooks while having a class at school. Their classmates are in the  blurred background.

Writing in the early grades is often segmented off from reading. Research suggests teaching them together is both efficient and effective.

Read the Story

10 Buzzwords Teachers Can’t Stand

Buzzwords simple seamless pattern including the words Self-care, Fidelity, Woke, Differentiation, Data-driven, Pivot, Critical race theory, DEI, Mindset

The EdWeek Research Center polled educators from across the country to identify the buzzwords that drive them crazy.

Read the Story


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