Gardening in the Minefield:
A Survival Guide for School Administrators

For anyone in school leadership—or anyone who hopes to be—this book is a must read. Seasoned educator Laurel Schmidt tells it like it is about a principal's daily life. From the nitty gritty of hiring, evaluating, and firing staff, to navigating the intricacies of school politics, and managing crises in the glare of the media, she provides a long overdue tool to take control of your life as a school administrator.

Schmidt combines insight and humor with use-this-now practicality as she details creative strategies for surviving the daily grind, while honing your vision of a school that works. Follow her lead and learn how to:

  > plant the seeds for your vision and maintain your course

  > weed out the worst, hire the best

  > nurture productive relationships with parents, board members, and staff

  > cultivate effective strategies for improving instruction

  > root out efforts to undermine your leadership

  > stamp out stress with simple techniques that work at work

  > master the communication glut-email, voicemail, and the in-box.

Gardening in the Minefield offers a refreshingly candid map through the landscape of leadership. As Schmidt confirms, it is a garden out there—if you know where to step.

Table of Contents:

I. The Minefield
1. Surveying the Terrain
2. The Vision Thing
3. Principal Dearest
4. Who's Renting Space in Your Skull?
II. The Toolshed
5. Hire the Best
6. The Fezziwig Principle
7. Do Nothing for Staff That They Can Do for Themselves
8. Where the Rubber Meets the Road
9. Pruning in the Minefield
10. The In-Box Never Sleeps
11. Message in a Bottle
III. The Arsenal
12. Knowledge Is Power
13. A Mentor a Day
14. Living Well Is the Best Revenge
15. Warpaint
16. Moving On

Read a Sample Chapter 

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