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Book details
  • SubGenre:Administration / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:298
  • eBook ISBN:9780996158114

Principal: A Personal History

A Memoir of Life Inside Schools

by Caroline Tompkins

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Caroline Tompkins' intimate new memoir lets you perch on her shoulder through a day and a career in two Arizona elementary schools. Hear her talk with kids and teachers--and sometimes say the wrong thing. Listen to calls from parents who like her and ones who don't. Follow teachers who inspire and one who fumbles. Meet bosses who lead and others who get in the way. Find out how no two schools are alike and how experience is not always enough.
Principal: A Personal History reveals the author's improbable fifteen-year journey leading schools in her hometown, a place where the American Dream meets the social politics of the borderlands. Jump right into the swirl of a single day in the spring of the author’s final year on the job. Watch and listen as children and adults, conversations and crises, along with missteps and small victories, all compete for the principal’s attention. The story winds backward in time to reveal the rough start the author experienced at her first school, and the surprising challenges of moving on to her second, where the job got harder instead of easier. Cutting across the competing versions of school reform, this principal’s personal story exposes the inner workings of a job crucial to our nation, but a job in turmoil just below its hearty and earnest surface. While Principal is intended for the general reader, its details make it suitable as a case-study supplement in a graduate-level course for prospective principals.
About the author
Born and raised in Arizona, Caroline Tompkins attended Tucson’s public schools and went on to the University of Arizona and then to Harvard University, where she earned her doctorate in education. Retired from a long career in public education, she lives in Tucson. She still has hope for our nation’s public schools.