The Assistant Principal 50: Critical Questions for Meaningful Leadership and Professional Growth

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ASCD, May 11, 2020 - Education - 128 pages
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You're an Assistant Principal. Whatever your status—the sole AP in your school, one of two or more APs in your school, a career AP, an AP aspiring to the principalship—yours is one of the most misunderstood and underutilized positions in education. Positioned between teachers and the principal, you are an instructional leader. However, you are not the leader of the school. Therefore, you must carefully navigate your way to ensure that you thrive in your role without "stepping on the toes" of your principal.

In The Assistant Principal 50, award-winning, four-time principal Baruti Kafele presents reflective questions that encompass the breadth and depth of the assistant principalship—from finding your leadership "lane" to thriving and being an asset to your principal. Kafele infuses the book (which also includes guidance and insights for principals and aspiring assistant principals) from beginning to end with personal anecdotes and accounts of both failures and successes from his years as an assistant principal. He arms you with tools and insights that will drive you to view the assistant principalship as critical to the climate and culture of your school as well as to student achievement.

You, assistant principal, play a critical role in your school's success. The questions that Kafele asks you to consider will aid you as you hone your leadership skills toward becoming an effective leader in your school.


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Chapter 2 Im an Instructional Leader Too
Chapter 3 The PrincipalAssistant Principal Relationship
Chapter 4 Im More Than a Disciplinarian
Chapter 5 Theres Much to Know as an Assistant Principal
Chapter 6 Engagement Comes Before Achievement
Chapter 7 Procedures Equal Progress
Chapter 8 Planning Organization and Time Management Matter Too
Leading During a Global Pandemic
About the Author
Related ASCD Resources
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About the author (2020)

Baruti K. Kafele, a highly regarded urban educator in New Jersey for more than 20 years, has distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, he was named East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, and he was a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different New Jersey urban schools, including Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, and which was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of America's best high schools.

Kafele is one of the most sought-after school leadership experts in North America. He is the author of 11 books, including The Aspiring Principal 50, and his five ASCD best sellers—Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It? The Teacher 50, The Principal 50, Closing the Attitude Gap, and Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life. He is the recipient of more than 150 educational, professional, and community awards, including the prestigious Milken National Educator Award and the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award. He was inducted into the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the City of Dickinson, Texas, proclaimed February 8, 1998 Baruti Kafele Day. Kafele can be reached via his website,

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