This story begins in 7th grade.
At 12 years old, I became deeply involved in the world of school-sanctioned tackle football, a right of passage in most American schools.
During this first year on the gridiron, I earned the coveted position of "A Team" quarterback. While this role resulted in increased popularity and prestige, it also carried significant responsibility. Being the starting quarterback meant I had to master the playbook better than anyone else on the team.
I still vividly recall the moment when Coach Welch handed me a thick binder filled with plays. "Whoa – an actual football playbook!" I thought to myself. "I’ve only seen these on Nintendo!"
My first experience with a football playbook.
However, upon opening the playbook, reality set in. The sheer volume of information was overwhelming. "Dude! There's no way I'll remember all of this!" I recall thinking.
But through experience and repetition, I began to familiarize myself with every play. Beyond memorization, I began to grasp the underlying principles of each play, understanding how the entire team must collaborate to effectively execute these concepts.
Although my inaugural season was cut short when I broke my arm after being crushed by the massive middle linebacker of our crosstown rival, I began to learn the importance of having a playbook that housed the fundamental philosophies that lead a team to victory.
All smiles after game 1. Not so much after breaking my arm in game 2.
In many ways, my experience as a young quarterback mirrors the challenges faced by educational leaders. Just as I was expected to excel in every play within our football playbook, educational leaders must become proficient in their own playbook to navigate the intricate world of education. They shoulder the responsibility of making critical decisions and ensuring that their team is on the path to success.
As you dive into the book, you'll find that these leadership principles aren't just theoretical concepts. Instead, they come to life through real-life anecdotes, making the concepts easy to grasp and apply. Furthermore, this book is firmly anchored in sound research, drawing wisdom from educational leaders and academic scholars.
What sets The Ed Leadership Playbook apart from other books is perspective. Let's be honest; most educational authors are far removed from the realities unfolding within our schools. They often write from a distant ivory tower, seemingly detached from the daily challenges faced by educators and leaders on the frontlines.
Alternately, this book is built upon the real-life experiences of a current educational leader who has more than two decades of service in public education. As someone who operates deep within the trenches of an urban school district, you will hear a fresh and honest perspective about what really works in today’s schools.
Before proceeding any further, you are encouraged to pick up a pen or pencil. Much like a football playbook, feel free to underline, circle, highlight, and jot down notes so that you can quickly revisit key lessons. After all, the purpose of nonfiction books is not for them to remain untouched, but rather for you to extract the utmost value from each page.
Whether you're a seasoned professional or a wide-eyed rookie, let's huddle up and dive into these game-changing strategies for success in the field of educational leadership.