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Breaking Out of Isolation: Becoming a Connected School Leader (Corwin Connected Educators Series) by [Spike C. Cook, Jessica J. Johnson, Theresa C. Stager]

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Breaking Out of Isolation: Becoming a Connected School Leader (Corwin Connected Educators Series) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

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As a building administrator, this is an absolute must read. This book should be a go-to-guide for leaders for years to come. Spike, Jessica and Theresa understand the complexity of leadership and share several tips, strategies and thoughts to help leaders gain confidence and increase success. Simply put it is time to grab a paddle (or this book) and get off of the island.--Ben Gilpin, Principal

As of now there are about 20 books in the Corwin Connected Educator Series, a seemingly ever-growing set of titles masterminded by Peter DeWitt and Corwin Press. Each book is short enough to be read in one sitting, which makes the collection ideal for book studies and professional development, both during the summer and throughout the school year. Also, each paperback is authored by one or two educators who speak (and blog, tweet, etc.) with a credible voice in the world of connected education. Some of the topics include:
  • Flipped leadership
  • Tools for connecting educators, parents, and communities
  • Blogging for educators
  • Best practices for establishing a makerspace
  • Tools to connect and empower teachers

Finally, all of the authors are active on social media, and they regularly present at local conferences, which helps in bringing to life the contents of these books.

--Ross Cooper, Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12

Cook, Johnson, and Stager hit the nail on the head as they identify isolation as a major obstacle to the success of school leaders. Principals do not thrive by doing it on their own, and the authors present a readable guide on how to get and stay connected by building a professional learning network. Helpful vignettes from other educators and the authors' own experiences add nuance to the book's treatment of both the opportunities and challenges of connectedness. Particularly insightful is the discussion of how becoming connected outside of one's school and district can paradoxically contribute to short-term feelings of isolation. For readers who know they need to reach out to others to become better leaders, but are not quite sure how to do so, this useful book provides encouragement and a useful road map. Reflection and action sections at the end of each chapter also provide practical steps any reader can take towards becoming a connected school leader.--Jeff Carpenter, Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Teaching Fellows Program

Linchpin educational leaders Spike, Jessica, and Theresa epitomize growth mindsets as they share how they use social media every day to build linkages across their own school communities and within global professional learning networks. In Breaking Out of Isolation this writing team brings alive stories of connected educators who amplify their own mindful learning, power up resource sharing across networks, and support each other. If you want to learn how social media can make a difference in your own work as an educator or are looking to influence others, Breaking Out of Isolation will be a valuable resource.--Pam Moran, Superintendent

School leadership is a challenge that is made more difficult through isolation, but it doesn't have to be that way. In this book, the authors lead you to reflect on what isolates you and share practical ways to help get connected to other school leaders. This is a must read for the connected and soon to be connected leaders!--Todd Whitaker, Professor of Department of Educational Leadership

To connect, or not to connect, that is the question - or is it? Spike, Jessica, and Theresa have provided school leaders at all levels of connectivity with a toolbox of resources and professionals to begin their digital journey. As a novice in the social media world, I am empowered to begin expanding my Professional Learning Network (PLN) by utilizing and following the steps and experts they have suggested.
--Brian Partin, Principal

Being a school leader can lead to incredible, life changing moments for kids, but it is also filled with a healthy dose of loneliness and isolation. Spike Cook, Jessica Johnson, and Theresa Stager do an excellent job in this book unearthing this reality and providing real, practical solutions for today′s school leader. They lay out an excellent roadmap on how today′s leaders can build connections across communities so that their teachers and students can excel.

--Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Innovation for the Affton School District

Finally, a book that names the classic problem of isolation for educational leaders: once you become the head of your own school or organization, it′s as if other schools cease to exist! Filled with real-time examples and reflection questions from three dynamic, active principals who′ve crafted their own connected and growing practices, this book will be a resource and a comforting guide for anyone seeking to establish a personal or professional learning network, and lays a Twitter-connected path to the next steps of leadership development.

--Kirsten Olson, Ed.D, PCC --This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Dr. Spike C. Cook is currently serving in a leadership position as the Principal of RM Bacon Elementary for the Millville Public School District located in the City of Millville, New Jersey. He joined RM Bacon staff in April of 2011. Since that time, he has been influential in increasing technology use with students and teachers, reorganized the Basic Skills Program, and worked on improving the climate and culture of the building.

He began his educational career in 1999 and has worked in higher education, middle school and elementary school. Dr. Cook has served as a counselor, teacher, adjunct professor, Executive Director, vice principal, guidance director and principal. His blog "Insights Into Learning" received a nomination for the Best Administrator Blog by Edublogs.

Dr. Cook has presented at numerous state and local conferences. In addition, he has presented at the 2012 ASCD Texas in Dallas, 2013 ASCD National Conference in Chicago, and the 2013 National Association for Elementary School Principals in Baltimore. He was the keynote speaker at the Millville Public Schools Opening Day for over 1,200 staff. Dr. Cook was one of the featured "connected educators" in the 2014 Corwin Press book, "Digital Leadership" by Eric Sheninger.

Jessica Johnson is an Elementary School Principal and District Assessment Coordinator for Dodgeland School District in Juneau, Wisconsin. She is the 2014 Wisconsin Elementary School Principal of the Year. She has previously taught in Minnesota, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Bemidji State University. She also taught and worked as an Instructional Coach and Assistant Principal in Arizona, earning her Master degree at Arizona State University. As an continuing learner, she is passionate about literacy principal productivity, social media, technology integration, and the concept of leading with a "coaching hat" as an administrator. She has a self-published children′s novel, Adventures in Blockworld: A Novel for the Young Minecraft Fans. She co-moderates the #educoach chat on Twitter each Wednesday night at 9pm CST and also co-hosts the PrincipalPLN Podcast. You can follow Jessica on Twitter as@PrincipalJ, follow her blog at or contact her at

Theresa Stager earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI in 2003 and a Master in Educational Administration (Assessment and Evaluation) at University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2007. She taught for 8 years as a public school music educator teaching general music, band and high school choir. She worked for 2 years as an Implementation Director at an Human Resources company until 2013. Theresa has presented at many music, administration and technology conferences in her career. Her music education blog was nominated and chosen as one of the Top 75 eCollegeFinder Music and Arts Enthusiasts Award Winners. Theresa was featured in Dr. Spike Cook′s first book Connected Leadership: It′s Just a Click Away. Theresa is a Co-Host of PrincipalPLN podcast which can be found at and on iTunes. She is currently in her second year as Lead Learner and Building Principal at St. Mary Catholic School in Rockwood, MI. She has implemented a 1:1 iPad program and is excited to be able to merge her love of technology, learning and education with this position. She lives in Huron Township, MI with husband Brian and two children Audrey and Jacob. Theresa believes her biggest educational accomplishment is yet to come. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07C66K8VL
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Corwin; 1st edition (Aug. 5 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1013 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 78 pages

About the author

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Jessica Johnson s an elementary school principal and district assessment coordinator in Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s 2014 National Distinguished Principal. She has previously taught in Minnesota, where she earned her BA at Bemidji State University. She taught and worked as an instructional coach and assistant principal in Arizona, earning her MA at Arizona State University. Jessica is also an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department

at Viterbo University.

She is a nationally known speaker on topics she is passionate about, such as principal productivity, social media, technology and integration, resilience, work-life balance, and the concept of leading with a “Coach Approach” as an administrator. She co-moderates the #CoachApproach chat on Twitter and also cohosts the PrincipalPLN podcast. You can follow Jessica on Twitter as @PrincipalJ or contact her at

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