Seeking Balance: The Story of a Principal's Second Semester continues the story of fictional Principal Joe Gentry's first year on the job. Like its predecessor, Reality Calling: The Story of a Principal's First Semester, this book is crafted from authentic experiences shared by principals. This part of the story picks up in January as Joe anticipates his mid-year evaluation. As winter turns to spring, he reflects on lessons learned and seeks to build on successes and correct his mistakes. Throughout, Joe seeks guidance and support from his wife, mentors, and two friends, who are also new principals. As the months roll by, he navigates the complexities of school leadership and seeks balance between personal and professional life, leadership and management, and theory and the real-world.
This extended, real-world case study provides an authentic, unvarnished account of a fully-human principal knee deep in what is appropriately called the toughest job in education. The book concludes with Joe anticipating an end of the year meeting with his two friends to reflect on their progress toward becoming the leaders they have envisioned.
Nicholas J. Pace is associate professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Northern Iowa. The former social worker, teacher, coach, and principal lives in Cedar Falls, IA with his family.
Acknowledgments Preface Introduction 1 Early January: The Second Half 2 Late January: Reaching Out 3 Early February: Politics, Authenticity and Support 4 Late February: Data, Evidence and Unpredictability 5 March: Capacity, Silence, Tension and Tears 6 Early April: Creativity 7 Late April: Never Saw That Coming 8 May: Cupcakes, Boundaries and The Paradox References