Principal Baruti Kafele | "Attitude Gap” and Author of "Principal 50" and "Teacher 50"

Principal Baruti Kafele

"Attitude Gap” and Author of "Principal 50" and "Teacher 50"

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Principal Baruti Kafele

Principal Baruti 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, in addition to being named the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Principal Kafele was a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and a recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence.

As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele led the turnaround of four New Jersey urban schools, including "The Mighty" Newark Tech—which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, and which was recognized three times by U.S. News and World Report as one of America's best high schools.

Principal Kafele is one of the most sought-after school leadership and classroom equity presenters in America. He has delivered over 2500 conference and program keynotes, professional development workshops, parenting seminars and student assemblies over his 35 years of public speaking. In addition to writing several professional articles for popular education journals, he has authored thirteen books, including seven ASCD best sellers. His newest book, The Assistant Principal Identity was recently released in May, 2023.

Principal Kafele is the creator and host of the popular AP & New Principals Academy, streamed live every Saturday morning. He is the recipient of over 150 educational, professional and community awards which include the prestigious Milken Educator Award, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, the East Orange, NJ Hall of Fame, recognition as one of the World’s Top 30 Education Professionals for 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 by Global Gurus Top 30 and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998 as Baruti Kafele Day.

Principal Baruti Kafele
Featured Videos

Current: Hey school leader, how do you "SET THE MOOD" for excellence in your school?

Time 11:28

More Videos From Principal Baruti Kafele

Hey school leader, how do you "SET THE MOOD" for excellence in your school?
Time 11:28
Hey school leader, what is your "Leadership IDENTITY?"
Time 05:16
What Makes a Good Principal? with Baruti Kafele
Time 01:05
Every student must know they are PHENOMENAL!
Time 01:29

Principal Baruti Kafele
Featured Keynote Programs

School Leadership
Climate & Culture are a Reflection of MY Leadership!

It is easy to look at a toxic school climate and culture and attribute this reality to external factors that inevitably impact a school adversely such as home and neighborhood challenges and realities that ever-so-often accompany students into the building. In this highly-engaging, self-reflective workshop (or keynote address), Principal Kafele will make the case that despite home and neighborhood challenges that might accompany students into a school, school leaders can nevertheless command a powerful influence over the climate and culture of their schools. He contends that despite the challenges of the work, the climate and culture of the school are a direct reflection of the school’s leadership. Topics covered will include, the attitude of the leadership, the intentionality of the interactions and relationships in the building, the school’s brand identity, and parental / community engagement.

School Leadership
Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring School-wide Excellence (THE PRINCIPAL 50)

Based on Principal Kafele’s best selling book, The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring School-wide Excellence, Principal Kafele makes the case that building a learning environment that inspires school-wide excellence can never be overstated; particularly in lower-performing schools. In this high-energy, highly-engaging workshop, Principal Kafele will challenge principals, assistant principals and aspiring principals to look critically within themselves through reflective questions about their leadership practices relative to how they inspire energy, excitement and enthusiasm for learning throughout their buildings daily. In his inimitable style, Principal Kafele will lay out the touchstones for maintaining strong leadership habits, inspiring excellence and collaboration in others, and engaging an entire school community in striving to be the best. Topics include: The Attitude of the Leader, School Brand, School Climate and Culture, Building Collegial Relationships, Instructional Leadership, Accountability and Responsibility, Planning and Organization, Professional Learning for the Leadership, Professional Development for Staff, and Parental and Community Engagement.

School Leadership
Principal Kafele’s 10 Nonnegotiables for Effective School Leadership

The list of school leadership responsibilities is an infinite list that never reaches completion. As a school leader, there are always a plethora of things to do with no ending in sight. The challenge for school leaders is how to prioritize them – what are those nonnegotiables that must be at the top of a school leaders list of responsibilities and priorities? In this high-energy, highly-engaging professional development workshop or keynote address, veteran and award-winning principal, Principal Kafele provides school leaders with ten “nonnegotiable” items that all school leaders must prioritize and pay close attention to daily toward maximizing their school leadership effectiveness. He says that although the responsibilities of a school leader are endless, failure to attain maximum results within these ten “nonnegotiables” could translate into gross underperformance of any given school. Following are the categories for Principal Kafele’s 10 nonnegotiables for effective school leadership:

  1. School Leadership & Intended Outcomes
  2. School Leadership & Maintaining an Attitude / Vision of Excellence
  3. School Leadership & Instructional Effectiveness
  4. School Leadership & Professional Learning
  5. School Leadership & Keeping Staff Informed / Inspired
  6. School Leadership & Modeling Learning
  7. School Leadership & School Climate / Culture
  8. School Leadership & Physical / Emotional Safety
  9. School Leadership & Parental Engagement
  10. School Leadership & Expertise in School Law / School Budget / School Curriculum

School Leadership
“Who Is That Leading MY School?” An Examination of the Principal’s Leadership Identity, Presence and Impact (half day only)

In this highly interactive and engaging workshop or high-energy keynote address, Principal Kafele will challenge school leaders to look critically at who they are, what they represent and their impact as the leaders of their schools. Specifically, he will challenge each school leader to identify, analyze and assess what his /her own leadership identity, presence and impact mean to the academic performance of their respective schools through a series “uncomfortable” self-reflective questions. The intent of these questions is to force school leaders to look within themselves with a critical eye toward how their leadership identity, presence and impact in their buildings translate into the academic growth of their students and the professional growth of their staffs.

Principal Baruti Kafele
Featured Books

The Assistant Principal Identity: Protecting Your Leadership Mindset, Fervor, and Authenticityby Principal Baruti Kafele

The Assistant Principal Identity: Protecting Your Leadership Mindset, Fervor, and Authenticity

by Principal Baruti Kafele

Baruti K. Kafele, a champion for assistant principals, offers stories from his own leadership practice and thought-provoking advice for being effective in the role.

The job of a school leader is more challenging—and important—than ever. To be effective, administrators need to support their students and staff, but they also need to take care of themselves. Bestselling author Baruti K. Kafele brings this motivational message to the pivotal members of the leadership team who are too often overlooked: assistant principals.

Kafele explains that even as assistant principals gain knowledge and build their leadership identity, their leadership values and skills can be compromised or lost without intentional care. Along with stories from his own years as a transformational school leader, Kafele offers assistant principals 35 thought-provoking questions for reflection and conversation centered on the idea of protection, from How am I protecting my leadership purpose? to How am I protecting my leadership optimism? and How am I protecting my leadership integrity?

Whether you are a new or experienced assistant principal, this insightful book will help you hold a mirror up to your own practice and more effectively navigate your powerful role in improving outcomes for students and schools.

The Aspiring Principal 50: Critical Questions for New and Future School Leadersby Principal Baruti Kafele

The Aspiring Principal 50: Critical Questions for New and Future School Leaders

by Principal Baruti Kafele

So, you want to be a principal? Are you a new principal who could benefit from the wisdom of a successful four-time principal? Could you use help preparing for a school administrator job interview? Then this is the book for you.

In The Aspiring Principal 50, school leadership expert Baruti Kafele presents reflective questions aimed at assisting both new and aspiring school leaders as they work to become effective school leaders and consider making a leap to a leadership position, respectively. This book will help aspiring principals determine whether "The Principal" is truly who they want to be and help new principals grow and thrive in the principalship. Additionally, the book contains an entire chapter devoted to preparing for the school administrator job interview.

Kafele infuses the book from beginning to end with succinct advice on everything from remaining focused on the principal's number one priority—student achievement—to addressing maintenance concerns, managing budget allocations, and ensuring that the school's website puts the school in the best possible light. With The Aspiring Principal 50, you can increase the likelihood that your tenure as principal will be a successful, beneficial, and healthful one.

The Assistant Principal 50: Critical Questions for Meaningful Leadership and Professional Growthby Principal Baruti Kafele

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

by Principal Baruti Kafele

ASCD bestseller! Baruti Kafele turns his attention to assistant principals in a book designed to spark reflection and clarify the influence of this often misunderstood role.

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.

The Equity & Social Justice Education 50: Critical Questions for Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for Black Studentsby Principal Baruti Kafele

The Equity & Social Justice Education 50: Critical Questions for Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for Black Students

by Principal Baruti Kafele

ASCD Bestseller! Baruti K. Kafele offers 50 timely and important questions on equity and social justice education for educators to reflect on and discuss.

How do you ensure that no student is invisible in your classroom? How do you make the distinction between equity as the vehicle versus equity as the goal for each of your students? What measures do you take to ensure that you are growing as a culturally relevant practitioner? Can your students, particularly your Black students, articulate, beyond emotional reactions, the injustices that surround them?

The foregoing are not trick questions. Rather, they are those that best-selling author Baruti K. Kafele poses and on which he suggests you deeply reflect as a teacher of Black students. The Equity & Social Justice Education 50 will help you understand the importance of having an equity mindset when teaching students generally and when teaching Black students in particular. It defines social justice education and sheds light on the issues and challenges that Black people face, as well as the successes they've achieved, providing you with a pathway to infusing social justice education into your lesson plans. And along the way, Kafele reveals personal experiences from his distant and recent pasts to highlight how important it is that your Black students see themselves in all aspects of education every day.

You, the teacher, play a critical role in your students' success. The questions that Kafele asks in this book will help enhance your own understanding of race, systemic racism, and racial justice and guide you in developing strategies and lessons that speak to Black students in ways that truly support their achievement.

Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?by Principal Baruti Kafele

Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?

by Principal Baruti Kafele

In this latest installment to his series of best-selling self-reflection guides, celebrated educator, author, and motivational speaker Baruti Kafele offers school leaders 35 thought-provoking questions to ponder from one fundamental overarching query: "Is my school a better school because I lead it?"

Musing deeply on discrete leadership matters is an essential component of success for anybody overseeing the day-to-day operations of a school, and doubly so in communities plagued by drugs, violence, or other markers of societal dysfunction. In this book, Kafele offers those seeking to improve the quality of instruction in their institutions hard-won wisdom on such critical issues as ensuring an optimal culture and climate, engaging in parent and community outreach, confirming emergency preparedness, rallying staff, and much more.

Because the sheer volume of responsibilities for a principal or assistant principal can leave you with very little time for developing an effective and consistent self-reflection regimen, Kafele has done the work for you. You need only open the book and begin reading to embark upon a penetratingly insightful journey destined to transform your practice, boost teacher satisfaction, and—most important of all—inspire students to excel academically.

The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellenceby Principal Baruti Kafele

The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence

by Principal Baruti Kafele

In this thoughtful guide for novice and veteran educators alike, Baruti K. Kafele takes readers on a reflective journey designed to reignite their passion for teaching. Kafele's 50 questions and penetrating insights reveal how you can

  • Inspire students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to strive for academic excellence;
  • Develop strong relationships with students, their parents, and the greater community;
  • Address the challenges and promises presented by millennial learners; and
  • Boost your motivation and excitement about teaching despite entrenched obstacles and daily frustrations.

Replete with ideas for strengthening your practice and investing in student success, this book is an indispensable companion for teachers who want to give their absolute best in the classroom at all times and under all circumstances.

Baruti K. Kafele is a highly regarded teacher, administrator, and speaker and is the author of several books, including The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring Schoolwide Excellence.

The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring Schoolwide Excellenceby Principal Baruti Kafele

The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring Schoolwide Excellence

by Principal Baruti Kafele

"Why do I lead?" With this deceptively simple question, best-selling author Baruti K. Kafele begins a powerful examination of what it takes to make a school community achieve the greatest success in the classroom and beyond.
In The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring Schoolwide Excellence, Kafele, a veteran school administrator, guides motivated school leaders through 50 self-reflection exercises designed to yield a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the work that they do. Along with many other insights, this book shows how best to
-Inspire and motivate students, teachers, and other school staff to approach their work with vigor and purpose;
-Ensure that all students, regardless of color, creed, or origin, are valued and represented in the school culture; 
-Focus mission and vision statements to address students' most critical needs and integrate shared values and objectives into the fabric of the school; and
-Engage parents and other community members so that they feel a stake in the school's success.
Brimming with passion, written from the heart, and informed by hard-earned experience, this transformative book is essential reading for principals and other building-level administrators determined to reinvigorate their practice, revitalize their staff, and--most importantly--guarantee the strongest outcomes for students.

Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Successby Principal Baruti Kafele

Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success

by Principal Baruti Kafele

In this inspiring and thought-provoking follow-up to his 2009 best-seller Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life, Baruti Kafele makes the case that the attitude gap that often affects underperforming students can only be closed if educators first help students develop the will to strive for excellence. According to Kafele, educators can achieve remarkable results by focusing on five key areas:

* The teacher's attitude toward students

* The teacher's relationship with students

* The teacher's compassion for students

* The learning environment

* The cultural relevance of instruction

Replete with practical strategies and illustrative anecdotes drawn from the author's 20-plus years as a teacher and principal in inner-city schools, Closing the Attitude Gap offers a wealth of lessons and valuable insights that educators at all levels can use to fire up their students' passion to learn.

Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Lifeby Principal Baruti Kafele

Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life

by Principal Baruti Kafele

One of the most vexing problems confronting educators today is the chronic achievement gap between black male students and their peers. In this inspiring and thought-provoking book, veteran educator Baruti K. Kafele offers a blueprint for lifting black males up and ensuring their success in the classroom and beyond.

Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life offers proven strategies for getting black male students in middle school and high school to value learning, improve their grades, and maintain high standards for themselves. The author shows how simple but powerful measures to instill self-worth in young black males can not only raise these students' achievement, but also profoundly alter their lives for the better. This book will help you to help students

* Reverse the destructive effects of negative influences, whether among peers or in the popular culture;

* Surmount adverse conditions at home or in their communities;

* Participate in mentorship programs with successful black male adults; and

* Take pride in their heritage by learning about great figures and achievements in black history.

Whether your school is urban or rural, all-black or mixed, you'll find this book to be an insightful resource that addresses the root causes of low achievement among young black males and offers a clear path to overcoming them.

Principal Baruti Kafele
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