I was blessed to have Dr. Jones as a professor because every class was PRACTICAL. Jones kept it real, never sugar-coated, and always impressed on us that the goal was bigger than managing a building – it was about impacting the learning of students.
Upon recently getting my first administrative job I rushed to Amazon for his book. I wasn’t disappointed – it was like being back in class. Yet one thing struck me – what was once conceptual to me (especially diversions) was now my every day reality because almost everyone sees the principal’s desk as two things: 1. A place to drop their worries, 2. A place for meetings about schedules, shirt colors, hallway wax types, and myriad other items that have almost no connection to LEARNING.
Jones was right again…
And again…
Being a principal is hard and lonely. This book is like a friend – when I lose faith or meet resistance – which is often, and from many directions – I run back to Becoming SIL. I realize the fight is worth it. I read this book cover to cover…then in chunks…then bought copies for friends and other colleagues I felt had the tools but not the direction.
I will continue to read this book, write on/about this book, visit it for nuggets – it is dense, it is challenging, it is even frustrating at times. But like the job, it is worth it.

Jeremy Ekeler, former student

“Jones’s approach is interesting, refreshing, and ambitious. He changes the paradigm on principal leadership by framing differently both the what and how of a principal’s role. I applaud Jones for his vision and scope.”

Thomas Hoerr, Head of School, New City School, St. Louis, Missouri

“Finally a book that really gets inside the deep, human meaning of what it means to become an instructional leader. From someone who has lived it, but who also sees the big picture, Becoming a Strong Instructional Leader is insightful, practical, and uplifting. ‘Be an instructional leader not an instructional manager,’ says Jones. And then he shows us what this means, philosophically and strategically.”

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto

“Jones writes with the voice of experience and as a friend of young people. He consistently challenges what he sees as the ‘business as usual’ of schooling, including the current dominant model of school reform—raise standards, test children, reward and punish teachers and principals.”

Robert V. Bullough, Jr., Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES), Brigham Young University