Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Transformative Principal is 

Aug 21, 2022

Thomas R. Hoerr, PhD retired after leading the New City School in St. Louis, Missouri for 34 years and is now the Emeritus Head of School. He is currently a Scholar In Residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and teaches in the Educational Leadership program, preparing prospective principals. He also led the ISACS New Heads Network and founded the Non-Profit Management Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Hoerr has written several books, and his newest, _Taking Social Emotional Learning Schoolwide: The Formative Five Success Skills for Students and Staff_, was published in December of 2019. He has written more than 150 articles, including “The Principal Connection” column in Educational Leadership Magazine from 2004 to 2017.
He was previously on the Transformative Principal Podcast episode 224 where we talked about who you are is more important that what you know, and episode 225 where we talked about his book, The Formative Five.
- Why does Empathy matter so much?
- If there were more empathy in schools, we’d be in better shape.
- If you don’t have empathy, it’s hard for people to follow you.
- If you do have empathy, it’s easier for people to follow you.
- Empathy is a muscle. You can make it stronger
- intentional and transparent
- Voluntary - making it voluntary is having empathy.
- listening, aggressive, pursuing.
- One of your problems - you look too busy.
- I was working; I was being accessible.
- Who are you closest to in your school.
- Even if my idea is the best, it’s not the best if nobody is on board.
- Breakfast with Tom - agenda is yours.
- Empathetic Conversations - extension of this notion that I really want to get to know people as people, not just teachers.
- I know you as a student, I want to know you as a student
- Leadership is about relationship.
- Teacher observations - school principals should use them as a way to build trust and observations.
- Educators are underpaid.
- Herzberg’s theory of motivation
- Teaching is far too siloed
- If people can just read one part of the book, what is it? The part about listening.


Transformative Principal Mastermind

Lead a school everyone can be proud of.

Being a principal is tough work. You’re pulled in all kinds of directions. You never have the time to do the work that really matters. Join me as I help school leaders find the time to do the work they became principals to do.

I help you stop putting out fires and start leading.

Learn more at

Just Right Reader

Just Right Reader Decodables are a great way to help your students learn how to read, with research-based strategies that are proven to be effective. Each grade level has over 100 books. Send books home in packs of ten, with video lessons accessible via QR codes on each book, with lessons in Spanish and English. Learn more at