Forestville Elementary Principal Todd Franklin with his book at the Great Falls Library.
Photo by by David Kroeger
When you speak with Todd Franklin, the principal of Forestville Elementary School, his passion as a teacher and administrator is obvious. With decades of experience under his belt, he took on the arduous task of amassing all that knowledge into a book that could be easily applied by his peers.
With the help of national best-selling author Todd Whitaker, who wrote the foreword, Franklin’s book titled “The Solution-Focused Educator” was published in March 2018. His goal is to “help teachers and administrators establish a growth mindset more consistently and support today’s educator for the tablet generation of learners now in our classrooms.”
Franklin has been employed by the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) system for over a decade. After teaching at Cooper Middle School for several years, he took on the role of principal at Forestville Elementary five years ago. Through the years, he thought about the different problems he and his colleagues faced. Many years later, amid the normal tug-of-war between work and family, he was able to finish the book.
A key part of the book is the self-assessment that asks personal and professional questions. He hopes two things come out of that: “I want [teachers and administrators] to think about themselves in a different way, and for them to think about what kind of educator they are.”
This progressive way of thinking is what Franklin thinks will lead to important discussions among school staff. He wrote the book to show professional educators “how to close the personal achievement gap between job satisfaction and stress-induced situations.”
Brian Mandell, a former FCPS science teacher and colleague of Franklin’s, thinks the book can help novice school leaders and teachers alike who can become quickly overwhelmed by day-to-day situations. “Every single day, more and more is expected of teachers. [They not only have to] teach students the practical skills, but also how to be good citizens. They don’t have the time needed and the only thing they can control is how they handle the situation. [Franklin’s book gives them the tools needed] to reset their mind to tackle each new situation,” Mandell said.
Franklin has been invited to speak about his book at two statewide educational conferences for elementary school principals this summer, and hopes that will garner attention – and maybe implementation – from school boards to use the book and start talks with their staff.
Follow Todd Franklin at @toddefranklin on Twitter, or go to https://www.toddfranklin.com/ to learn more and order his book.