Todd Whitaker

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Todd Whitaker

Todd Whitaker is an American educator, writer, motivational speaker, educational consultant, and professor. A leading presenter in the field of education, Dr. Whitaker has published over 60 books on staff motivation, teacher leadership, technology, middle level practices, instructional improvement, and principal effectiveness, including the national best-seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently. [1] Before leaving in 2016, he was a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University. [2] In 2013, Dr. Whitaker received the President's Medal from Indiana State University, the university's highest award for faculty. [3]


Education and early career

Todd Whitaker studied at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration in 1981. [2] After graduating, Whitaker briefly attended law school before deciding to become a teacher. [3] He subsequently returned to the University of Missouri and earned an M.Ed. in Education Administration in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Education Administration in 1992. He also holds an Ed.S. in Education Administration from Northwest Missouri State University. [2]

Before embarking on a career in higher education, Whitaker was a math teacher and basketball coach in Missouri. He then went on to hold various positions as a principal at the middle school, junior high, and high school levels. Whitaker has also had experience as a middle school coordinator in charge of staffing, curriculum, and technology for the opening of new middle schools in Missouri. [1]

Writing and speaking career

Dr. Whitaker's books have sold millions of copies and been translated into many languages including German, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Vietnamese and Chinese. What Great Teachers Do Differently, the national best-seller, has sold over 750,000 copies in the United States alone. The book focuses on the “beliefs, behaviors attitudes, and interactions of great teachers and explains what they do differently." [4] Study guides, audio CD's, and DVD's have also been published to accompany the book. [5] In 2013, What Great Teachers Do Differently was listed as one of the best-selling education books of the year by the New York Times. [6]

Over the course of his career, Dr. Whitaker has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. In 2009, he was honored with the Indiana Association of School Principals President's Award, marking the first time that the award was granted to an individual in academia. [7] In 2011, Dr. Whitaker won an Axiom Business Book Award for his book, The Ball. [8] The Ball also earned Dr. Whitaker the 2011 USA Best Book Award for Business/Motivational writing. [3] In 2012, he received the March On! award by Indiana State University for his generous contributions to the institution. [9] Dr. Whitaker's 2011 publication Shifting the Monkey was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine's 2011 Book of the Year, a Category Winner for the 2012 Small Business Book Award, and a finalist for the 2012 USA Best Book Award. [10]

Whitaker is also a member of the Education Speakers Group and the SDE (Staff Development for Educators). He regularly presents at conferences such as the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the Academy of Management Learning and Education, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Dr. Whitaker speaks on topics such as dealing with difficult teachers, building and enhancing staff morale, dealing with administrative change, classroom management, and proactive discipline. [11]

In addition to his books, Whitaker has also published more than 30 articles and previously served as co-editor of Contemporary Education. He has reached millions of educators as a presenter, educational consultant, and keynote speaker. [3]

Whitaker is a leader in the field of connecting educators through social media, [12] and currently has 146.2K followers on Twitter. [13]



Personal life

Whitaker is married to Beth, a professor of elementary education at Indiana State University and a former teacher and principal. They have three children. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Todd Whitaker, Ph.D.: Credentials" . Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "Todd Whitaker: Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Tuttle, Whitaker receive President's Medal". April 25, 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  4. "What Great Teachers Do Differently, 2nd Ed: 17 Things That Matter Most, 2nd Edition". Routledge. November 1, 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  5. "Book Search". Routledge. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  6. Hofmann, Deborah (December 18, 2013). "The Top 75 New York Times Best-Selling Education Books of 2013". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  7. "Education team receives state-wide award". Indiana State University Newsroom. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  8. Campbell, Scott (April 20, 2011). "ISU professor wins award for new book". Indiana State University Newsroom. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  9. "Supporters recognized with March On! award". Tribune-Star. May 24, 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  10. "Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good People From Liars, Criers, and Other Slackers". Solution Tree. March 10, 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  11. "Dr. Todd Whitaker" . Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  12. Metheny, Mallory (May 7, 2012). "Education students boost internship success with Twitter". Indiana State University Newsroom. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  13. "@ToddWhitaker". Twitter. Retrieved 13 February 2015.