A laser-beam focus on improving instruction to improve learning
Saying “teaching matters most” is easy, and seems obvious. Making it the top priority for school leaders and staff is not so easy—in fact, it's messy. If we want to change how students write, compute, and think, then teachers must change how they teach. They must transform the old “assign-and-assess” model into engaging, compassionate, coherent, and rigorous instruction. The authors show school leaders how to make this happen amidst myriad distractions, initiatives, and interruptions.
Unlike other books that stop at evaluating teachers and instruction, this work demonstrates how to grow schools' instructional capacities with a three-step process that involves: 1. Envisioning what good teaching looks like; 2. Measuring the quality of current instruction against this standard; 3. Working relentlessly to move the quality of instruction closer and closer to the ideal
The authors provide helpful guidance on issues such as hiring, induction, professional development, mentoring, and teacher evaluation. Each chapter offers specific action steps toward building the blueprint for improvement. Also included are frameworks for completing instructional audits in schools, and probes, instruments, and protocols for measuring and tracking the quality of instruction. Leaders will find excellent guidance for spearheading and sustaining a focused and aligned effort to improve the quality of teaching to impact all learners.
Chapter 1: What Are Common Practices in Schools?
What Are Common Practices in Schools?
If we could enter the minds of a superintendent, a principal, and other school leaders as they prepare for the opening of a new school year, we might find them preoccupied with a dizzying array of responsibilities and uncertainties. We know because we have been there ourselves. For example, the superintendent might worry about her personal image, her relationship with members of the school board, her role as motivator to the staff, her political need to advance student achievement and to look competitive when compared to neighboring school districts, the logistics of executing the day's agenda, and much more. A principal or dean might focus on keeping the school safe and orderly, with buses ...