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.

How Can Teacher Evaluation Become More Meaningful?

How can teacher evaluation become more meaningful?

The previous chapters describe several crucial administrative activities that should align with a community-specific concept of quality teaching. Another key activity is the evaluation of the teaching staff. Most commonly, this duty is a deficit model that emphasizes the finding of deficiencies and the offering of prescriptions to correct the deficiencies. We judge that a professional growth model for teacher evaluation that values the teacher as an agent in his or her own professional growth offers the most promise to maintain the kind of instructional conversations that have some hope of advancing the quality of teaching.

We see the following imagined scene as representative of the kind of conversation that follows too often ...

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