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 Do We Face Our Leadership Challenges?

How do we face our leadership challenges?

When colleagues and family members have read various drafts of this book, they expressed a similar reaction: “This seems like such common sense. Why aren't schools doing this now?” The simple answer is that moving forward with a concerted plan to advance the quality of teaching in a school requires some leadership skills that not everyone shares. While the plan is rather straightforward, with truths hidden in plain view, we recognize that any plan to improve schools will meet some significant challenges. This chapter recognizes the realistic challenges and describes the leadership practices that offer the hope to move an improvement plan forward.

Every school will have its unique complex of resources, strengths, ...

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