• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

How to bring out the best in your staffand in yourself

Research shows that the single variable that makes the most difference in student performance is the quality of the teacher. How do we keep teachers motivated in the face of increased pressure for grades, class sizes and media attention? How do we attract and retain high-quality teachers? This inspiring text offers a refreshing alternative to the portfolio and high-stakes accountability models of school improvement. Based on the successful methods of Dealous Cox, The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence describes a leadership philosophy based on the search for wisdom through personal reflection and community. The authors share their experience with this leadership style and document the sustainable results of transformational leaders working with teachers as partners rather than adversaries. These results include

Consistently improved teacher performance; Improved teacher quality; Greater professional satisfaction for teachers; Stronger community support for schools

Richard Sagor and Deborah Rickey have tracked this established leadership model for more than 30 years. Their work shows how, when sustained over time, these leadership principles have transformed professional behavior throughout school districts and made a long-term difference for teachers and students.

Hubris: An Ever Present Concern
Hubris: An ever present concern

I guess there is always a tendency with good and competent people when they get together there is a danger of them counting themselves higher than they ought. It has always seemed to me that it is a danger I wanted to guard against. You recall the ancient saying, those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make proud. Even though we knew we were doing pretty well, we still had a long way to go to be as good as we wanted to be. Our group knew we'd probably never get there, but the task of educating the kids was so important that we were committed to keep working at it. (Dealous Cox, November 2010)

Although ...

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