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.

Hiring the Very Best

Hiring the very best

Challenging a school system to hire the very best hardly sounds very radical. It is a phrase that sounds so much like a cliché it hardly appears worthy of further discussion. After all, it is hard to imagine a school district claiming that its intention was to simply hire average or mediocre employees. However, when one examines the way staffing occurs in many school systems, it can seem as though leadership is behaving in a manner that purposefully contradicts the goal of hiring the very best.

While Dick Sagor was assistant superintendent in West Linn, he recalls once attending a meeting of principals from a school district with a very good reputation. He asked the principals if they would ...

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