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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.

The Extended Shadow of the Leader
The extended shadow of the leader

It has been said that an organization is the extended shadow of its leader. We found it interesting the degree to which one often observed West Linn principals exercising the same transformational leadership qualities demonstrated by the district superintendent. Understanding the process that caused these building principals to become effective transformational leaders remains somewhat of a mystery to us. The district never overtly promoted a particular style of leadership, so why did so many principals end up leading in a fashion similar to the style Dea exemplified? In some cases, we suspect this was a result of a screening and selection process that led to the hiring of principals who shared the district's values, ...

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