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Teaching As Leadership. The Highly Effective Teacher's Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap

  • ID: 2213654
  • Book
  • February 2010
  • 352 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Praise for Teaching as Leadership

"Eliminating our nation′s unjust achievement gap and providing schools where all children can learn is part of the unfinished business of the Civil Rights Movement and of our nation. Teach For America is dedicated to this goal—and this new book is a terrific resource that shares the valuable lessons learned from studying highly effective teachers and successful classrooms across the country."
Marian Wright Edelman, president, Children′s Defense Fund

"Every teacher, principal, and superintendent should read this book. Over the last two years, we have seen our students′ reading, writing, and math skills improve significantly. The principles outlined in Teaching As Leadership have played a critical role in our progress."
Andrés Alonso, chief executive officer, Baltimore City Schools

"By assessing the actions of highly effective teachers in some of America′s most challenging teaching environments, Teach For America outlines key strategies to close the achievement gap—investing in students and their families, planning purposefully, and working relentlessly. This inspiring book will inform the work of everyone engaged in the training and support of teachers in high–poverty schools."
Kathleen McCartney, dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education and Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development

"For new teachers, there is no substitute for getting into a classroom and suffering the pain and frustration of finding what works best for them. This book, however, offers new teachers a resource sure to make those first months a little less difficult. Teaching As Leadership assembles wisdom from dozens of successful Teach For America teachers, addressing every problem one could imagine. This is a smart gift for the new teacher in your family."
Jay Mathews, Washington Post education columnist and author, Work Hard. Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America

"From its very beginnings, Teach For America has invested more energy in understanding effective teaching than any teacher preparation program I know. And year after year, they have fed that information back into their own selection processes and teacher supports with a single goal: producing more teachers who can change the life chances of poor children. With this book, they have distilled what they are learning—along with relevant research—into a guide that is at once both fabulously readable and highly practical. If I had three thumbs, they would all be pointed up."
Kati Haycock, president, Education Trust

"Teaching As Leadership works. This is the approach taken by teachers who lead diverse students to great academic achievements."
Beverly Hall, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools and 2009 National Superintendent of the Year

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Foreword by Jason Kamras xi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Set Big Goals 15

Foundations of Effective Goal Setting 18

Inspiring Strong Results with Measurable Outcomes 19

Inspiring High Performance with High Expectations 26

Leading with Students’ Needs and Interests 36

The Qualities of Effective Big Goals in Action 37

What Measurable Academic Progress Should My Students Achieve? 41

What Traits and Mindsets Will Best Serve My Students? 44

What Pathways to Student Opportunity Should Inform My Big Goal? 45

What Student Interests and Motivations Could Shape the Big Goal? 46

Conclusion: Key Ideas and Next Questions 48

Key Ideas 48

Next Questions 49

“Why Do People Set Big Goals?” from Ms Lora’s Story 50

Chapter 2: Invest Students and Their Families 53

Key Elements of Investment 57

Shaping Students’ Mindsets 57

Collaborating with Students’ Families and Influencers 62

Strategies for Investing Students 72

Creating a Welcoming Environment to Increase Student Investment 72

Developing a Culture of Achievement 84

Investing Students Through Instruction and Learning 98

Conclusion: Key Ideas and Next Questions 102

Key Ideas 102

Next Questions 103

“What If You’re Wrong?” from Ms Lora’s Story 105

Chapter 3: Plan Purposefully 107

Foundations of Purposeful Planning 110

Developing Your Vision of Success 111

Translating Your Vision into a Well–Designed Assessment 112

Mapping Out a Vision–Aligned Plan by Imagining Yourself Implementing It 115

Three Forms of Classroom Plans 119

Long Term Plans 119

Lesson Plans 123

Classroom Management Plans 135

Conclusion: Key Ideas and Next Questions 137

Key Ideas 138

Next Questions 139

“It Still Tastes Good” from Ms Lora’s Story 140

Chapter 4: Execute Effectively 143

Key Elements of Effective Execution 146

Doing Well What Must Be Done 146

Insisting on Seeing Reality 148

Adjusting Course as Circumstances Change 150

What Effective Execution Looks Like in the Classroom 152

Effectively Communicating Key Ideas 152

Coordinating Student Practice 153

Checking for Understanding 154

Tracking Progress 158

Maximizing Efficiency with Organization and Routine 161

Asserting Authority 163

Conclusion: Key Ideas and Next Questions 167

Key Ideas 168

Next Questions 169

“Light Monitor Form Collector Plant Manager” from Ms Lora’s Story 170

Chapter 5: Continuously Increase Effectiveness 173

Foundations of Continuous Improvement 175

Effective Teaching Is a Learnable Skill 175

“Data may not tell us the whole truth, but it certainly doesn’t lie” 177

We Drive Our Own Improvement 178

No Teacher Is an Island 179

A Cycle of Reflection That Leads to Increased Effectiveness 182

Phase One: Analyzing Outcomes 183

Phase Two: Discerning Causes 185

Phase Three: Identifying and Implementing Solutions 191

Conclusion: Key Ideas and Next Questions 192

Key Ideas 192

Next Questions 193

“This Was My Summer School Seat” from Ms Lora’s Story 194

Chapter 6: Work Relentlessly 197

We Control Our Students’ Success and Failure 198

Key Elements of Working Relentlessly 200

Persistence 200

Maintaining High Expectations 202

Expanding Time and Resources 206

Expanding Your Influence 209

Sustaining This Work Over Time 217

Conclusion: Key Ideas and Next Questions 223

Key Ideas 223

Next Questions 225

“You Are Going to Be Totally Handsome in Them” from Ms Lora’s Story 226

Conclusion 227

Afterword: Teaching As Leadership and the Movement for Educational Equity by Wendy Kopp 231

Appendix A: Teaching As Leadership Rubric 237

Appendix B: About Teach For America 269

Appendix C: Our Approach to Teacher Development 273

Appendix D: How We Learn from Our Teachers 285

Teacher Biographies 291

Notes 317

About the Author 328

Acknowledgments 329

Index 331

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Teach For America
Steven Farr
Wendy Kopp
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