Teaching Matters Most A School Leader's Guide to Improving Classroom Instruction

ISBN-10: 1452205108
ISBN-13: 9781452205106
Edition: 2012
List price: $26.99 Buy it from $12.32
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Description: In Teaching Matters Most, Thomas McCann, Alan C. Jones, and Gail Aronoff make the case that the single most important factor in continuous school improvement is the quality of instruction in schools. Unlike other books that stop at evaluating  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.99
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Corwin Press
Publication date: 8/9/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

In Teaching Matters Most, Thomas McCann, Alan C. Jones, and Gail Aronoff make the case that the single most important factor in continuous school improvement is the quality of instruction in schools. Unlike other books that stop at evaluating teachers and instruction, these authors argue that school leaders must work to grow the instructional capacities within their schools. To meet this goal, they offer school leaders a three-step process that involves:(1) envisioning what good teaching looks like(2) measuring the quality of current instruction against this standard, and(3) working relentlessly to move the quality of instruction closer and closer to the ideal.

Thomas M. McCann is an associate professor of English at Northern Illinois University, where he contributes to the teacher certification program. He taught high school for 25 years, including seven years working in an alternative high school. He has been a high school English department chair, an assistant principal, and an assistant superintendent. His published work has appeared in Educational Leadership, Research in the Teaching of English, the English Journal, and the Illinois English Bulletin. His co-authored books include Explorations: Introductory Activities for Literature and Composition, 7-12 (National Council of Teachers of English, 1987), In Case You Teach English: An Interactive Casebook for Preservice and Prospective Teachers (Merrill/Prentice Hall, 2002), Supporting Beginning English Teachers (NCTE, 2005), and Talking in Class (NCTE, 2006). He edited and contributed a chapter to Reflective Teaching, Reflective Learning (Heinemann, 2005). He is the co-author of The Dynamics of Writing Instruction (Heinemann, 2010). The National Council of Teachers of English awarded him the Richard A. Meade Award for research about the concerns of beginning teachers. He also received the Paul and Kate Farmer Award from NCTE for his writing for the English Journal.

Mrs. Gail Aronoff is an educational consultant who worked for 37 years in several schools, both as teacher and administrator. She has worked with students with special needs in elementary, middle school, and high school, and served as a liaison between schools and the families of struggling learners. At the high school level, she taught struggling learners for fourteen years and held the position of Assistant Principal for Student Services for twelve years. She served a highly diverse population with many ESL students as well as those from low income families. She has mentored and supervised teachers and administrators, creating and implementing model programs to address the needs of reluctant learners and those with special needs. Mrs. Aronoff currently serves as a consultant to schools for school improvement and reform.

Foreword
Preface: Lessons Learned From Experience
A "New" Take in School Improvement
Central Theme
Organization of the Book
What Makes This Book Distinctive
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
What are common practices in schools?
What We Found in Classrooms
Truths Hidden in Plain View
Transforming Accountability
New Direction
Are There "Best Practices" in Teaching?
Bringing Best Practices to Scale
Are Some Practices Better Than Others?
The Poverty of Prescribing Best Practices
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps for Getting Started
What distinguishes quality teaching?
Three Classrooms, Three Practitioners
A Simple Truth Hidden in Plain View
Disjointed Teaching
Why Teachers Are Frustrated
What Is Quality Teaching?
Observing High-Quality Teaching
Instructional Systems
The Road Less Traveled
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps for Getting Started
How do we learn about the quality of our teaching?
How to Make the Case for an Emphasis on Teacher Quality
Three Leadership Requirements
Defining Quality Teaching
How to Engage School Personnel in Devising a Vision of Quality Instruction
Some Rudiments of Quality Teaching
The Importance of Curriculum Coherence
Learning From Students
The Current State of Teaching in Your School
How to Evaluate the Quality of Teaching in Your School
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps for Assessing the State of Teaching
What should induction and mentoring look like?
Basic Components of a Teacher Mentor Program
Facing Critical Junctures Together
Planning for New Teachers' Success
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps for Induction and Mentoring
What should professional development look like?
What We Know About Professional Development
The Disregarded Truths of Professional Development
The Components of a Professional Learning Culture
Building Blocks of Professional Learning
Leading Professional Learning Communities
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps for Professional Development
How can teacher evaluation become more meaningful?
"Drive-By" Teacher Evaluation
"Absentee Landlords"
Lists and Rubrics Abound
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps for Teacher Evaluation
How can we sustain a culture of exceptional instruction?
Ten Actions to Sustain High-Quality Teaching
Systems in Place
Sanctity of the Classroom
Envisioning Quality Teaching
Right People in Right Places
Balanced Leadership
Clear and Timely Communication
Standards for Professional Conduct
Collaboration
Reflection and Continuous Improvement
Ongoing Professional Dialogues
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps to Foster a Culture of High-Quality Teaching
How do we face our leadership challenges?
Suppressing Distraction
Building the Principal's Knowledge
Building Trust
Influencing Resistant Teachers
Coping With the Pace
Final Thoughts
Summary
Questions for Discussion and Reflection
Action Steps for Facing Leadership Challenges
Resources
How Can You Spot a Really Good Teacher?
Framework for Observing Classes
Student Forum Questions
Teacher Interview Questions
References
Index

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