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Teaching Sprints
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Teaching Sprints
How Overloaded Educators Can Keep Getting Better

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December 2020 | 112 pages | Corwin

"Among the greatest unresolved issues within schools is developing great models of implementation: Sprints is certainly one of the breakthroughs. This book can make major improvements in schools and classrooms, ironically by focusing on tiny shifts."
John Hattie, Laureate Professor
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Melbourne, Australia

"Once in a while you come across a book that really cuts through the complexity of issues and provides a refreshing and practical approach to improving what happens in schools. This is such a book. Evidence-based, easy to read and full of down-to-earth ideas that busy teachers can implement. I love it."  

Steve Munby, Visiting Professor
University College London 
Former CEO, National College for School Leadership
London, UK

Enhance teachers’ expertise – in every term, every school year.

With all of the everyday demands of teaching, the job of improving classroom practice is a challenge for teachers and school leaders. Grounded by research and field-tested around the world, Teaching Sprints offers a professional improvement process that works in theory and practice.

Including insights from the field, and practical protocols, this book outlines a simple model for engaging in short bursts of evidence-informed improvement work. Using Teaching Sprints, teams of teachers can enhance their expertise together, in a way that is sustainable on the ground. 

In Teaching Sprints, readers will find:
three big ideas about practice improvement 
a detailed description of a simple improvement process
advice on how to establish a routine for continual improvement

Whether you’re a classroom teacher thinking about your own practice, an instructional leader supporting colleagues to teach better tomorrow, or a school leader interested in enhancing your program for professional learning, Teaching Sprints is a must-read for you.
 

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Authors
 
Contributors
 
Introduction
 
Part 1 - Big Ideas About Getting Better
 
1.1 Big Ideas 1: Start with the best bets
 
1.2 Big Ideas 2: Practice makes progress
 
1.3 Big Ideas 3: Focus on tiny shifts
 
Reflection Activity
 
Part 2 - The Teaching Sprints Process
 
2.2 The Sprint Phase
 
2.2 The Sprint Phase
 
2.3 The Review Phase
 
Reflection Activity
 
Part 3 - Establishing an Improvement Routine
 
3.1 Teacher teams - Who could work together in Teaching Sprints
 
3.2 Scheduling: What can we run our Teaching Sprints during a busy term?
 
3.3 Choosing a focus: How do we choose an area of practice to work on?
 
Reflection
 
Conclusion - Better Than Before
 
Appendices
 
Appendix A - Teaching Sprints Process Overview
 
Appendix B - Teaching Jigsaw Protocol
 
Appendix C - Learn & Let Go Protocol
 
Appendix D - Boulder, Pebble, Sand Protocol
 
Appendix E – Picture of Practice Protocol
 
Appendix F – Check-in Protocol
 
Appendix G – Review Protocol
 
Appendix H – Re-allocating Time for Teaching Sprints
 
Appendix J – Term Planner for Teaching Sprints

Supplements

As the world turns faster and with increasing uncertainty, we, as educators, need to be agile and excellent. We need to project our professionalism and do everything in our power to ensure that the system we deliver is worthy of our children and their futures. This book is brilliantly researched, incredibly pragmatic and, most importantly, profoundly important in helping us all to meet that challenge.

Richard Gerver, Speaker, Educator
Author, Education: A Manifesto for Change

As a school principal, I’ve found Teaching Sprints to be the most effective way to facilitate teacher improvement. It is simple but powerful because it gives teachers a real sense of satisfaction. Through each Sprint, and sometimes in a short space of time, they see both personal improvement and improvement in their students.

Lindy Smith, Principal
Trinity Catholic School

Brilliant! As school leaders we live, eat and breathe school improvement. In Teaching Sprints, Simon and Bron give us a practical and effective way to make it happen. I wish they had written this 20 years ago when I was a principal.

Neil Barker, Former Director
Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership

Our teachers are proof of the impact Teaching Sprints has on improving their practice and ensuring impact. Teachers meaningfully engage in Teaching Sprints because they know it works.

Kylie Donovan & Donna Beath
Hoxton Park Public School

Teaching Sprints has enabled our teams of educators to refine and improve their teaching practice by engaging with research. The Sprints process fosters collaborative learning and has been a valuable form of professional development in creating lasting change. I like that teachers reflect on their current practice and then identify areas where they could improve their expertise. The change is evident in the conversations you hear in meetings where the first step is engaging with research to inform the decisions we make. It is not uncommon to hear teachers say, ‘Well, what is the best way of teaching...?’ Sprints has reaffirmed the need for teachers to be continual learners who constantly strive to get better, regardless of their experience. 

Angela Dobbin, Assistant Principal
Northbridge Public School

As a school leader, I credit the role Teaching Sprints has had in shaping staff culture – it’s one of continual teacher improvement. Through Sprints, teachers at my school routinely improve their effectiveness while simultaneously building strong relational trust.

Steven Hooke, Principal
The Oaks Public School

The Teaching Sprints process has become embedded in our school’s practice. Teachers collaborate, using the three phases of a Teaching Sprint to research around best practice, implement, review, refine, and assess. Improvement in student learning outcomes is evident as a result of the focus on improving and refining teacher pedagogy.

Joanne Graham, Principal
Kurnell Public School

Teaching Sprints is a great process that allowed our team to have some engaging professional dialogue on our teaching practice. It gave us a safe space to reflect on research and share our learning.

Kate Foley, Prep One Teacher
Trinity Catholic School

Transformative. Timely. Teacher and research informed. Teaching Sprints provides us with the space for deliberate dialogue around two critical aspects of education; improving student outcomes and shifting pedagogical practice.

Karen Graham, Deputy Principal (Instructional Leader)
Blairmount Public School

Teaching Sprints has enabled our portfolio of schools/pre-schools to be involved in a consistent organisational process for developing teacher practice and collaboration. As a local Education Team, the impact of this approach has been clearly identified through the collection of evidence which is enhancing our overall Site Improvement focus.

Adam Box, Education Director, Partnerships, Schools, and Preschools
Department for Education
Key features

Whether you’re an educator, instructional coach, school principal or system leader, we hope this book helps you to explore key questions that are important to you:

  • How can teachers focus on improving, when they’re already overwhelmed by the extreme demands of teaching?
  • How can we provide the opportunity for all teachers, regardless of experience and expertise, to incrementally improve their  practice in every term, every year?
  • What “big ideas” are important to know if I want to improve my own professional learning, or the professional learning opportunities of my peers?
  • How can we sustain a focus on teacher learning through the regular pressures of a school year?
  • What is Teaching Sprints, and how have others used this simple process to drive lasting practice improvements in the field?

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ISBN: 9781506340401
$21.95