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You Don't Have to Be Bad to Get Better
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You Don't Have to Be Bad to Get Better
A Leader's Guide to Improving Teacher Quality

Foreword by Charlotte Danielson



December 2012 | 152 pages | Corwin

Take your school to the next level!

What are the attributes of strong instructional leaders? How are they able to effect changes in teaching practice that has remained virtually the same for decades? This practical guide is about school leadership, but with a laser-like focus on what it takes to develop, support, and sustain quality teaching in any school environment.

Grounded in research and over a decade of experience working in schools throughout the country, You Don’t Have to Be Bad to Get Better offers school leaders at every level the guidance, specific tools, and resources they need to increase teacher—and student—success. School leaders will develop:

• Strategies for transitioning from a culture of fear and criticism to a culture of learning
• The tools needed to hire, grow, and improve the quality of teachers under their leadership
• A blueprint for engaging teachers in their own professional growth
• A deep understanding of the role of district office personnel in improving both teaching and learning

Research shows that the most important factor in student learning is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Bring out the best in your teachers through strong instructional leadership and watch student learning soar!

“I'm already thinking of how to incorporate what I've learned from the book into my practice and staff professional development!”
—Frank Chiki, Principal
Chamiza Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM

“McKay has developed a user-friendly guide to thinking about and assessing current practice in an effort to move everyone forward. This is a valuable text for study by collaborative teacher and administrator groups who are interested in improving their professional practice."
—Bernadette Cleland, Co-Founder
Teaching & Learning Solutions


 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Foreword
 
Preface
A Laser Like Focus  
Organization and Structure  
Practical and Useful Features  
Audience  
 
1. Removing the Rose Colored Glasses
The Rose Colored Glasses Phenomenon  
Red Flag Warnings  
Demonstrating Moral Courage  
Leading Change: Necessary Dispositions  
Perceptions about the Role of a School Leader  
Confidence in Self as an Instructional Leader  
A Growth Mindset  
Moral Courage  
Key Points about Removing the Rose Colored Glasses  
Putting Words into Action  
Reflecting on Your Current State  
Action Tools  
 
2. No More Lake Wobegon: Creating a Culture of Learning
The Effects of Well-Intended Fiction: “A Culture of Nice”  
The Changing Landscape  
The Leader’s Role: Essential Beliefs and Understandings  
Changing Beliefs: Practice Comes First!  
Drinking the Water  
Understanding About Learning  
A Presumption of Continuous Growth for All  
Setting the Stage: Defining Who We Are  
Capturing the School’s History  
Developing Core Beliefs and Commitments  
Developing Trust and Rapport  
Step Aside and Lead: Creating Opportunities for Learning  
Key Points about Creating a Culture of Learning  
Putting Words into Action  
Reflecting on Your Current State  
Action Tools  
 
3. The Wisdom of Instructional Leadership: What Leaders Need to Know and Do
Knowledge of Staff  
Understandings about Teaching and Learning  
What Is Good Teaching?  
How Good is Good Enough?  
How Does Learning Occur?  
What is Engagement in Learning?  
Skills of the Instructional Leader  
Collecting Evidence to Assess Teaching  
Engaging in Professional Conversations  
Skillful Questioning  
Productive Listening  
Providing Feedback  
Facilitating Professional Goal Setting  
Key Points about What Leaders Need to Know  
Putting Words into Action  
Reflecting on Your Current State  
Action Tools  
 
4. The Wisdom of Instructional Practice: What Teachers Need to Know
Playing a Guessing Game  
Guessing Games Replaced by Transparency  
Understandings about Teaching and Learning  
Putting Your Know-How into Action: A Cycle of Continuous Improvement and Growth  
Don’t Forget to Feed the Teachers!  
A Plan for Teacher Learning  
Key Points About What Teachers Need to Know  
Putting Words into Action  
Reflecting on Your Current State  
Action Tool  
 
5. Promoting Teacher Learning: It’s All Talk!
Powerful Conversations  
Setting the Stage  
Acknowledging the Leader’s Dual Role  
Making Intentions Clear  
Factors that Impact Conversations  
Rapport and Relationship with the Teacher  
The Developmental Level of the Teacher  
The School Culture  
The Data Collected about Teaching and Learning  
The Teacher’s Mindset  
The Skills of the Leader Facilitating the Conversation  
Leading Conversations: When, What and How  
When to Talk  
What to Talk About  
How to Talk  
Key Points about Promoting Teacher Learning  
Putting Words into Action  
Reflect on Your Current State  
Action Tool  
 
6. Principals Can’t Lead Alone: The Role of the District Office
Improving Instruction: Does the Central Office Matter?  
A Case in Point  
Increased Accountability for Leaders  
Creating a Culture for Professional Learning: A Case Study  
A Powerful First Impression  
A History of Principal Autonomy  
Getting the Right Members on the Team  
Learning for All Adults in the System  
Aligning School and District Goals and Priorities  
Teacher Evaluation a Tool for Teacher Learning  
Professional Development as the Fuel for the System  
Expanding Professional Learning Across the District  
Finding Time for Professional Learning  
Securing the Future of Leaders and the Professional Staff  
Key Points about the Role of the District Office  
Putting Words in Action  
Action Tool  
Reflect and Assess  
 
References
 
Index

"I'm already thinking of how to incorporate what I've learned from the book into my practice and opening year staff professional development!"

Frank Chiki, Principal
Chamiza Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM

"This book takes the best of research-based theory and crafts it into practical application for the school leader. A necessary read for any school leader seeking to improve the quality of teacher instruction."

Patricia Conner, Curriculum Specialist
Berryville Public Schools, AR

"You Don’t Have to be Bad to Get Better presents a compelling argument for developing teacher evaluation systems that focus on professional growth rather than perpetuating a system of compliance. McKay had developed a user-friendly guide to thinking about and assessing current practice in an effort to move everyone’s practice forward. This text would be a valuable text for study by collaborative teacher and administrator groups who are interested in improving their professional practice."

Bernadette Cleland, Co-Founder
Teaching & Learning Solutions
Key features
  • Identifies and describes the attributes of school leaders that enable them to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Explores what leaders need to understand about teaching in order to effectively facilitate improvements in practice.
  • Describes what teachers need to know so that they can be active participants in their own learning and then provides a field tested model of how to embed this learning within the school so that it is sustainable over time.
  • Explains the importance of conversation in promoting teacher learning, providing a field-tested protocol for conducting conversations with teachers as a follow up to formal and informal classroom visits.
  • Includes the role of district office administrators in improving teacher quality and offers guidance on principal/district leader collaboration.
  • Includes numerous field-tested tools and samples to support implementation of strategies.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter Two


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ISBN: 9781452240879
$30.95