Creating Dynamic Schools through Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration

Creating Dynamic Schools through Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration

Creating Dynamic Schools through Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration

Creating Dynamic Schools through Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration

Synopsis

How can you create a school environment where everyone--staff and students alike--will become an active, engaged learner? How can you develop a collegial school culture that will improve morale, expand professional opportunities, and raise student achievement? How can you make a difference in your school?

Judy F. Carr, Nancy Herman, and Douglas E. Harris show how to transform your school into a dynamic learning community. Drawing on decades of experience and success, these former educators and trusted consultants provide expert guidance on

• Identifying potential leaders and fulfilling their professional ambitions

• Selecting coaches and strengthening professional development capabilities

• Recognizing and maximizing the talents and resources of veteran and beginning teachers

• Establishing a self-renewing, satisfying mentor program

• Designing and running effective study groups

Whether you are a teacher leader, district supervisor, or principal, these valuable and practical strategies will help you build and sustain collaborative relationships in your school--and embark on a shared journey toward mutual support, continuous learning, and higher achievement.

Excerpt

Mentoring, coaching, and collaboration are shared processes, a shared journey of commitment to effective practice and improved learning for all students. In a learning community, adults and children alike are learners as they experiment, give and receive feedback, and use and offer support. When these interactions are embedded in the school culture, a new synergy evolves and a shift occurs—a shift to the forward momentum of collaborative school renewal.

In many states, recent legislation calls for mentoring new teachers to improve their teaching and to help keep them from dropping out of the profession. In response, mentoring programs have sprung up and many schools and districts are working earnestly to implement them. Too often, though, this work is seen as being about “them” (the mentees) rather than about “us” (educators as a group). At the simplest level, this narrow view means that participants see mentoring as a one-way street in which the mentor supplies the new teacher with support and information but receives nothing in return. In more complex terms, experienced teachers lose valuable opportunities to exercise mentoring skills and to support one another in a quest for continuing growth.

Imagine a scenario in which all professional educators in a school are themselves learners. Work is done in partnership with colleagues in pairs, in small groups, and in collaboration with the whole faculty. The focus of this work is ongoing engagement in a process of purposeful inquiry . . .

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