Building Teachers' Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders

Building Teachers' Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders

Building Teachers' Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders

Building Teachers' Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders

Synopsis

Educators know that teachers are a school's most essential strength. In Building Teachers' Capacity for Success, authors Pete Hall (winner of the 2004 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award) and Alisa Simeral offer a straightforward plan to help site-based administrators and instructional coaches collaborate to bring out the best in every teacher, build a stronger and more cohesive staff, and achieve greater academic success. Their model of Strength-Based School Improvement is an alternative to a negative, deficit-approach focused on fixing what's wrong. Instead, they show school leaders how to achieve their goals by working together to maximize what's right.

Filled with clear, proven strategies and organized around two easy-to-use tools--the innovative Continuum of Self-Reflection and a feedback-focused walk-through model--this book offers a differentiated approach to coaching and supervision centered on identifying and nurturing teachers' individual strengths and helping them reach new levels of professional success and satisfaction. Here, you'll find front-line advice from the authors, one a principal and the other an instructional coach, on just what to look for, do, and say in order to start seeing positive results right now.

Excerpt

Let’s take a step back in time. It’s not a big step; in fact, our time travel will take us back only a half-dozen years. The location is Anderson Elementary School, which sits on a quiet street in downtown Reno, Nevada. The school isn’t particularly striking, but it has a diverse student population representative of the changing educational landscape in the United States, with the 500 students in grades preK through 6 representing a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

A statistical look shows that some 80 percent of the students at Anderson are members of a racial “minority,” nearly 90 percent come from homes in poverty, and fully two-thirds speak a language other than English at home. The school carts along the usual baggage that accompanies schools with low-socioeconomicstatus populations: Title I designations and programs, a high transience rate (upwards of 70 percent), some chronic discipline issues, and a history of academic underperformance. It is, all in all, a rather typical school.

When Pete Hall had the good fortune to be named the new principal of Anderson Elementary School, such was the state of affairs. The building was in an “OK neighborhood,” most students were wonderfully polite and eager to participate, and the staff members were positive and enjoyed coming to work every day. But academic achievement rates were dismal, and those around the school knew it could do better—much better. Even in Reno, the “Biggest Little City in the World,” in the glow of the casinos and the settling dust of another rodeo, the quest for educational excellence was alive and well.

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