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Teaching Matters Most

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

October 2013 | 208 pages | SAGE AdvantEDGE

A laser-beam focus on improving instruction to improve learning

Saying “teaching matters most” is easy, and seems obvious. Making it the top priority for school leaders and staff is not so easy—in fact, it’s messy. If schools are to change how students write, compute, and think, then teachers must change how they teach. They must transform the old “assign-and-assess” model into engaging, compassionate, coherent, and rigorous instruction. The authors show school leaders how to make this happen amidst myriad distractions, initiatives, and interruptions.

Unlike other books that stop at evaluating teachers and instruction, this work demonstrates how to grow schools’ instructional capacities with a three-step process that involves:

1. Envisioning what good teaching looks like
2. Measuring the quality of current instruction against this standard
3. Working relentlessly to move the quality of instruction closer and closer to the ideal

The authors provide helpful guidance on issues such as hiring, induction, professional development, mentoring, and teacher evaluation. Each chapter offers specific action steps toward building the blueprint for improvement. Also included are frameworks for completing instructional audits in schools, and probes, instruments, and protocols for measuring and tracking the quality of instruction. Leaders will find excellent guidance for spearheading and sustaining a focused and aligned effort to improve the quality of teaching to impact all learners.

Foreword by Deborah Meier
Preface: Lessons Learned From Experience
What are common practices in schools?
What distinguishes quality teaching?
How do we learn about the quality of our teaching?
What should induction and mentoring look like?
What should professional development look like?
How can teacher evaluaiton become more meaningful?
How can we sustain a culture of exceptional instruction?
How do we face our leadership challenges?

This is a good book for principals to use in faculty book study. It will lead to authentic dialogue about good teaching: how to get to it and how to maintain it.

Patricia Long Tucker
Former Superintendent, Altadena, CA

A major strength of this book is how it identifies and puts in one place the key elements needed to improve student learning.

Laurie Emery, Principal
Old Vail Middle School, Vail, AZ

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Thomas M. McCann

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... More About Author

Alan C. Jones

Dr. Alan C. Jones is an Associate Professor of Educational Administration for Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois. His teaching career includes teaching English at DuSable Upper Grade Center in Chicago, Illinois, and social studies at Thornton Township High School, in Harvey, Illinois. He began his administrative career as an Activities Director at Thornton Township High School and went on to become an Assistant Principal at Bremen Township High School and served as Principal of Community High School District 94, in West Chicago, Illinois for seventeen years. Under his leadership, Community High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon... More About Author

Gail A. Aronoff

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... More About Author


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ISBN: 9788132116073