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Teachers Bringing Out the Best in Teachers

Teachers Bringing Out the Best in Teachers
A Guide to Peer Consultation for Administrators and Teachers

Foreword by Edith Rusch

June 2006 | 168 pages | Corwin

Boost teacher-to-teacher collaboration and learning as a means of informal, but powerful professional development!

Most teachers have experienced some kind of formal mentoring or induction program. What these programs can miss is the meaningful daily interaction with peers that builds mutual trust and instructional collaboration-the organic, coachable moments that boost professional learning. Based on a unique investigative study of nearly 300 teachers, this powerful new resource provides informative teacher perspectives of informal, naturally occurring, teacher-to-teacher professional development. Jo and Joseph Blase use this research to identify the following five teacher behaviors that can positively influence other teachers' morale, teaching skills, and professional growth:

  • Building healthy relationships by communicating, caring, and developing trust
  • Using five guiding principles for structuring learning experiences
  • Planning and organizing for learning
  • Showing and sharing
  • Guiding for classroom management

This excellent resource helps school leaders promote a culture that encourages lasting professional development. Each chapter presents practical concepts and strategies that can occur in and out of the classroom. Educators share specific experiences and examples, showing each skill in action.

School leaders will learn what strong teacher peer "consultants" actually do that leads to improved teacher confidence and motivation, enhanced trust and mutual respect, and reflective instructional behavior among their colleagues. These cost-effective, authentic strategies will build camaraderie and leadership in your school, engaging colleagues as a team in the vital mission of all schools-educating our youth.

Foreword by Edith Rusch
About the Authors
1. Teachers Helping Teachers: The Case for Peer Consultation

How Teachers Learn to Teach

The First Source of Teacher Help: Principals as Instructional Supervisors

The Second Source of Teacher Help: Lead Teachers and the Move Away From Top-Down Administrative Control

The Third Source of Teacher Help: Naturally-Occurring Informal Peer Consultation

Our Study of Peer Consultation Among Teachers

A Portrait of Peer Consultation

Questions to Consider

Suggested Reading for Further Learning

2. Peer Consultation Skill #1: Building Healthy Relationships by Communicating, Caring, and Developing Trust
Communication as the Key

Four Types of Peer Consultation

Peer Consultants’ Communication Style

Peer Consultants’ Caring

Peer Consultants’ Building Trust


Activities for Teachers and Administrators

Suggested Reading for Further Learning

3. Peer Consultation Skill #2: Using the Five Guiding Principles for Structuring Learning

Teachers’ Knowledge Base

The Educational Productivity Research and the School Effects Research

From Knowledge to the Development of a Professional Learning Community

Peer Consultants’ Guiding Principles for Structuring Learning Experiences


Implications for Practice

Suggested Reading for Further Learning

4. Peer Consultation Skill #3: Planning and Organizing for Learning
Teachers’ Professional Development

Meta-Themes of Planning

Getting Organized for Instruction

Elements of Lesson Planning

Teacher Tips

The Dark Side of Planning and Organizing for Learning


Reminders and Questions

Suggested Reading for Further Reading

5. Peer Consultation Skill #4: Showing and Sharing
Showing: Three Kinds of Lessons

The Power of Learning by Observing: A Special Form of Showing

Sharing: A Bounty from Colleagues


Implications for Practice and Questions

Suggested Reading for Further Learning

6. Peer Consultation Skill #5: Guiding for Classroom Management
Nine Guiding Principles of Classroom Management

Setting Up and Maintaining Classroom Routines


Questions for Discussion Among Faculty and Administrators

Suggested Reading for Further Learning

7. Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Peer Consultation

Capitalizing on the Power of Peer Consultation

An Element of Academic Leadership Revealed

Teachers Teaching Teachers: Peer Consultants at Their Best

How Peer Consultation Supports the Development of a Professional Learning Community

Semi-Formal Collaboration Among Teachers and Its Effects

Conclusion: The Challenge for Teachers, Administrators, and Professional Learning

Coordinators to Unleash and Sustain Peer Consultation

Resource: Research Methods and Procedures

"A great contribution to the field. Excellent examples of communication styles. The scenarios and short vignettes that demonstrate concepts are interesting and on point."

Gwen Gross, Superintendent of Schools
Manhattan Beach Unified School District, CA

"This book definitely represents a new niche in instructional improvement, offering the integration of prior research, key literature, and strategies for implementation and action."

Edith Rusch, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
University of Nevada Las Vegas

"School leaders can use this book as a tool to promote a culture that encourages professional growth and development."

PsycCRITIQUES, August 2007, Vol. 52(33)
Key features

-          Six research-based and practical skills to improve teaching and to model as an instructional leader

-          Numerous teacher voices and real examples of the six skills in action

-          A cost-effective and meaningful approach to complement formal mentoring and induction programs already in place

-          Useful graphic organizers


Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412925952

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