In this book, the author advocates for meaningful change—change that takes into account the culture of the school community and the diversity among its members. She eschews the traditional, top-down model for one that allows participants time to inquire and reflect, listen and respond, rise and stumble. And although it can be more challenging, the payoff is considerable: teachers and administrators alike grow into professionals who can alter the lives of children in astounding ways.
Robb demonstrates how to start, maintain, and assess with a menu of ongoing strategies-study groups, coaching, and peer mentoring and evaluation. All of them are adaptable, and none requires the budget for traditional inservice because they rely on activities that all educators should be engaged in-reading, self-evaluating, conversing, kid and colleague watching, and collaborating on investigations. They can be done with or without the help of a hired outside educator. It is a model that is within financial reach of most schools, if leaders choose to embrace it.
As practical as it is thought provoking, the book contains anecdotes from Robb’s own experience as a teacher, staff developer, and curriculum coordinator in schools throughout Virginia. It also features transcripts from interviews, teacher conversations, and student conferences, as well as an appendix of reproducible forms for self-evaluation, study-group documentation, and one-on-one conferences that can be used as is or modified.