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The Best Teacher in You: How to Accelerate Learning and Change Lives
Robert E. Quinn, Katherine Heynoski, Mike Thomas and Gretchen M. Spreitzer

Retail Price: $19.95
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Format: Paperback, 216pp.
ISBN: 9781626561786
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Pub. Date: June 30, 2014

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

• Discover how highly effective teachers bring out the best in themselves and their students

• Be inspired by the personal journeys of seven highly effective teachers—learn how they became transformational leaders in the classroom

• Explore a framework for effective teaching and learning and use it to reflect on your own teaching practice

What does teaching look like at its very best? How are great teachers able to ignite a love of learning and change students’ lives? What are the keys to accelerating learning for both teachers and students?

The Best Teacher in You provides revealing answers to these important questions. Over the past six years, the authors have worked with highly effective teachers to examine the mindsets, behaviors, and change processes that accelerate and deepen learning. They discovered a common pattern in these teachers’ practices. Highly effective teachers stretch beyond conventional foundations of good teaching, such as content, pedagogy, and classroom management, to transform their classrooms into exciting, dynamic places where teachers and students cocreate the learning experience. These teachers cultivate a classroom community that gives rise to transformative learning.

In this book you’ll learn from seven remarkable teachers and their stories of learning and, ultimately, deep change. The authors outline a framework that identifies four dimensions of effective teaching and learning that are integrated in the classrooms of highly effective teachers—you’ll discover how the framework helps you recognize and release the potential in you and others around you. You can begin using the strategies and tools included in the book today to become the best teacher in you.


“Provides a framework that enables readers to examine their own beliefs and practices and begin a journey to deeper, more effective teaching. All teachers and administrators who want to explore their own learning and professional growth should begin with this book.”
—Brian A. McNulty, PhD, Vice President of Leadership Development, The Leadership and Learning Center

“What I really appreciate about this book is the emphasis it puts on teacher performance and its focus on strengthening practices that emphasize the learner and learning rather than the extreme focus on results, with the understanding, of course, that the results will follow. This is a tool that could really help all teachers grow.”
—Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers

“Invites teachers to participate in ‘paradoxical thinking’ to help them see new possibilities. It is rich in examples and practical possibilities and offers a powerful path to promote professional learning.”
—Marilyn Parsons, Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Associate Head for Undergraduate and Certification Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“The very best teachers are the ones who know their learning is never done. Bringing together the expertise of academic research, this book offers tangible ways that reflective, growth-oriented teachers at any level can help themselves continue to grow their practice.”
—Ellen Moir, CEO, New Teacher Center

“This is highly practical, with real classroom case examples, useful tools, well-grounded guiding principles, and more. It is honest and intensely relevant for the teachers and the schools that are under undue pressures these days, a book that has heart and soul.”
—Jim Evers, retired teacher and author of Becoming a School Where Everyone Matters and Crisis in School Management

“The authors have uncovered insights that characterize the extraordinary teachers who produce results three or four times higher than normal teachers. Their careful insight and compelling illustrations provide guidance that every teacher, parent, and leader will find useful.”
—Kim Cameron, Associate Dean and William Russell Kelly Professor of Management and Organizations, Ross School of Business, and Professor of Higher Education, School of Education, University of Michigan

“This book identifies the characteristics of teachers who really make a difference. The highly effective teacher will feel reinforced. The teacher looking to improve will learn from stories and research that are inspirational and implementable. This should be required reading for everyone entering the education profession.”
—R. Kirk Hamilton, PhD, Executive Director, Buckeye Association of School Administrators

“In the same way that transformational leaders make a difference in the lives of their employees, transformational teachers create the platform upon which inspired and committed students exceed expectations. Based on the authors’ groundbreaking research, this book is for anyone interested in helping students reach their highest potential.”
—Julian Barling, PhD, Borden Chair of Leadership, Queen’s School of Business, and author of The Science of Leadership

“Teaching is about so much more than pedagogical technique or student test scores. The authors effectively capture the complexity of the craft of teaching and provide a thoughtful conceptual road map for understanding the dynamics of what it truly means to be a highly effective teacher.”
—Thomas J. Lasley, Executive Director, Learn to Earn Dayton, Dayton Foundation, and Professor, School of Education and Health Sciences, University of Dayton

“Can highly effective teachers help their peers ‘set classrooms on fire’? The Best Teacher in You not only says yes but also tells us how. Teachers, parents, and public-policy makers should take this insightful and inspiring study to heart.
Richard Celeste, former President, Colorado College, and 64th Governor of Ohio

“This book is a wonderful text for a professional development session with teachers who have been in the field a few years and were feeling as if they were not getting the most out of their students.”
—Dr. Joy Cowdery, Janet Brown Rothwell Distinguished Professor of Education, Muskingum University Education Department

“The Best Teacher in You is an affirming, convicting, and encouraging resource, challenging teachers at all stages of their careers to reflect on their practices and continue growing and developing as teachers and learners.”
—Tricia Ebner, NBCT, gifted intervention specialist and member, Ohio Educator Leader Cadre, Lake Middle School

“The Best Teacher in You provides real-world examples and practical tools to help teachers be the best teacher they can be for their students. The book provides practical and insightful examples from some of the best educators identified through a rich, data driven analysis of actual student performance.”
—Larry Hilsheimer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Scotts Miracle-Gro

“There are multiple paths to uncover the best teacher within. The Best Teacher in You introduces a framework that explores effective, powerful practices to leverage individual educators’ strengths and empower them despite the challenges of society.”
—Richard Lewis, Executive Director, Ohio School Boards Association

“This book provides powerful insights into highly effective teachers and the symbiotic relationships they foster with their students that yield improved teaching and learning for all. The stories are inspirational, and the authors do an amazing job of providing practical strategies that can lead to the transformation of the practice by others.”
—Julie Baker Finck, PhD, President, Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

“Better schools with better outcomes result from the best teachers. This book dissects the attitudes, behaviors, challenges, and personal philosophies that drive highly effective teachers.”
—Michael Gonsiorowski, Regional President, PNC Bank

“The Best Teacher in You moves us past the histrionics of value-added measures by using them to actually identify great teachers. Following up the statistical evidence with deep qualitative research, this book seeks to find out what makes great teachers tick. This important work is an affirmation that foundational elements like quality relationships, a growth mindset, a supportive environment, and high expectations are what matter most in education.”
—Jason Glass, Superintendent and Chief Learner, Eagle County Schools

“For the highly effective teacher that seems to be locked up inside and is yearning to get out, The Best Teacher in You is the key to opening the door.”
—Carl F. Kohrt, PhD, President and CEO (retired), Battelle Memorial Institute

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About the Authors

Robert E. Quinn is the Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan. He cofounded and codirects Ross's Center for Positive Organizations.
Katherine Heynoski is senior specialist, powerful practices, at Battelle for Kids.
Mike Thomas is senior director, powerful practices, at Battelle for Kids.
Gretchen M. Spreitzer is the Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Spreitzer is codirector of Ross’s Center for Positive Organizations.

Table of Contents

Learning from Highly Effective Teachers
1Becoming the Best Teacher in You: A Process, Not a Destination
2Embracing Connections: Integrating Essential Elements
3Opening the Mind: Embracing Deep Change
4Opening the Heart: Enhancing Relationships
5Empowering the Soul: Developing Yourself
6Empowering Others: Teaching That Transforms
7A Process for Development: Embedding Self-Reflection
Conclusion: Strategies for Moving Forward
Resource A: The Reflect Assessment
Resource B: Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument for Classrooms
Resource C: Appreciative Inquiry Protocol
Resource D: Interview Protocol
Resource E: Online Tools and Resources
About the Authors
About Battelle for Kids
About the Center for Positive Organizations

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