Excellent Educators: A Wise Giver's Guide to Cultivating Great Teachers and Principals

The Philanthropy Roundtable
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The strongest influence on whether a student learns (and how much) is the teacher. Never mind fancy facilities, new technology, top curricula, or more school spending—research shows that the intelligence, skill, and dedication of the instructor is two to three times as important as any other contribution to student outcomes. If we want to improve schools, we must raise the quality of teachers. 

Yet credentials, degrees, years on the job have little to do with classroom excellence. Fascinating investigations have recently given us clearer pictures of what a successful teacher looks like. Now leading schools are beginning to hire and mentor teachers differently, with a clear-eyed focus on their demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to their students. New techniques for measuring and enhancing the teacher’s capacity to add value in the classroom are the most promising elements in school reform today. Putting them into effect, though, requires wise and brave school leaders. Without bold, sober, demanding principals, few schools will build a truly excellent set of instructors.

This book is for public-spirited donors who want to foster educational excellence by elevating teachers and principals. It reviews the latest academic research and on-the-ground experience of reformers and offers practical advice on multiple fronts. It is written for philanthropists and allies active in the field who want to make a positive difference.
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About the author

Laura Vanderkam previously authored Blended Learning: A Wise Giver's Guide to Supporting Tech-assisted Teaching for The Philanthropy Roundtable. Her writing on economics, education, careers, and technology has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Scientific American, City Journal, and other publications. She is the author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think and the What the Most Successful People Do series of e-books. She is a member of USAToday's board of contributors, and writes the "168 Hours" blog for CBS MoneyWatch. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children and blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.

Karl Zinsmeister is editor of The Philanthropy Roundtable's guidebook series, which include volumes on blended learning, high‑achieving students, teacher and principal excellence, charter schools, Catholic schools, and other topics of interest to education donors, as well as books on philanthropy for the poor, veterans and military families, and other causes. He also oversees Philanthropy magazine, and the Roundtable's website and online publications. He is creating the forthcoming Almanac of American Philanthropy. Zinsmeister has authored eight books, made a PBS film, and written hundreds of articles for publications ranging from The Atlantic to the Wall Street Journal to Reader's Digest. He previously was a Senate aide to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the J. B. Fuqua Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and chief domestic policy adviser to President George W. Bush. He is a graduate of Yale University and also studied at Trinity College Dublin.

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Additional Information

Publisher
The Philanthropy Roundtable
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Published on
Apr 27, 2014
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Pages
106
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ISBN
9780989220262
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Language
English
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Genres
Reference / Handbooks & Manuals
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This book is dedicated to the inventive spirit of mankind and those who exemplify man's best attributes in the great cause of advancing the well-being of all the people on this planet. It is written to assist in the development of that innovative spirit and leadership. Rather than just containing black and white printed words of guidance on leadership and innovation, the book integrates and displays the beauty, diversity, and innovative life found in the natural world around us. It is organized into 10 chapters with 10 sections in each. It takes you from the vision, the team, the strategies, the product, the attributes and actions and behaviors of a leader, to a projection of the future. Each chapter has an introduction followed by 10 discussion points. Each discussion point, or point of light, occupies one page. Each page has a title that speaks to a leadership or product attribute. It has a brief description of the attribute and its relevance to innovation. There is a quote from a well know person to support that thought. Where appropriate, there is a picture taken in the natural world that conveys the basic thought. A picture can be worth a thousand words and can best elicit our emotions and feelings. The pictures selected to reinforce the message of some discussion points are pictures of birds in their natural settings. Birds are an embodiment of man's ancient dreams of flight, travel, adventure, and freedom. Many familiar expressions of reaching for the unknown involve flying and are explored in this book. There is a self-improvement test at the end of the book. Since there are 10 chapters each with 10 discussion points, there are 100 points. If you feel you have achieved the recommended leadership or product attribute, you score it a yes, 100 yeses = 100%. This section is intended to help you focus on areas you can improve and strengthen. Above all the book is meant to be enjoyed; for leadership is a natural skills process that we all need to employ and improve in our daily lives.
Everyone has an opinion, anecdote, or horror story about women and work. Now the acclaimed author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast shows how real working women with families are actually making the most of their time.

“Having it all” has become the subject of countless books, articles, debates, and social media commentary, with passions running high in all directions. Many now believe this to be gospel truth: Any woman who wants to advance in a challenging career has to make huge sacrifices. She’s unlikely to have a happy marriage, quality time with her kids (assuming she can have kids at all), a social life, hobbies, or even a decent night’s sleep.

But what if balancing work and family is actually not as hard as it’s made out to be? What if all those tragic anecdotes ignore the women who quietly but consistently do just fine with the juggle?

Instead of relying on scattered stories, time management expert Laura Vanderkam set out to add hard data to the debate. She collected hour-by-hour time logs from 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year. And she found some surprising patterns in how these women spend the 168 hours that every one of us has each week.

Overall, these women worked less and slept more than they assumed they did before they started
tracking their time. They went jogging or to the gym, played with their children, scheduled date nights with their significant others, and had lunches with friends. They made time for the things that gave them pleasure and meaning, fitting the pieces together like tiles in a mosaic—without adhering to overly rigid schedules that would eliminate flexibility and spontaneity.

Vanderkam shares specific strategies that her subjects use to make time for the things that really matter to them. For instance, they . . .
* Work split shifts (such as seven hours at work, four off, then another two at night from home). This allows them to see their kids without falling behind professionally.
* Get creative about what counts as quality family time. Breakfasts together and morning story time count as much as daily family dinners, and they’re often easier to manage.
* Take it easy on the housework. You can free up a lot of time by embracing the philosophy of “good enough” and getting help from other members of your household (or a cleaning service).
* Guard their leisure time. Full weekend getaways may be rare, but many satisfying hobbies can be done in small bursts of time. An hour of crafting feels better than an hour of reality TV.

With examples from hundreds of real women, Vanderkam proves that you don’t have to give up on the things you really want. I Know How She Does It will inspire you to build a life that works, one hour at a time.
There are 168 hours in a week. This book is about where the time really goes, and how we can all use it better.

It's an unquestioned truth of modern life: we are starved for time. With the rise of two-income families, extreme jobs, and 24/7 connectivity, life is so frenzied we can barely find time to breathe. We tell ourselves we'd like to read more, get to the gym regularly, try new hobbies, and accomplish all kinds of goals. But then we give up because there just aren't enough hours to do it all. Or else, if we don't make excuses, we make sacrifices. To get ahead at work we spend less time with our spouses. To carve out more family time, we put off getting in shape. To train for a marathon, we cut back on sleep. There has to be a better way-and Laura Vanderkam has found one.

After interviewing dozens of successful, happy people, she realized that they allocate their time differently than most of us. Instead of letting the daily grind crowd out the important stuff, they start by making sure there's time for the important stuff. They focus on what they do best and what only they can do. When plans go wrong and they run out of time, only their lesser priorities suffer.

It's not always easy, but the payoff is enormous. Vanderkam shows that it really is possible to sleep eight hours a night, exercise five days a week, take piano lessons, and write a novel without giving up quality time for work, family, and other things that really matter. The key is to start with a blank slate and to fill up your 168 hours only with things that deserve your time.

Of course, you probably won't read to your children at 2:00 am, or skip a Wednesday morning meeting to go hiking, but you can cut back on how much you watch TV, do laundry, or spend time on other less fulfilling activities. Vanderkam shares creative ways to rearrange your schedule to make room for the things that matter most.

168 Hours is a fun, inspiring, practical guide that will help men and women of any age, lifestyle, or career get the most out of their time and their lives.
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