What Makes Teachers Thrive?

In Where Teachers Thrive, Susan Moore Johnson outlines a powerful argument about the importance of the school as an organization in nurturing high-quality teaching. Based on case studies conducted in fourteen high-poverty, urban schools, the book examines why some schools failed to make progress, while others achieved remarkable results. It explores the challenges that administrators and teachers faced and describes what worked, what didn’t work, and why. 

Johnson draws on vivid portraits of schools to highlight an array of school-based systems and practices that support teachers’ professional growth and effectiveness. These include a rich and interactive hiring process; team-based curriculum planning and assessment; and informative feedback and ongoing professional learning. Critical to all of these is the role of the principal as an essential agent in a school’s success. Although these elements may vary from school to school, Johnson argues that together these systems provide a comprehensive, mutually reinforcing set of well-orchestrated strategies that can help schools deliver results that exceed the sum of teachers’ individual efforts.

Since 2000, policy makers and education officials have diligently sought to improve schools by improving the quality of individual teachers. However, even if those teachers are skilled and committed, the schools where they work are all too often disjointed, dysfunctional organizations that serve no one well. Where Teachers Thrive explains clearly how educators within a school can join together to adopt systems of practice that ensure growth and success by all teachers and their students.

For more, see: https://www.hepg.org/hep-home/books/where-teachers-thrive