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Teaching Sprints
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Teaching Sprints
How Overloaded Educators Can Keep Getting Better

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December 2020 | 96 pages | Corwin

"Among the greatest unresolved issues within schools is developing great models of implementation: Sprints is certainly one of the breakthroughs. This book can make major improvements in schools and classrooms, ironically by focusing on tiny shifts."
John Hattie, Laureate Professor
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Melbourne, Australia

"Once in a while you come across a book that really cuts through the complexity of issues and provides a refreshing and practical approach to improving what happens in schools. This is such a book. Evidence-based, easy to read and full of down-to-earth ideas that busy teachers can implement. I love it."  

Steve Munby, Visiting Professor
University College London 
Former CEO, National College for School Leadership
London, UK

Enhance teachers’ expertise – in every term, every school year.

With all of the everyday demands of teaching, the job of improving classroom practice is a challenge for teachers and school leaders. Grounded by research and field-tested around the world, Teaching Sprints offers a professional improvement process that works in theory and practice.

Including insights from the field, and practical protocols, this book outlines a simple model for engaging in short bursts of evidence-informed improvement work. Using Teaching Sprints, teams of teachers can enhance their expertise together, in a way that is sustainable on the ground. 

In Teaching Sprints, readers will find:
three big ideas about practice improvement 
a detailed description of a simple improvement process
advice on how to establish a routine for continual improvement

Whether you’re a classroom teacher thinking about your own practice, an instructional leader supporting colleagues to teach better tomorrow, or a school leader interested in enhancing your program for professional learning, Teaching Sprints is a must-read for you.
 

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Authors
 
Contributors
 
Introduction
 
Part 1 - Big Ideas About Getting Better
 
1.1 Big Ideas 1: Start with the best bets
 
1.2 Big Ideas 2: Practice makes progress
 
1.3 Big Ideas 3: Focus on tiny shifts
 
Reflection Activity
 
Part 2 - The Teaching Sprints Process
 
2.2 The Sprint Phase
 
2.2 The Sprint Phase
 
2.3 The Review Phase
 
Reflection Activity
 
Part 3 - Establishing an Improvement Routine
 
3.1 Teacher teams - Who could work together in Teaching Sprints
 
3.2 Scheduling: What can we run our Teaching Sprints during a busy term?
 
3.3 Choosing a focus: How do we choose an area of practice to work on?
 
Reflection
 
Conclusion - Better Than Before
 
Appendices
 
Appendix A - Teaching Sprints Process Overview
 
Appendix B - Teaching Jigsaw Protocol
 
Appendix C - Learn & Let Go Protocol
 
Appendix D - Boulder, Pebble, Sand Protocol
 
Appendix E – Picture of Practice Protocol
 
Appendix F – Check-in Protocol
 
Appendix G – Review Protocol
 
Appendix H – Re-allocating Time for Teaching Sprints
 
Appendix J – Term Planner for Teaching Sprints

Among the greatest unresolved issues within schools is developing great models of implementation: Sprints is certainly one of the breakthroughs. This book can make major improvements in schools and classrooms, ironically by focusing on tiny shifts. 

John Hattie
Laureate Professor

Once in a while you come across a book that really cuts through the complexity of issues and provides a refreshing and practical approach to improving what happens in schools. This is such a book. Evidence-based, easy to read and full of down-to-earth ideas that busy teachers can implement. I love it.  

Steve Munby
Visiting Professor

In our work we find that 80% of our best ideas come from leading practitioners. This book is a godsend to this domain of learning from doing. With three big components, and three guidelines to quick action for each idea, Teaching Sprints helps people to get to action and learn from it quickly. Identify best bets, and establish improvement routines. Breakspear and Ryrie Jones have given us a strong framework for action in frantic times.

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus

As someone who works closely with teachers to support their development in a wide range of contexts, I found Teaching Sprints absolutely inspiring and illuminating. Simon and Bronwyn have managed to capture the complex process of teacher improvement in an elegantly simple framework with crystal clear underlying principles founded on both practice and research evidence, alongside very practical implementation tools. It's a brilliant concept and I'm sure a lot of teachers and leaders will find this incredibly valuable. 

Tom Sherrington, Education Consultant and Author
Teacherhead.com

Simon and Bron have such a practical way of combining insights from research and practice to help teachers have the best possible impact in their classrooms. This book is a goldmine of practical, tried-and-tested and evidence-informed strategies for teachers and school leaders who want to improve what they do.

Danielle Toon, Associate Director
Social Ventures Australia

Authors Breakspear & Ryrie Jones, informed and supported by fellow practitioners & researchers, deliver a powerful Guide for a profession committed to getting better at good work. The Teaching Sprints model is an ‘innovation lab in the school’; it is a rigorous, adaptive, and impactful approach to embedding professional learning. Teaching Sprints advocates iterative and sustainable improvement in collaborative professional practice - but it does much more - it demonstrates how to do it!

Anthony Mackay, President & CEO
National Center on Education & the Economy

Teaching Sprints is an important book for anyone who works with teachers on practice improvement. Breakspear and Ryrie Jones provide a simple, flexible process for engaging small groups of teachers in developing their craft of teaching. Using simple, straightforward protocols, Teaching Sprints helps teachers to engage with relevant research, choose one small piece of their craft to change and make that shift to ultimately improve student learning outcomes. I can't wait to share this book with all teachers in my district!

Leanne Peters, Assistant Superintendent
Hanover School Division

For too long teachers have been asked to change practice outside of the context of the classroom and outside the realm of engagement with students. Here, Breakspear and Ryrie Jones provide a logical, sensible, and pragmatic approach that enables the busy teacher to improve in the classroom with kids. Start with best bets, practice makes progress, and focus on tiny shifts are the key ingredients to launching doable and long-lasting improvement. This is a brilliant book every teacher, coach, and leader should use as they seek to improve teaching and learning. 

Michael McDowell, Superintendent
Ross School District

This book delivers exactly what teachers want – a structured, logical and achievable strategy to improve their classroom practice and reflect on evidence of impact. 

Adrian Piccoli, Professor
University of New South Wales Gonski Institute for Education

Teaching Sprints provides educators with a lens to think about and explore their practice in tangible ways. The clearly articulated process facilitates collaborative conversations among teams, with a focus on evidence informed decisions. The opportunity to practice, adjust and reflect supports teachers’ professional learning through ongoing intentional and incremental adjustments over time.

Barb Isaak, Executive Director
Manitoba Association of School Superintendents
Key features

Whether you’re an educator, instructional coach, school principal or system leader, we hope this book helps you to explore key questions that are important to you:

  • How can teachers focus on improving, when they’re already overwhelmed by the extreme demands of teaching?
  • How can we provide the opportunity for all teachers, regardless of experience and expertise, to incrementally improve their  practice in every term, every year?
  • What “big ideas” are important to know if I want to improve my own professional learning, or the professional learning opportunities of my peers?
  • How can we sustain a focus on teacher learning through the regular pressures of a school year?
  • What is Teaching Sprints, and how have others used this simple process to drive lasting practice improvements in the field?

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ISBN: 9781506340401
CAD$ 38.95

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