Book Review                                      Online Exclusive


The 6 Keys to Teacher


Unlocking the Doors to Top Teacher Performance


by Cathie E. West, Eye on Education, Larchmont, N.Y., 2013, 128 pp., $29.95 softcover

Cathie E. West, a distinguished principal, teacher and director of special programs, has chosen to share information that every principal and superintendent would be wise to use in their careers. This short treatise on teacher engagement and performance is based on six factors –creating a culture of engagement, organizing for engagement, engineering engagement, best practices, teacher leaders and confronting change challengers.

The six factors in The 6 Keys to Teacher Engagement: Unlocking the Doors to Top Teacher Performance, are based on solid research and practice. West uses an interview format with successful practitioners and builds the work around these leading educators. Her use of charts, highlighted text and references makes the reading and retention move along quickly.

The chapter on teacher leaders identifies key concepts when choosing, empowering and educating teacher leaders. Best strategies for the implementation and the steps to follow for success will help education leaders embed the strategies throughout their school.

How do you handle teachers who are confused, distracted, discouraged, anxious, coasters, I-centered or saboteurs to any change? Whatever you call those teachers who just don’t get on the bus, West labels these folks change challengers and devotes a chapter on how to confront and bring these essential staff on board.

Every school and district has disengaged teachers because of professional reasons, health, family issues, etc. The key to being a successful school is to engage all of the teachers in a way that delivers the best education to students.

Reviewed by Jim D. Hattabaugh, educational consultant, Fort Smith, Ark.


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