This training guide represents one way to look at the Baldrige criteria and use them to improve classroom systems. It is designed for classroom teachers at all levels as well as teachers in training. The approach described here has proven helpful to teachers all across the nation. Yet, true systemic change and, therefore, the ability to predict sustained, better learning results only comes when school administrators apply the Baldrige framework to the entire system. When teachers understand the Baldrige framework and how it applies to their work in the classroom, and systemic changes are made based on the criteria, everyone wins. We encourage administrators and other school leaders to use this training guide to learn about Baldrige-based quality classrooms so that they may lead and support teachers in their efforts to change.
A significant and not-to-be-discounted mantra of organizations seeking performance excellence is repeated cycles of improvement that require personal learning by the leader. Over the past six years, the authors have learned much from the many teachers and administrators who have come to learn the way forward. Their trust and openness has allowed the authors to grow (sometimes painfully) through listening and working tirelessly to make improvements to training activities so each could be successful. In rewriting this book, many of the changes have been inspired by these hardworking, well-meaning educators. One thing is clear, the notion of continuous improvement and personal learning means just that: the job is never done. There is always room for improvement, and listening is a key to learning.
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