Keys to Student Achievement

Beth Mollenhauer Content

For School Leaders

The Challenge

What makes a school community successful? Going through the motions without an answer to this question creates a place where students cannot thrive as learners. Teaching is so much more than a job; it is a valuable and admirable career. Teachers need continuous support of their school leaders. Students need active learning environments provided by their teachers. The question must be asked and answered at every school for the sake of education.


In a school, culture is ways of thinking about the school, beliefs about education, habits developed, and assumptions accepted. Culture is the lens in which we view life. The culture of a school improves when school leaders motivate teachers to develop and maintain a process for improvement through a self-review, shared vision and a plan of action.


The role of the teacher is to guide students from their actual abilities to their potential abilities. Using the method of the gradual release of responsibility, a teacher creates lessons for direct instruction, guided practice and independent practice. This method gradually releases responsibility for the outcome from the teacher to the student. Teachers hold high expectations for every student and create a learning environment with many paths to demonstrate mastery of a skill.

School Leaders

Michael Fullan proposes three things school leaders must do as learners:

  • Model the example to follow
  • Collaborate among school leaders
  • Share leadership with teachers

Effective school leaders build a community of collaboration and a culture of improvement. They require professional growth and development from their teachers. They listen to and lead their school community which includes the students and families.


A deeper understanding of these three keys unlocks student achievement. A school leader should be concerned with learning and leadership. Teachers should be developing as professionals, and the culture should always be improving. A school is a place where students thrive as learners. They are not just students in a classroom; they are citizens who can affect the world for good because of a quality education.

Investing in Teaching Training Together

Teaching Training Together believes that culture, teachers and school leaders are the keys to student achievement. Your support of our professional development program builds the potential for more trained school leaders and teachers to transform education.