The 6 Keys to Teacher Engagement: Unlocking the Doors to Top Teacher Performance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The 6 Keys to Teacher Engagement

Unlocking the Doors to Top Teacher Performance, 1st Edition

By Cathie West


128 pages

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In her new book, award-winning principal and leadership expert Cathie West provides education leaders at all levels with the tools and guidance they need to engage teachers in the process of increasing student achievement. With authentic examples and research highlights, readers learn how to develop a motivated faculty that is truly dedicated to school improvement and student success.

The "Six Keys" covered in the book are both substantive and comprehensive and offer a clear path to success:

  • Key 1: Create a Culture of Engagement

    Teacher engagement definition, attributes, and steps towards attainment

  • Key 2: Get Organizationally Engaged

    Exemplary organization qualities, leadership styles, and effectiveness strategies

  • Key 3: Engineer Engagement

    Quality meeting characteristics, engagement activities, and leadership techniques

  • Key 4: Zero in on Best Practice

    Effective teaching attributes, instructional practices, and success tips

  • Key 5: Tap into Teacher Leaders

    Teacher leader selection, training, and strategic deployment

  • Key 6: Confront Change Challengers

    Challenger profiles, interventions, and support suggestions

BONUS! Every chapter includes a wrap-up to help readers review, apply, and retain new learning for each of the six keys to teacher engagement:

  • Key Concepts provides a bulleted summary of each theme’s major concepts to help readers review key ideas.
  • Best Strategies summarizes each chapter’s high impact teacher engagement strategies.
  • Steps to Success suggests activities that will move new concepts and skills into practice.

NOTEWORTHY: This book is also an excellent resource for university and college instructors who are responsible for teacher and principal preparation. The 6 Keys to Teacher Engagement substantially supports graduate level courses pertaining to educational leadership, school improvement, curriculum and assessment, and professional development.


"Emphasizing the importance of principals as school leaders, the author implores readers to make conscious decisions to orchestrate engagement within their schools. Each chapter ends with a review of key concepts, best strategies, and steps to success, providing direction for principals. Whether navigating system-wide change or making improvements within an individual school, this book offers a reader-friendly approach to effective school leadership."

—Jacie Maslyk, principal, Crafton Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for Principal Magazine

"The 6 Keys to Teacher Engagement, should be required reading for all principals. It contains hundreds of practical and research-based ways to inspire, motivate, encourage, empower, and develop teachers. During her astounding 34 years of leading various schools, student learning has always been Cathie West’s bottom line. During her award-winning career, she has discovered and perfected the true keys to student engagement and high levels of learning: the six keys of teacher engagement. Students cannot learn from teachers who are not fully engaged."

—Elaine K. McEwan-Adkins Ed.D.

Table of Contents


Key 1 Create a Culture of Engagement

Key 2 Get Organizationally Engaged

Key 3 Engineer Engagement

Key 4 Zero In on Best Practice

Key 5 Tap Into Teacher Leaders

Key 6 Confront Change Challengers



About the Author

Cathie E. West has an MS Degree in education and forty-three years of experience as an educator—thirty-six of these as a school administrator. Professional responsibilities have included serving as a principal; directing special programs, such as Title I, Special Education, and Highly Capable; coordinating curriculum and staff development; and teaching at the college level. Cathie received the Washington Distinguished Principal Award as the representative from Douglas County in 1998, and as the representative from Snohomish County in 2005. She also merited the Leadership for Student Achievement Award from the Washington Association of School Administrators in 2009. In 2010, Mountain Way—the school Cathie led from 2002 to 2013—was designated a School of Distinction by the Center for Educational Effectiveness in collaboration with Phi Delta Kappa (Washington Chapter). Other activities include serving as an editorial advisor for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (2002–05), Washington State Kappan (2007-13), and the Association of Washington School Principals (2011-13). Cathie’s books include The 6 Keys to Teacher Engagement: Unlocking the Doors to Top Teacher Performance (Routledge, 2013); Problem-Solving Tools and Tips for School Leaders (Routledge, 2011); and Leadership Teaming: The Superintendent-Principal Relationship (Corwin Press, 2009) which was co-authored with Dr. Mary Lynne Derrington. Besides books, Cathie’s writing has appeared in The Principal News and Washington Principal (AWSP), Washington State Kappan (PDK), Principal (NAESP), Communicator (NAESP), and ERS Spectrum. She can be reached at:

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