Instructional Leadership in Action

The Importance of Relationships During Distance Learning

by UWCEL Jun 15, 2020

 

As schools began to transition to a new system of distance and remote learning, the initial focus was naturally on the nuts and bolts: How will we ensure students have access to the technology they need? What video platforms and tools should we use? What’s the right amount of screen time?

Once the reality of distance learning set in, however, educators like Sean McKenna, the principal of Vale Elementary in the Cashmere School District, found that addressing students’ and parents’ emotional needs was just as important.

[Continue Reading]

Bringing Teams Together to Get Better - No Matter What

by UWCEL May 26, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has illustrated just how vital a focus on the student experience and open lines of communication are — so student learning can continue, even with the disruptions. And that starts with our leaders at the top — leaders like Jeff Pelzel, the superintendent of the Newhall School District in Santa Clarita, California.  

Jeff spoke with Dr. Anneke Markholt, associate director of the Center for Educational Leadership, about what it means to lead a district at this time, how he's remained focused on his vision for student learning, and how he's planning for the school year.

[Continue Reading]

How Coaches are Improving Teaching in a Virtual Environment

by UWCEL May 18, 2020

The transition to distance learning has been unquestionably daunting for students, parents and educators. One side effect of the transition from chalkboards to Zoom or Teams screens has been a feeling of isolation for teachers, who are trying to navigate new educational norms without an in-person network of colleagues, mentors and coaches.

[Continue Reading]

What matters most to students and teachers for learning right now

by UWCEL May 4, 2020

In recent months, educators have had the daunting job of asking and answering, "What does teaching mean now?" They've had to make many impactful decisions and make them quickly — all while working together and teaching remotely.

Jody DeGroot, assistant principal at Bellarmine Prep High School in Tacoma, Washington, has similarly faced ongoing concerns about engaging students, assessing their learning, and supporting teachers with the right resources during the Covid-19 school closures. How has she navigated the situation? By asking guiding questions aligned with the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning™.

[Continue Reading]

Ways to Lead for Instruction Right Now

by Max Silverman Apr 20, 2020

As schools have changed dramatically over the past month, we have been inspired by what educators are doing to continue leading for instructional improvement. I spoke recently with Chris Lennox, the superintendent of Mounds View Public Schools in Minnesota. Like other districts, Chris and his team went from planning to delivering remote instruction in two weeks, and he shared what that experience was like. “Once people realized a virtual classroom was the only classroom,” he said, “our teachers were amazing in making the shift.”

[Continue Reading]

What's Next: Schooling or Learning?

by Greg Sommers Mar 31, 2020

Our current wave of school closures is yielding an unprecedented shift to online and distance learning.

Some are meeting this shift with a surge of enthusiasm for innovation. Others are approaching it more cautiously. I wonder — for my own children and for kids around the country — what the students’ experiences will be like on this frontier. Will education leaders aim only to reproduce their current experiences, or will leaders empower educators to use this opportunity to revitalize learning?

[Continue Reading]

Principal as the Turning Point: EduTalks 2020

by UWCEL Mar 20, 2020

While the impact teachers make on learning is well-understood, there’s less appreciation for how principals can foster learning environments that empower students. 

In this six-minute video, Joanna Michelson, director of teacher leadership and learning at the UW Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), shares insights from the work she does with principals and district leaders. Drawing examples from the transformational leadership improvements at the rural Blaine School District in Washington state, she invites the audience to recall their own experiences as students — and to consider how much adult learning impacts student learning.

[Continue Reading]

Acknowledging Courage on Display

by Max Silverman Mar 18, 2020

CEL's mission is to support the work of courageous education leaders across the country. The leaders we work with show their courage each and every day in classrooms, schools and school system central offices.

Over these past couple of weeks, I’ve observed with awe the work of these same leaders as they led their communities’ responses to the outbreak of COVID-19. Across the country, it has become clear that in the toughest of times, our families and communities rely on their schools for support, sustenance, and leadership.

[Continue Reading]

How Principals Learn

by Max Silverman Mar 16, 2020

I wanted to share with you that the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recently released a study that the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) was part of. Principals are vitally important for achieving educational equity, and there are few large-scale studies of principal professional development that identify what helps principals grow. 

[Continue Reading]

A Decade of Rigorous Teaching, Leading and Learning

by Max Silverman Jan 7, 2020

On behalf of our team at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership, I am writing to wish a happy and peaceful new year to all of CEL’s partners, peers and supporters. I write this year with hope and optimism for what the coming decade will hold for students, educators and school communities nationally. For our team, the past year was an exciting one in which we released a new vision and mission, deepened our partnership with school systems across the country and engaged in development work that will produce new and revised frameworks in the coming months.

[Continue Reading]

Subscribe to CEL's blog