Instructional Leadership in Action

Aspiring Leaders program prepares Central Louisiana educators for leadership positions

by UWCEL Sep 28, 2016

In Central Louisiana, 139 educators have begun a three-year journey that will prepare them for leadership positions in their schools and school districts. The educators started Aspiring Leaders, a leadership institute administered by The Orchard Foundation and funded under The Rapides Foundation’s Education Initiative. The Aspiring Leaders curriculum was developed specifically for Central Louisiana by the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership (CEL).

The Rapides Foundation's Education Initiative seeks to increase the level of educational attainment and achievement as the primary path to improved economic, social and health status. At the core of the initiative is its continued effort to build leaders in the field of education by offering a variety of institutes for Central Louisiana educators.

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Want to become an expert school leader? Ask more questions.

by Sheeba Jacob Aug 30, 2016

Why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an extra air mattress? Today, the answer to this question is worth $30 billion.

The meteoric rise of home-sharing site AirBnB is driven by many factors, but it started with the founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky asking a series of questions that helped them uncover new opportunities.

In A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, Warren Berger takes an in-depth look at how asking ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘how’ drove the early success of famous tech start-ups like AirBnb or Netflix. His insight: We are all born with a billion-dollar app — our aptitude to ask questions.

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To improve district leadership, we need to learn and share

by Krista Parent Aug 16, 2016

My first teaching job was in the South Lane School District in Cottage Grove, Ore. Today, more than three decades later, I’m still in the same district, having served as the superintendent for the last 16 years.

To be completely honest, I’m not exactly sure how I ended up as a superintendent because, at heart, I’m still a teacher. I view my work through a teaching lens, which, coupled with my long tenure, has really helped me go deep in my work and analyze what it is that makes systems drive instructional improvement.

What I’ve learned is that good teaching and learning is not just a teacher issue. True, students need effective teachers. But effective teachers need good principals. And good principals need support from the central office. Unfortunately, it’s the last part of this chain where the system often breaks down.

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Celebrate the power of coaching

by UWCEL Jun 28, 2016

Improving teaching and learning is a complex task. Shifts in instructional models, new standards and a lack of time drive educators and school districts to find new ways to help teachers grow their practice.

Rebekah Kim, principal of Midway Elementary School in the Highline Public Schools district in Burien, Wash., faced a similar challenge: How to maintain the sacredness of her time with teachers, while providing meaningful, personalized feedback to grow teaching practice.

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Get specific in improving instructional practice with the new 4D™ Instructional Leadership Growth Continuum

by June Rimmer Apr 4, 2016

Over the years, I have worked with a lot of principals and their supervisors with the goal of improving the principals' instructional leadership practice. There is one issue that comes up often: Supervisors are not specific enough in telling principals what they should do to get better.

For example, a coach, supervisor or consultant might say, "You're doing a really good job with collecting evidence of classroom instruction, but an area you might focus on is the way you give feedback to teachers." And that's all they say.

As a principal getting this feedback, I don't necessarily know what I should do next. I just know I'm not doing it right.

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New 4D™ Instructional Leadership Growth Continuum describes leadership behavior by skill levels

by UWCEL Apr 1, 2016

The work of the instructional leader is to ensure that every day, in every classroom, every student has a powerful learning experience. To do this, leaders need to know the most essential aspects of instructional leadership as described in the Center for Educational Leadership's 4 Dimensions of Instructional Leadership. Now, CEL is introducing a companion resource to the 4D™ framework — the 4D Instructional Leadership Growth Continuum.

This new tool describes growth in leadership behavior at various levels of expertise ranging from novice to expert. It can be used for self-assessment, personal reflection, goal setting, leadership coaching, and professional learning.

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Central Office Needs to Support, Not Just Manage Schools - Here is How You Can Help

by Max Silverman Mar 16, 2016

The work of educators is changing. First, teachers had to adapt to new classroom expectations and accountability requirements. Next, principals had to think beyond just managing a school and become instructional leaders. Now, central office needs to take up the challenge and offer new approaches to help principals and teachers improve instruction.

Over the last three years, the Center for Educational Leadership together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has worked with central office leaders to find new ways to support principals as instructional leaders and improve student learning.

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Developing Principals as Equity-centered Instructional Leaders

by UWCEL Feb 23, 2016

Over the past several years, we have become more keenly aware of the pervasive nature of opportunity and achievement gaps in many of the schools serving our most vulnerable students. These differences in opportunities, supports and outcomes represent some students’ limited access to excellence in all aspects of their education.

The challenge for principals is to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to engage in a quality education experience. To meet this challenge, both equity and excellence must be driving forces in the leadership of schools. Principals must be equity-centered instructional leaders.

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How Central Offices Support Principals: What Works And What's Missing [Infographic]

by UWCEL Feb 16, 2016

The role of the principal is rapidly changing. Gone is the idea of the principal as building manager. Today’s successful principal is a public relations professional, curriculum expert, data specialist, talent manager and — most importantly — an instructional leader.

School systems across the country are trying to adapt to this changed reality. But how do central office leaders think about these changes? What challenges and opportunities do they see? And are there key practices that create the right conditions for principals to succeed?

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Now available: Principal Support Framework 2.0

by UWCEL Jan 29, 2016

The University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) has released an updated version of the Principal Support Framework. Representing the best thinking of educators from across the country, the framework describes key actions of central offices that effectively support principals as instructional leaders.

Version 2.0 continues its focus on how central office leaders can best support principal success, but includes critical updates including:

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