Instructional Leadership in Action

Looking Back to Lean Forward: CEL's 20-Year Journey

by Max Silverman Sep 30, 2021

Dear partners and colleagues,

In 2003, I was a second-year principal. At the time, my school was best known for its low standardized test scores and discipline rates. I thought that my general leadership ability was sufficient to lead a dramatic school turnaround. Then, I walked into my first CEL professional learning session.

It turns out, there was so much I didn’t know. And even more importantly, until meeting the CEL team, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

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"I Really Wanted to Get to School on Time": When Listening Guides Your Leadership

by Max Silverman Jun 24, 2021

“Let your curiosity be greater than your fear.”

- Pema Chodron


“Our unconscious bias whispers, ‘We already have an anti-racist school.’ Our student data shouts, ‘You are not there yet!’ We must embrace the idea that we are all novices in the pursuit of creating a sustainable, equitable school system. It will be a lifelong endeavor.”

 -Central Washington Equity Leadership Network participant

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Celebrating Growth and Courage

by UWCEL Jun 3, 2021

As the year-end approaches, we're sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners — even as they grappled with intense day-to-day demands on their time and energy. This post is the second in a series of three stories.

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Small Moments, Big Growth: A Year-End Reflection

by UWCEL May 18, 2021

This past year demanded growth, from technical skills to mindsets, from virtually everyone in education. As the year-end approaches, we're sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners. We're particularly excited to spotlight the shifts and new choices that may appear small, but signaled breakthroughs.

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What Centering Student Experience Looks Like

by UWCEL Apr 8, 2021


HubSpot Video

What does centering students look like in action? What characteristics should a leader look for as evidence of equity and learning-centered practice?

In this excerpt from a recent webinar, Jose Rivera, assistant superintendent of Grandview School District, Wash., shares how he engages with issues of race in his district, especially as it relates to coaching programs. 

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Getting Better to Lead for Equity, a Webinar

by UWCEL Feb 11, 2021

We don't yet know what far-reaching impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students. 

What we do know is that classrooms need to be as equitable as possible — and support rigorous learning — now.

But what does that look like, especially with ongoing and sometimes abrupt shifts in teaching and learning environments?

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Listening to Center Student Experience

by UWCEL Jan 28, 2021


HubSpot Video

After embarking on creating a "framework" that centers the experience of students, the CEL team learned that the adults at school really need to listen hard.

What does listening hard look like in action? What characteristics should a leader who's embraced deep listening to students look for as evidence in their practice?

In this short video, Jenn McDermott, director of innovative initiatives, reflects on the times when these questions surfaced during the creation of the Student Experience Story Guide, and how she responded to the challenges moment-to-moment. 

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Your Leadership Lights the Way Forward

by Max Silverman Jan 12, 2021

Dear partners and colleagues,

This January has opened as an intense continuation of a year like no other in our collective memory. “Relentless, exhausting and humbling” is how many of you have described 2020.

But when I consider your leadership this past year, very different words come to mind: AWE and ADMIRATION. 

Early on, regardless of how you personally felt, you pulled resources together on behalf of your students. Overnight you became internet providers, nutrition programs and full-time social service centers for your communities — all while keeping your day jobs as initiators of courageous conversations and leaders for student learning.

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What the Four Dimensions of School Leadership Looks Like in Action

by UWCEL Dec 17, 2020


HubSpot Video


Brandon White is the chief academic officer at South Bend Community Schools in Indiana. When working with school leaders, his approach is that "we as educators must be involved in learning ourselves."

Lisa Rooney, director of framework development and support, spoke to Brandon recently. He shared what his leadership vision is — and how the Four Dimensions of School LeadershipTM (4DTM) helps bring that vision to life in the students' learning experiences.


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How the Four Dimensions of School Leadership Creates Focus in a Pandemic

by UWCEL Dec 10, 2020


HubSpot Video


Lindsey Samec is an elementary school principal at Mounds View Public Schools in Minnesota. Like so many other school leaders across the country, she's had a lot to think about and manage this past year for her students to be able to learn and grow.


Michele Mason, director of instructional leadership, spoke to Lindsey recently. We wanted to know how the Four Dimensions of School LeadershipTM (4DTM) was helping her lead.

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