Instructional Leadership in Action

UWCEL

At the Center for Educational Leadership we partner with courageous leaders in classrooms, schools and the systems that support them to eliminate educational inequities by creating cultures of rigorous teaching, learning and leading. Our vision is transformed schools empowering all students regardless of background to create limitless futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and the world.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

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.

[Continue Reading]

New institute helps coaches support higher standards in math and literacy

by UWCEL Jun 13, 2016

From content expert to facilitator of student-centered teacher teams — coaches take on many different roles in districts. Regardless of the role, the research is clear: coaches have a powerful impact on teacher practice, and professional development greatly helps them maximize their role.

[Continue Reading]

Build a roadmap to support great teaching with new School Leadership Institute

by UWCEL May 27, 2016

Creating a plan for the year to support teachers can be daunting. School leaders need to answer many important questions: What are specific ways to support teachers? How can they provide professional learning opportunities that go beyond ratings and checklists? What's the best way to set up an environment that is supportive and conducive to performance improvement?

[Continue Reading]

Common goal unites district — how leaders and teachers build Literacy and a collective responsibility for student learning

by UWCEL May 24, 2016

Strong literacy skills are a key factor for a student's educational achievement and career. But while the debate around higher academic standards has sharpened national focus on the reading of complex, discipline-specific informational texts, educators have been grappling with how to help content-area teachers support student literacy for decades.

Traditionally, content-area focused teachers, particularly in middle or high school, have not been trained to teach students how to access rigorous texts, including which disciplinary-specific strategies to use, how to break down and think about disciplinary text, or how to grapple with difficult questions while reading closely.

To address this challenge, Wyoming's Uinta County School District #1 is engaging in long-term, comprehensive literacy-focused professional learning in social studies, science, and vocational education.

[Continue Reading]

Revised 5D+™ Rubric for Instructional Growth and Teacher Evaluation now available

by UWCEL May 2, 2016

Strong instructional practitioners are constantly reflecting on their practice, grounding their practice in research, and working to improve and streamline their practice to be more effective in their impact on student learning. Following this spirit of instructional innovation and learning, the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) has released an updated version of the 5D+ Rubric for Instructional Growth and Teacher Evaluation.

As a research institution, CEL learns from district partners and revises its work based upon that learning. While version 2 of the 5D+ Rubric is a sound and complete evaluation and growth tool, the new version 3 is clearer, more concise and easier to use for teachers and principals.

[Continue Reading]

Delivering impactful feedback to teachers

by UWCEL Apr 21, 2016

All teachers come to schools with specific strengths, but they need additional supports to truly meet the diverse needs of their students. Effective principals know this and focus their instructional leadership on teacher growth rather than evaluation system compliance.

Helping teachers improve their practice can take many forms but one essential skill principals need to succeed is to know how to give teachers effective feedback. It's not enough to step into a classroom once a year for 45 minutes and offer feedback like, “Great lesson!” “Your students seemed engaged.” “Keep up the great instructional work.” Today’s principals carve out time for frequent classroom observation and need to learn how to provide meaningful feedback.

[Continue Reading]

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.

[Continue Reading]

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.

[Continue Reading]

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?

[Continue Reading]

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:

[Continue Reading]

Subscribe to CEL's blog