Instructional Leadership in Action

What Centering Student Experience Looks Like

by UWCEL Apr 8, 2021

 

Leveraging Coaching Now! - Jose Rivera

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

 

Student Experience Story Guide Part 2

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

 

4d interview part 2

 

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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When students feel happy and proud — the Student Experience Story Guide

by UWCEL Dec 3, 2020

“My favorite day of school was when it was my birthday because everybody said hello to me, and I wish that happened every day.” 

— a Seattle-area student, when asked to reflect on their best school experiences

 

For years, CEL has had frameworks around practice, knowledge, leadership and mindsets for adults. But we’ve never had a student-facing framework. When we revamped the Four Dimensions of School LeadershipTM to center student experiences in school, we knew we needed to bring students more directly into our work.

Jenn McDermott, director of innovative initiatives at CEL, spearheaded the effort to do just that. Jenn and CEL colleagues invited K-12 students from three Seattle-area school districts — then later on, students from across the country — to collaborate.

And the team learned that the adults at school really need to listen hard — because what adults focus on to make a better school experience? It’s not the same as what students say they want and need.

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My role as a leader has changed — and needed to change. Here’s why.

by Max Silverman Oct 15, 2020

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

 - Maya Angelou

 

I have a confession to make: I didn’t get into education because I was excited to be a teacher. I went into education because I was eager to work for change in communities, and I believed that working with young people was the best way to do that. Lucky for me, I also happened to really enjoy teaching. Ultimately, teaching was my way of working toward social justice.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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