Principals are in a prime position to drive better instruction at their school. But they can't do it alone. Central offices need to give them the support they need to be successful.
Raise your hand if you think you’re keeping students at the center of your work.
We all do. It’s why many of us went into education and it’s what motivates us to do the best we can every day. In my 23 years as a teacher, instructional coach and educational consultant, I have not met an educator who didn’t want their work to ultimately help students.
Unfortunately, we often lose sight of the student. Caught up in our day-to-day work, we assume that programs, initiatives and curriculum will result in student learning, but that is not always true. Sometimes we get so focused on implementation that we forget to see if the result is helping our students learn.
How does this happen? Let’s look at an example.
It’s easy to forget students when we’re giving feedback, planning professional development or leading PLCs. Instructional leaders are often so focused on supporting the development of teacher practice that they forget to check if their work has an impact on students.
All educators continue to learn and enhance their practice over time. We identify areas of focus, learn from our experiences and try out new ways to teach and lead. But to truly grow our practice and ensure academic success for all students, we need a routine process that helps us structure our continuous improvement efforts.
One of the most significant roles – and biggest challenges – of a school leader is to create and maintain a results-focused learning environment. Schools and school districts are facing initiative overload. It takes determined leadership and clear communication to deal with the implementation of higher academic standards, new evaluation systems and other demands on school leaders’ time and efforts. Creating and maintaining a results-focused learning environment is more important than ever to raise student achievement and to eliminate achievement gaps.
In this third webinar on the 4 Dimensions of Instructional Leadership™, school leaders learn how to establish rigorous expectations for every student while responding to individual student’s needs as well as the diversity of students in the school by creating effective systems of collaboration.