Instructional Leadership


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An overview Instructional Leadership, Educator Effectiveness and the Teacher-Principal Partnership.

Discover best practices and staff development tools with this in-depth brief on SB-191 implementation

• The importance of Instructional Leadership
• Understanding the rubric
• Making the shift
• The teacher-principal partnership
• Developing teacher leaders
• Fostering talent
• Peer practices

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Instructional Leadership

  1. 1. ISSUES BRIEF VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2 INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP AN OVERVIEW OF INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP, EDUCATOR EFFECTIVENESS AND THE TEACHER-PRINCIPAL PARTNERSHIP DISCOVER BEST PRACTICES AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT TOOLS WITH THIS IN-DEPTH BRIEF ON SB-191 IMPLEMENTATION HIGHLIGHTS • The importance of instructional leadership • Understanding the rubric • Peer practices • The teacher-principal partnership • Developing teacher leaders • Making the shift • Fostering talent DECEMBER 2013
  2. 2. THIS ISSUES BRIEF WAS PREPARED BY THE COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL EXECUTIVES (CASE) WITH FUNDING FROM THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION. AUTHOR: Michelle Ancell EDITORS: Greg Benchwick and Bruce Caughey PEER REVIEW: CASE, CDE, CEA and CLF GRAPHIC DESIGN: FiG Advertising + Marketing PROOFREADER: Becca Blond and Ryan Harrison ABOUT THE AUTHOR Michelle Ancell is a freelance writer and independent communications professional. Her prior experience includes working in the Cherry Creek School District and Aurora Public Schools, where she and her colleagues were honored for their work by the Colorado School Public Relations Association and the National School Public Relations Association. She was featured as a Denver Post Voices columnist and worked as a daily newspaper reporter at the Fort Collins Coloradoan covering education. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), its donors, members or departments. The contents of this publication, including all figures, tables and drawings, are the intellectual property of CASE, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Removal or alteration of copyright notices or trademarks is not permitted. Forwarding or reproduction of this publication or parts thereof for commercial use is not permitted without the explicit written authorization of CASE. All program names or services of CASE used in this publication as well as corresponding logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of CASE in the United States. CASE does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of information, text, graphics, links or other elements contained in this publication. This publication is provided without any warranty, whether explicit or implicit. This applies in part but not exclusively to a warranty of marketability and suitability for a particular purpose as well as a warranty of non-violation of applicable law. Copyright © 2013 CASE/Michelle Ancell
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1 Importance of Instructional Leadership 2 Understanding the Instructional Leadership Rubric 4 Making the Shift 6 The Teacher-Principal Partnership 10 Developing Teacher Leaders 15 Fostering Talent 17 Exploring Peer Practices 18 Conclusions 20 Resources 22 CASE Events 23
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION Throughout Colorado, and in many parts of the country, principals are reflecting on the expectation that they hone their skills as instructional leaders. It has always been a primary job, but with renewed focus and attention on results, the shift is significant. As we all know, education is evolving from a century ago when headmasters or “principal” teachers ran small, independent schoolhouses with few state or federal requirements to more modern times when principals are subject to multiple, sometimes conflicting demands. How this shift happens will require significant training, growth and effort to manage systems in new and innovative ways. Most principals agree it is the right work, but are struggling with how to get it all done. In the era of accountability and reform, principals are being asked to redefine their jobs more and more. It would be incorrect to say that instructional leadership is a new concept for principals, but with the implementation of the Colorado Educator Effectiveness Law, Senate Bill 191 (SB-191), the stakes for practicing instructional leadership are high – so high that a principal’s performance review and new job description are largely dependent on how they perform as instructional leaders and how they offer development so teachers excel as instructional leaders as well. As a reminder, the 2013-14 school year is the first year the new evaluation requirements are in effect. However, it is very important to note that this first year is a hold harmless year for teachers, meaning a final rating of partially effective or ineffective will not count towards the loss of nonprobationary status. This gives all educators the opportunity to adjust to the new evaluation requirements in a low-stakes environment. All districts are required to evaluate all of their principals and teachers on both the professional practices (50 percent) and student learning outcomes/growth (the other 50 percent). Additionally, all principals and teachers must receive a final rating combining both the professional practices and student learning outcomes/growth scores into a final rating of either: highly effective, effective, partially effective or ineffective. The law mandates that all principals and teachers are evaluated annually. The great majority of districts have adopted the state model evaluation system or have provided assurances that they meet state requirements of the educator effectiveness framework. Fifty percent of a principal’s evaluation is dependent on student learning, the other 50 percent is dependent on six professional standards. On those professional standards, principals earn a professional practice score based on the rubric. Next year that score and the measures of student learning scores are combined to determine an overall effectiveness rating. While it’s understandable on paper, it gets complicated when trying to figure out how the framework expectations translate to a principal’s dayto-day work in a school, with budgets to submit, bells ringing, parents calling, staff concerns, students winning awards and students being disciplined. No doubt the principal’s job is demanding and complex.   This paper is an opportunity to dig deeper into educational leadership and exchange ideas on applying best practices in school buildings to maximize student achievement. 1
  5. 5. IMPORTANCE OF INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP Principals who get high marks from teachers for creating a strong climate for instruction in their schools also receive higher marks than other principals for spurring leadership in the faculty, according to the research from the Universities of Minnesota and Toronto. Now there are common definitions and expectations. It’s no longer ambiguous.” Sirko served as a consultant to guide the content development for CASE’s Leadership Academy for Principals. The new learning academy provides skill-based training for school principals to better understand what is With the passage of SB-191, expected of them and how to Colorado has clearly defined improve their practice in each of what Instructional Leadership the Principal Quality Standards. means for educators in this state. The content focuses on those “When I look at the instructional elements in the rubric that The professional quality leadership rubric, it’s not offer the highest-leverage for standards provide a structure, content that needs to be improving student performance definition and expectation for sold,” says Diana Sirko, educators regarding Instructional superintendent of Roaring Fork Mike Gradoz, director of Leadership and other facets of School District. “Principals initiatives for the Colorado what is expected of an excellent buy into it. Teachers buy into Legacy Foundation (CLF), has educator. it. It helps by creating a more worked closely with Districts organized context and construct and Boards of Cooperative Educators describe the for instructional leadership. Educational Services (BOCES) to 2 leadership rubric as an opportunity for clear understanding, a roadmap for careers in education and a mechanism for elevating the profession of education. It forces principals to advance as leaders of instruction in their schools while they put additional knowledge and responsibility into the hands of teachers to elevate their roles as instructional leaders as well.
  6. 6. support the implementation of the new evaluations. “From educators in our pilot schools I am hearing that, for the first time, all principals and teachers have actionable feedback,” says Gradoz. “They engage in targeted, meaningful conversations that help them to understand where they need to improve, what skills they’ve mastered and the blueprints they need to follow to reach the next step.” Gradoz, echoing the goals of CLF, says he believes implementation of instructional leadership will translate to an increased number of students showing growth over time as a result of more effective principals and teachers. The standards are based on data, research and best practices. provides educators with a roadmap that explains what is expected of them and how “We believe that educators they can advance and grow who are meeting the standards in their careers,” she says. will result in an improved “The focus of this system is to education for our students,” grow, support and expand the Gradoz says. “It’s an exciting capacity of educators.” and important time for education in Colorado.” Anthes says district leadership is the lynchpin for making the Katy Anthes is the Colorado new systems work. Department of Education’s Executive Director of Educator “If done incorrectly, the Effectiveness. She works to standards and elements create, define and implement could be just a checklist for Educator Effectiveness compliance,” Anthes says. statewide. “But the goal is to increase quality, increase capacity to “It is important to remember yield improved results from that Educator Effectiveness kids and teachers. Strong is more than an evaluation leaders are essential in system. It is a professional changing the norms and the development system that culture of school buildings.” 3
  7. 7. UNDERSTANDING THE INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP RUBRIC ELEMENT B: Instructional Time Principals create processes and schedules that maximize instructional, collaborative and preparation time. ELEMENT C: Implementing High-Quality Instruction Principals promote school-wide efforts to establish, implement and refine appropriate expectations for curriculum, instructional practices, assessment and use of data on student learning based on scientific research and evidence-based practices that result in student academic achievement. One of the six professional standards, Quality Standard II, requires that, “Principals demonstrate instructional leadership.” The elements outline specifics of the instructional leadership expectation. ELEMENT D: High Expectations for All Students Principals hold all staff accountable for setting and achieving rigorous performance goals for all students, and empower staff to achieve these goals across content areas. STANDARD II Principals demonstrate instructional leadership. ELEMENT E: Instructional Practices Principals demonstrate a rich knowledge of effective instructional practices, as identified by research on best practices, in order to support and guide teachers in data-based decision making regarding effective practices to maximize student success. ELEMENT A: Curriculum, Instruction, Learning and Assessment Principals promote school-wide efforts to establish, implement and refine appropriate expectations for curriculum, instructional practices, assessment and use of data on student learning based on scientific research and evidence-based practices that result in student academic achievement. LEADERSHIP STANDARDS ON PROFESSIONALISM Add professionalism to teaching, and in many cases, offer leadership opportunities and/or advancement for teachers that don’t require them to leave the classroom altogether. Inspire a renewed concentration on the practice of teaching. 4 Provide a focus for professional development. Create a common vocabulary, which transcends schools, districts and titles. Create a “road map” for all to understand goals and expectations.
  8. 8. RELATED STANDARDS key to INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP Goals Professional Development and Learning Communities School Plan Manage Staff Leading Change Teacher and Staff Evaluations Distributive Curriculum QUALITY STANDARD I Principals demonstrate strategic leadership QUALITY STANDARD IV Principals demonstrate human resource leadership Other parts of the Principal Quality Standards Rubric also focus on Instructional Leadership. For instance: Quality Standards I and IV also encompass the idea of the principal as the instructional leader, who will delegate with distributive leadership and who will help grow and foster excellent teachers. Source: Colorado Department of Education 5
  9. 9. School leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning. – The Wallace Foundation MAKING THE SHIFT Diana Sirko, superintendent of the Roaring Fork School District, says the public’s demand for increased accountability has “shone a brighter light” on instructional leadership. The way she sees it, instructional leadership means providing teachers with the information, knowledge and support they need so they have the tools to do their jobs. In order to make that happen, the role of a principal is shifting 6 away from that of building manager and toward that of learning leader. Much of their time will need to be spent in classrooms observing teachers. The shift in responsibilities for a principal is forcing them to practice more distributive leadership, where more staff members in the building are taking on responsibilities that were formerly the sole job of the principal. Sirko says each and every principal needs to know what quality instruction looks like as it’s being practiced. “Take a checklist of the tenets of good instruction into classrooms along with a clear idea of what you are looking for as they go into classrooms,” she says. “If principals spend 80 percent of their time on instructional leadership, they’ll get the most bang for their buck.” “Instructional learning is the leading activity of being an instructional leader. Everybody should be in the peoplegrowing business, students are learning, teachers are learning, and principals are continuing to learn,” Sirko says. “High-quality principals have to be the ones leading the charge of being a student of the game.” She also recommended taking an inventory of all that is taking place in the school. What is the impact of those efforts? Make sure time is being spent on work that truly makes a difference for kids.
  10. 10. BECOMINGD LEA THE ADULT LEARNER I want principals to start by thinking differently about what their role is. And the first things I would take away from them are those tasks that are not directly related to student learning in the schools. In my view as I have said earlier, their role is to be the lead adult learner in the school community, a person who is concerned about the impact that all the other adults are having on student learning in that community. – John Hattie, “In Conversation, Know Thy Impact: Teaching, Learning and Leading.” 7
  11. 11. One issue to consider is the increased amount of time it will take for superintendents to more thoroughly evaluate principals and for principals to do the same for teachers. “Especially at first,” Gradoz says. “The good news is that those in pilot districts have reported that the time it takes to conduct the new evaluations has decreased with time as staff has become more familiar with the process.” Prioritizing will be key. On the top of a principal’s “to do” list should be visiting classrooms to obtain the information needed to provide frequent meaningful feedback to teachers. This is a major adjustment for principals in 8 terms of their time. Under the former system, they evaluated one-third of the teachers in their building each year. Now they are expected to evaluate every teacher every year and accomplish that by visiting classrooms frequently. It is going to take real leadership for the superintendent and principals to make this shift. The principals must feel supported by the central office. If they are to be instructional leaders, then they must be able to spend time in classrooms. “It is overwhelming,” Anthes says. “It’s a huge change. But we don’t want people to feel so overwhelmed that they’re paralyzed. There are resources out there to help, also district central offices will need to be supportive and understanding about how much time this will take. It’s a momentous undertaking.” Durango School District 9-R is part of the BOCES that was selected by the Colorado Legacy Foundation to implement Educator Effectiveness. Teacher leader Greg Loft says school leaders worked closely on the implementation timeline of all facets of the professional quality standards. “There are some hard shifts in place,” he says. Together the staff and administration needs to consider how they will be able to accomplish all of the new requirements for leadership while balancing the managerial needs in a building.
  12. 12. “Ultimately, it comes down to scheduling,” Loft says. A plan should be in place that delegates responsibilities with clearly defined expectations and deadlines. easily attainable when the administration has undergone a fundamental shift. Principals typically wear many hats, from being the disciplinarian to the building manager. Now the top priority is that of academic Center Consolidated School leader, which means knowing District is a CDE Pilot District. the curriculum and having a Pilot Districts were selected as deep understanding of what part of CDE’s work to implement comprises good teaching SB-191. Pilots have operated practices. the State Model Evaluation Systems for principals and To help make the shift and teachers since 2011, and are further provide training on providing feedback to the state instructional leadership, Roaring about the systems. Just over Fork School District assistant 600 students are enrolled in principals, principals and district Center, which is located in the administrators gather for a halfSan Luis Valley. Susan Banning is day each month to focus on a veteran middle school teacher. various aspects of leadership. in Center. Sirko said they’ve had a positive response to the trainings. Banning says success with “We collect feedback from instructional leadership is more evaluations so then we – like teachers – monitor and adjust,” Sirko says. Taking all these elements into account, we see that principals need to make a concerted effort to make the shift from a building manager to instructional leaders. To achieve this, they need support from both their staff in the building and from the district-level administrators. It’s not going to happen right away and principals will need to have the freedom and flexibility to explore how the shift in responsibilities will look. The principal may hand over a set of responsibilities and discover one particular piece should not be delegated, or maybe a different staff member in the building is better suited for that piece. It will take time to find the right balance. 9
  13. 13. THE TEACHER-PRINCIPAL PARTNERSHIP Because of the more rigorous expectations brought about by Educator Effectiveness, teachers and principals are finding their relationships are changing as well. To be successful, principals need to rely on the knowledge and professionalism of teachers in a way they never have before. Teachers, in turn, are seeing their roles elevated, which means increased responsibilities, a more collaborative environment, and more interaction between themselves and administrators. This may be in 10 the form of meetings, classroom observations or continuous and constructive feedback. In Center, veteran teacher Banning says she and fellow teachers have grown accustomed to being observed frequently. Newer teachers can expect 32 classroom visits a school year. Banning is observed 16 times each year. Staff has worked hard to fine tune the observation process. At first, observers walked into classes during the middle of a lesson and students turned their heads away from teachers to focus on the observers. The other issue that arose is that some observers would talk amongst themselves during class, further disrupting the flow of the lesson. “It’s a big learning curve for all involved,” Banning says. “Teachers, students and administrators, we are all learning how to improve and do this right.” Center has been gradually transitioning to the new Educator Effectiveness model for about four years now. Frequent classroom visitations have become the norm.
  14. 14. Banning says the relationship between teachers, staff and the principal has become more collaborative. Teachers and administrators are talking more frequently and more in-depth about what great teaching, academics and data look like. “Our principals have been superb, but now they can provide feedback that is much more specific. They are in my classroom so frequently that discussions include details that they have seen in my class,” she says. “I consider it a great success.” But how does this apply in a larger district? Jennifer Stern works as the Executive Director of Teacher Performance Management for Denver Public Schools (DPS). She says that regardless of whether a district implements the state model or creates its own system, it is imperative to work collaboratively. “Administrators, teachers and human resources staff must take the time to engage in important discussions. With the many changes taking place, staff will have some serious concerns about how their jobs should be done,” she says. “Take time to listen to those concerns, review your operations and refine details.” Leading Effective Academic Practice (LEAP) is Denver Public Schools’ system for evaluating teacher performance and supporting the growth of teachers. It is a custom-built system that adheres to the framework of SB-191. “By the time SB-191 was passed, we were already well-invested in our system,” Stern says. “We had the resources to create a system, and we had already invested a 11
  15. 15. tremendous amount of time and energy collaborating with our teachers and principals to develop LEAP.” Stern says that creating their own system was the best approach for DPS. “We created a system that fit our unique needs,” she says. “Now we can say, ‘this is what it takes to be an effective teacher or effective principal in DPS.’” educator and author Rick DuFour. Principal Kelly Reed’s instructional team includes himself, the assistant principal, a representative from each core subject in each grade level, a representative from each elective, a counselor and parent representative. Reed recruits his team with a call for volunteers each spring. Volunteers commit to serve for three years. As is typically the case with change, the staff was initially skeptical, Stern says. But now the majority of DPS teachers report that they believe LEAP is helping them to become better educators. “We find that if there is an area where we are falling behind or there’s some sort of gap, we bring in our instructional leadership team and work together to devise strategies to get back on track,” he says. DPS brings teachers and principals together in various forums and trainings to review the system collaboratively. A LEAP outreach manager makes contact with hundreds of educators at schools throughout the district to listen to feedback from teachers with the goal of bringing those insights to the LEAP team to recommend adjustments to the system. The district also offers a training video series, ensuring that administrators and staff are on the same page. Reed admitted that at times, his staff has felt like their voices aren’t always heard even though they’re at the table. “I believe it’s especially challenging in an era with budget cuts,” Reed says. “I don’t always feel like we have the luxury of time or staff to collaborate in a way that’s ideal. It’s something we continue to work on.” Redlands Middle School is one that operates as a Professional Learning Community – a collaboration of parents, students, teachers and administrators who work together to seek out best practices, test them in the classroom, continuously improve processes and focus on results – according to 12 He added that administrators throughout the state need more time and resources for professional development. The good news is that Redlands is making progress. The school was recently named one of the Professional Learning Community’s “Schools to Watch” “Instructional leadership is difficult to transition into, but with time and practice everyone starts to get it, and it becomes part of the vernacular,” Reed says. Linda Barker works as the Director of Teaching and Learning for the Colorado Education Association. She says the association has invested a lot of energy and focus in training teachers and principals on Educator Effectiveness to help them understand the system and the intention behind improving the evaluations. “It’s changing conversations in school buildings,” Barker says. “I tell teachers, ‘it’s not about you personally, it’s about your practice.’ When that concept clicks for them, it’s a whole different conversation and they seem more open to feedback and to reflecting on their practice.” CEA found that trainings where both principals and teachers were present seemed to be the most effective. Together teachers and principals review specific elements of the standards and target an area that needs more attention. Durango teacher leader Greg Loft says that climate has changed with Educator Effectiveness and the instructional leadership component. The staff appreciates the constant, consistent dialogue about their craft. They can look to a standard – and the related standards – and understand the full context. It is offering a process for all – including administrators – to improve their professional practice.
  16. 16. Teacher Leaders know how to analyze trends in the environment as well as in classroom data, articulate and inspire a vision for change, foster collaboration and communication, and develop curriculum, instructional and evaluation strategies. Teacher Leaders are devoted to improving the effectiveness of their teaching practice.  Developing these skills will allow you to meaningfully affect change to improve student learning in your classroom.  But it will also allow you to lead change outside of your teaching role as the leader of a professional learning community in your building. – Fort Lewis College 14
  17. 17. DEVELOPING TEACHER LEADERS To help principals with the shift in responsibilities and to build the capacity of teachers, Denver Public Schools developed a Teacher Leader program. It’s a mechanism for giving more responsibilities to teachers while encouraging them to advance their professional knowledge by successfully completing classes, mentoring, attending cohort meetings and enlisting in additional training. The district offers varying levels of compensation for those in their teacher leader program. It can range from a small stipend to .25 release time, which allows teachers to take time from their regular assignments to work on instructional leadership in some way. “Our best investment is our principals and teachers,” Stern says. In Durango, principals are putting together formal leadership teams that include administrators and teachers, and delegating more to other staff. The leadership teams are still a work in progress and their responsibilities are being formalized, says Greg Loft. “It takes time to move through the process and make decisions on roles and responsibilities, but we’re getting there,” he says. CEA’s Linda Barker agrees. She says there are various opportunities for leadership under this system, adding that it is an incredible opportunity for teacher leaders because they can take a strong role since these systems are new for everyone. 15
  18. 18. A University of Washington study employed a musical metaphor to describe three different leadership approaches by principals. School leaders determined to do it all themselves were “one-man bands;” those inclined to delegate responsibilities to others operated like the leader of a “jazz combo;” and those who believed broadly in sharing leadership throughout the school could be thought of as “orchestral leaders,” skilled in helping large teams produce a coherent sound, while encouraging soloists to shine. The point is that although in any school a range of leadership patterns exists – among principals, assistant principals, formal and informal teacher leaders, and parents – the principal remains the central source of leadership influence. – The Wallace Foundation 16
  19. 19. FOSTERING TALENT Barker is excited by what she’s seen come out of combined principal/teacher training. “We put the teacher and principal rubrics side-by-side,” she says. “We remind all present that we are re-culturing the conversations we see in school buildings. The rubrics are a roadmap to improve and reflect upon your practice. “ Throughout her career, Barker says she’s never experienced the depth of conversations like those that are now taking place between principals and teachers. In many ways, she says, the rubrics are conversation starters. Educators can pull out specific elements, drill down to the details, and study the pieces that an individual may need to give more attention to. “We’re doing a better job working as partners in improvement,” she says. In the Roaring Fork District, Sirko recommends fostering talent by accessing the resources already in your building – excellent teachers. For instance, if one teacher is experiencing difficulty engaging the entire classroom, a principal can provide an opportunity for that teacher to observe another teacher in the building who is particularly adept at that skill. “That way they are seeing someone who is being successful in their building, with the same population of students,” Sirko says. “Oftentimes you have different skill sets from one teacher to the next. Teaching can be very isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. They can learn from one another.” 17
  20. 20. EXPLORING PEER PRACTICES Nothing in the principal’s role is more important for ensuring successful student learning than effective instructional leadership. School principals who focus on a vision for their schools nurture the leadership capabilities of their teachers. Additionally, if their schools are moving in the right direction, they model effective leading and learning. Combining these efforts while using data appropriately, as well as monitoring what takes place at the classroom level, will increase the likelihood that schools will achieve their goals for student learning. – Qualities of Effective Principals, by James H. Stronge, Holly B. Richard and Nancy Catano What are some strategies that principals can adopt to launch into instructional leadership? Kelly Reed, principal of Redlands Middle School in 18 Grand Junction, suggests reading the Professional Learning Communities at Work: Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievement, by Richard Dufour and Robert Eaker. He says that the attributes of Professional Learning Communities complement those of instructional leadership. Reed also suggested visiting a Professional Learning Community-practicing school for a day or two. In turn, invite an educator from a practicing Professional Learning Community school to spend a day in your building. “Watch the interaction amongst faculty, spend quality time in their building and don’t recreate the wheel – copy, steal, cajole!” Reed says. “The hands on experience is so important. It provides real-world exposure.”
  21. 21. FIVE ATTRIBUTES OF A STRONG PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY The literature on Professional Learning Communities repeatedly gives attention to five attributes of such organizational arrangements. 1. Supportive and shared leadership 2. Collective creativity 3. Shared values and vision 4. Supportive conditions 5. Shared personal practice Published in Issues ...about Change Volume 6, Number 1, Professional Learning Communities: What Are They And Why Are They Important? Prepare teachers for the changes that are occurring, says Katy Anthes from CDE. Teachers will need to adjust to having a principal – or a group of administrators – open the classroom door, step in and observe a lesson. This can be a major distraction for the teacher and the students, and not to mention – intimidating. Educators in pilot districts report that this grows better with time and practice, but it can be a challenge to get accustomed to. The simple act of giving feedback won’t result in improved student learning – the feedback has to be effective. – Know Thy Impact (Hattie, Educational Leadership, September 2012) Teachers should also expect feedback based off of those classroom visits. The feedback is not intended to be punitive. Teachers are observed and offered recommendations on how they can improve their craft and how to become masters of their profession. The essence of instructional leadership is frequent actionable feedback, conversations, adjustments and improvement. “Giving and receiving feedback has not necessarily been comfortable, but we need to evolve to the point that feedback is just a part of day-today life. It should be embedded in the way we all conduct business,” Anthes says. 19
  22. 22. CONCLUSIONS Educators know that instructional leadership is a concept that has ebbed and flowed in emphasis over the past couple of decades. But with SB-191 and Educator Effectiveness, there is a defined, structured rubric attached to instructional leadership. It is now a formal expectation and part of how principals’ and teachers’ job performance will be evaluated. School leaders seem to be embracing the idea of enhancing their roles as learning leaders of the school. The expectations of deeper collaboration, more frequent professional development and spending more time in classrooms are ones they welcome. It’s a matter of how to balance those exercises along with the other competing 20 demands of being a principal, a topic that will be explored with more depth in upcoming CASE Issues Briefs. For most, becoming an educator was a calling. And instructional leadership can help them to become better at their jobs, which should result in higher achievement for students. In a classroom, at the end of the day, what does that look like? It looks like a child learning how to read. It looks like an aha-moment in algebra class. It looks like a young adult feeling confident about his school performance. As an instructional leader you ask yourself, what is going to make the biggest difference for students in my school? Diana Sirko, superintendent at Roaring Fork, says she knows the job is overwhelming. The new laws, new standards and making changes in the way schools do business, “it’s a lot. I know it’s a lot to take in. But then I ask my staff, ‘what would you leave out? Which standard would you toss by the wayside?’” The answer is always the same. None. They’re all important. “It’s hard, hard work,” Sirko says. “But it’s important.” A big piece of success is a willingness to win. “I call it the Peyton Manning Effect, the willingness to do whatever it takes,” Sirko says. “Every master teacher I’ve seen has a relentless focus on positive outcomes for kids, a dogged determination to make a difference.”  
  23. 23. RESOURCES COLORADO LEGACY FOUNDATION’S SB-191 TOOLKIT The Colorado Legacy Foundation’s toolkit supports districts in implementing requirements of the state’s new evaluation system. ELEVATE COLORADO An online inter-rater agreement training system developed in partnership with My Learning Plan. This online system helps evaluators develop a deeper understanding of the professional practices embodied the Colorado State Model Evaluation System’s teacher rubric. CASE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY FOR PRINCIPALS The CASE Leadership Academy for Principals is the first job-alike academy under the Education Leadership Institute. It gives site administrators and their evaluators critical knowledge and skills to ensure strong leadership in their schools, providing administrators with a path to transfer knowledge into practice through post-course learning support. The courses are made available at in-person events and through innovative platforms like the CASE eLearning Portal. The CASE Leadership Academy for Principals also offers an ongoing seminar on Supervision and Evaluation for participants who are fulfilling the administrative licensure requirement, practicing administrators desiring to update tier understanding of evaluation and educator effectiveness, and educators without an administrative license who may be identified as “designees” under SB-191. QUALITY STANDARDS REFERENCE GUIDES The Teacher and Principal Quality Standards guide from CDE provides a common vision of great teaching and school leadership. The guides highlight the critical aspects of great teaching and school leadership. To access the guides and many other CDE resources including Colorado State Model Evaluation system training tools or the educator effectiveness video series. educatoreffectiveness/resources COLORADO EDUCATION ASSOCIATION A number of online resources explore the Teacher Quality Standards, rubrics, measures for success and more. 22
  24. 24. CASE EVENTS CASE WINTER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2014 LEADERSHIP ACADEMY FOR CASE SUMMER LEADERSHIP PRINCIPALS: SUMMER BOOT CAMP CONVENTION FEBRUARY 5-7, 2014 JUNE 9-13, 2014 JULY 21-25, 2014 Connect with education leaders throughout the state with over 25 breakout sessions and an inspiring keynote from best-selling author, Chip Heath. This intensive week-long seminar connects principals to share best practices and explore new initiatives. CASE’s 45th Annual Convention will be held in Breckenridge. 2014winterleadership 23
  25. 25. Colorado Association of School Executives 4101 South Bannock Street Englewood, CO 80110