An Instructional Leader

 CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

As an assistant principal I consider myself first and foremost an instructional leader. When I made the decision to leave the classroom and make the move to administration, one of the strongest pulls for me was this idea of being an instructional leader and leading by learning. If as the instructional leader of a school, I don’t model through learning and I am not the lead learner, I cannot expect my staff to be teacher-learners thus improving the learning for their students. One of the most powerful ways to learn is through highly functioning Professional Learning Communities. Over the past year and a half we have implemented PLCs in my school. These groups have gone to work at tasks like analyzing students’ work, looking at formative assessments and data, creating common formative assessments, and analyzing standards vertically. Their work has grown over this time and teachers talk about how much it now impacts their practice.

Using ongoing data from their common formative assessments has been a change for the staff. Once they give these assessments, teachers chart their students by class and grade level as to those who have mastered the chosen standard, those who are close, and those who need more interventions to master that standard. Working with their teammates and having professional discussions gives them a sense of partnership to determine within these data teams how to get specific students where they need to be. By giving teachers the time, training, and tools to utilize formative assessments in meaningful ways on data teams — as a school we have been effective and impacted student achievement!

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