As an instructional leader, it was important that I model and demonstrate the same commitment to improving my knowledge based (4.1.3) around instruction and curriculum development. As the new accountability system – Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – approached, our district also launched its effort by helping teachers develop their own Core Curriculum using “spirals” – scope and sequence (standards based / aligned) and planning tool (curriculum mapping, weekly and daily plans) that require and promote teachers’ creativity and autonomy. With this set in motion, it was not only my opportunity to support our teachers through this change process but also impact their instruction in a way that is transformational for themselves and for the students.
In order to achieve success, I understood the importance of supporting teachers and leverage the resources that we already have at our site. My first evidence of leveraging this resource is working collaboratively with our Leadership Team. I was fortunate that the structure of meeting with leadership team members was well established prior to my arrival. However, in my observations the focus was not always on instruction. To mitigate this, the leadership team was rebranded to Instructional Leadership Team (ILT). Our mission was to support and improve the staff’s instructional capacity and practices in order to impact student learning. Most of our teachers’ pedagogical approach was still sticking to the “script” using Houghton and Mifflin or Treasures as thei...
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...y walkthrough feedback template. I used this on a regular basis to not only provide teachers’ on-going feedback but also engage them for further discussion and coaching opportunities. This is a form of professional development, element 4.3. Professional development is not a one shot event but continuous. Leveraging the walkthrough feedback template allowed me to provide differentiated support to enhance teachers’ instructional practices.
In order to improve curriculum and instruction as an organization, it is vital to create opportunities and establish a safe and healthy learning environment by leveraging the resources that already existed in the organization, and to engage in authentic learning through PLC or other forms of professional development. And finally using a structure for providing teachers on-going feedback serves as a catalyst for authentic learning.
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