Standard II: Instructional Leadership
School executives will set high standards for the professional practice of 21st century instruction and assessment that result in a no nonsense accountable environment. The school executive must be knowledgeable of best instructional and school practices and must use this knowledge to cause the creation of collaborative structures within the school for the design of highly engaging schoolwork for students, the on-going peer review of this work and the sharing of this work throughout the professional community.
Element IIa. Focus on Learning and Teaching, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: The school executive leads the discussion about standards for curriculum, instruction and assessment based on research and best practices in order to establish and achieve high expectations for students.
It is my responsibility to review lesson plans for grades 3-5. Below is an email I sent to teachers with a few items that were wide-spread amongst the lesson plans I reviewed.
I provided this document as a print out for teachers to use during lesson planning. We (school leadership) have asked teachers to have students use critical thinking skills, especially as they progress throughout a standard. This info-graphic provides the verbs teachers should use to move the rigor higher as the lesson and year progresses.
I refer to this info-graphic when reviewing lesson plans to help teachers see how the learning targets need to progress throughout the week.
I am responsible for completing 2-5 walkthroughs each week. The principal and I keep a document to track who we have completed walkthroughs on so that we are not unintentionally repetitive. The district has recently created a new website that summarizes this data by school, grade, and teacher. This new tool has been extremely helpful in reviewing walkthrough data and creating action plans for teachers.
Below is an example from two walkthroughs completed on the same teacher with a focus on learning targets.
The expectation is learning targets meet the follow criteria:
During the December 15 walkthrough the teacher received a 1, the lowest rating for learning targets. After the walkthrough we had a conversation about all of the great things going on in her room as well as the rating for learning targets. We discussed why learning targets are important for students. This teacher does many things well, however learning targets are a non-negotiable from the district level so it was important that she begin meeting the expectation.
We spoke several times after that walkthrough about the learning targets and she told me she was incorporating them as asked. During a few drop in visits I did see them on the board and they were also listed in her lesson plans.
As indicated by the March 8 walkthrough, the teacher received a 3 on learning targets. The only small deficit was the students being able to relate the learning target to the standard, which is a work in progress for almost all of our teachers.
Element IIb. Focus on Instructional Time: The school executive creates processes and schedules which protect teachers from disruption of instructional or preparation time.
I try to protect instructional time when at all possible. For example, there have been many days I have driven a bus in order to prevent students from being late to school. By stepping in when a driver is out students are able to stay on their same schedule and not lose any instructional time. As well, teachers do not lose important instructional time by having students coming into class late.
During benchmark testing all staff are pulled in to administer and help with testing. The testing only affects grades 3-5 but we test in the morning when K-2 has resource. I rotate resource times during benchmark testing so that K-2 teachers do not miss all of their preparation time. As well, during CogAt testing I switched resource with first and second grade so second grade teachers would not lose their planning that week.