UWCEL

Celebrating Growth and Courage

As the year-end approaches, we’re sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners — even as they grappled with intense day-to-day demands on their time and energy. This post is the second in a series of three stories.

Small Moments, Big Growth: A Year-End Reflection

This past year demanded growth, from technical skills to mindsets, from virtually everyone in education. As the year-end approaches, we’re sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners. We’re particularly excited to spotlight the shifts and new choices that may appear small, but signaled breakthroughs.

What Centering Student Experience Looks like

What does centering students look like in action? What characteristics should a leader look for as evidence of equity and learning-centered practice? In this excerpt from a recent webinar, Jose Rivera, assistant superintendent of Grandview School District, Wash.,...

Getting Better to Lead for Equity, a Webinar

We don't yet know what far-reaching impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students. What we do know is that classrooms need to be as equitable as possible — and support rigorous learning — now. But what does that look like, especially with ongoing and sometimes...

Listening to Center Student Experience

After embarking on creating a “framework” that centers the experience of students, the CEL team learned that the adults at school really need to listen hard. What does listening hard look like in action? Watch this video to learn more.

What the Four Dimensions of School Leadership Looks Like in Action

Brandon White is the chief academic officer at South Bend Community Schools in Indiana. When working with school leaders, his approach is that "we as educators must be involved in learning ourselves." Lisa Rooney, director of framework development and support, spoke...

Watch now: How we lead for equity

"We don’t believe that equity lives in a dimension on its own. As an effective leader, you don’t just lead for equity when you craft a vision and mission — it affects everything you do." - Michele Mason You believe in equity-driven leadership. But how do you turn...

The Pandemic Revealed Inequities — and New Ways to Address Them

In a “normal” school year on a “normal” school day, Stacy Thomas, the executive director of teaching and learning for Blaine School District, bounces between each of the district’s schools, which are housed on one campus. Blaine is a district in rural Washington near...

The Importance of Relationships During Distance Learning

As schools began to transition to a new system of distance and remote learning, the initial focus was naturally on the nuts and bolts: How will we ensure students have access to the technology they need? What video platforms and tools should we use? What’s the right...

Bringing Teams Together to Get Better – No Matter What

The COVID-19 crisis has illustrated just how vital a focus on the student experience and open lines of communication are — so student learning can continue, even with the disruptions. And that starts with our leaders at the top — leaders like Jeff Pelzel, the...

How Coaches are Improving Teaching in a Virtual Environment

The transition to distance learning has been unquestionably daunting for students, parents and educators. One side effect of the transition from chalkboards to Zoom or Teams screens has been a feeling of isolation for teachers, who are trying to navigate new...

What matters most to students and teachers for learning right now

In recent months, educators have had the daunting job of asking and answering, "What does teaching mean now?" They've had to make many impactful decisions and make them quickly — all while working together and teaching remotely. Jody DeGroot, assistant principal at...

What’s Next: Schooling or Learning?

By GREG SOMMERS Our current wave of school closures is yielding an unprecedented shift to online and distance learning. Some are meeting this shift with a surge of enthusiasm for innovation. Others are approaching it more cautiously. I wonder — for my own children and...

Principal as the Turning Point: EduTalks 2020

While the impact teachers make on learning is well-understood, there’s less appreciation for how principals can foster learning environments that empower students.  In this six-minute video, Joanna Michelson, director of teacher leadership and learning at the UW...

CEL’s Summer Reading List

In preparation for this new 2019-2020 school year, University of Washington Center for Educational Leader (CEL) experts kept up with their summer reading and shared six educational book recommendations. With a focus on equity, courageous leadership and...

Introducing the Leadership Guide for K-12 Teacher Professional Learning

As we at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership continue to visit classrooms this year and celebrate the  gains we are seeing, we encourage educators to also celebrate and then think about their next steps for improving outcomes for students....

Hope to see you at AASA’s 2019 National Conference on Education

The Center for Educational Leadership's executive director, Max Silverman, will take part in two panel discussions at the AASA 2019 National Conference on Education in Los Angeles. Silverman will engage in a facilitated dialogue about leadership strategies for closing...

Introducing the CEL District Leader Fellows

by ANNEKE MARKHOLT We are excited to announce the first cohort of CEL District Leader Fellows. The CEL District Leader Fellowship is a yearlong professional development and work opportunity for district leaders who possess professional expertise that will serve the...

We hope to see you at the Learning Forward 2018 Annual Conference

Faculty from the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership will lead three sessions at the Learning Forward 2018 Annual Conference in Dallas. These sessions are ideal for anyone involved with designing or leading professional learning. The Principal's...

Five priorities for the changing role of principal supervisor

by JUNE RIMMER We just returned from leading a really rich learning session with the first cohort of the AASA National Principal Supervisor Academy. We have the honor of providing the professional learning for this academy as well as for principal supervisors in...

CEL’s most-read blog post in 2017

CEL's timeless article, "How to help teachers find an area of focus," topped the most-read list in 2017. Helping teachers determine the right instructional practice goals, linked to student learning, is often a top priority for school leaders. How can school and...

CEL Executive Director Stephen Fink announces his farewell

by STEPHEN FINK  Dear Colleagues: With 2017 drawn to a close, I hope you can pause for a moment and celebrate a year filled with inspiration, growth and success in your practice. The New Year brings a time of transition here at the Center for Educational Leadership. I...

Want to become an expert school leader? Ask more questions.

by SHEEBA JACOB Why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an extra air mattress? Today, the answer to this question is worth $30 billion. The meteoric rise of home-sharing site AirBnB is driven by many factors, but it started with the founders Joe Gebbia and...

Developing Principals as Equity-centered Instructional Leaders

Over the past several years, we have become more keenly aware of the pervasive nature of opportunity and achievement gaps in many of the schools serving our most vulnerable students. These differences in opportunities, supports and outcomes represent some students’...

How to Create a Results-Focused Learning Environment

BY SHARON WILLIAMS Getting everybody in the school community to focus on results for students is hard — but it’s one of the most powerful ways for principals to improve instruction. "One of the responsibilities of school leadership teams with the strongest correlation...

What Great Sports Coaches Can Teach Us About Effective Targeted Feedback

by SHEEBA JACOB  This summer, I enjoyed watching the U.S. women’s soccer team play their way to World Cup victory and Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic win the Wimbledon tennis finals. Watching these great achievements, I couldn’t help thinking: What kinds of coaches...

What is Targeted Feedback and When Do I Use It?

by SHEEBA JACOB    Over the past decade, there has been a significant transformation in the way principals interact with teachers. Principals are no longer just managers, they are also instructional leaders. More and more, they visit classrooms throughout the...

4 Steps of Inquiry That Help Principals Improve Instruction

by SANDY AUSTIN When I ask principals what prevents them from focusing on instructional quality in their school, the number one answer I get is: time. It’s true, time is always a concern for principals, but it is not the only one. I have found that even when...

Building Leadership Capacity

By DICK FLANARY, Senior Director of Leadership Programs and Services at the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Accountability is the mantra for today’s schools. Expectations for schools are ever increasing, and sanctions for poor performance include...

Principal Accountability Begins with Developing Expertise

by STEPHEN FINK Two foundational ideas guide our work at the Center for Educational Leadership.  First, we believe that quality teaching matters: if students are not learning, they are not being afforded powerful learning opportunities. Second, quality instructional...

Developing Our Stamina for Learning

by STEPHEN FINK One big piece of my learning over the years has been that working with adult learners is really no different than working with young learners.   I used to believe that adults who worked hard to earn degrees and credentials for their chosen profession...

Recent Posts

Celebrating Growth and Courage

As the year-end approaches, we’re sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners — even as they grappled with intense day-to-day demands on their time and energy. This post is the second in a series of three stories.

Small Moments, Big Growth: A Year-End Reflection

This past year demanded growth, from technical skills to mindsets, from virtually everyone in education. As the year-end approaches, we’re sharing stories of the growth we observed in our partners. We’re particularly excited to spotlight the shifts and new choices that may appear small, but signaled breakthroughs.

What Centering Student Experience Looks like

What does centering students look like in action? What characteristics should a leader look for as evidence of equity and learning-centered practice? In this excerpt from a recent webinar, Jose Rivera, assistant superintendent of Grandview School District, Wash.,...

Getting Better to Lead for Equity, a Webinar

We don't yet know what far-reaching impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students. What we do know is that classrooms need to be as equitable as possible — and support rigorous learning — now. But what does that look like, especially with ongoing and sometimes...

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