Area of Focus

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...

How Principals Can Support Teachers in Assessing Goals Midyear

For teachers and principals, the run-up to the winter break can seem like a mad dash to a (first) finish line. Time is short and instructional improvement goals slip down the priority list. What to do? Mark your calendar for January. The time after the winter break is...

How to Find the Right Data to Support Professional Goal Setting

When teachers return to their classrooms in fall, one question at the top of their minds is this: How do I know where my students’ skills are, and how can I adjust my instructional practice to meet their needs? Setting professional goals anchored to the needs of...

How to Help Teachers Find an Area of Focus

Teachers have always set goals for their students and for their teaching. But what used to be a fairly open-ended conversation in the principal's office or staff room has now become a critical component of a teacher's professional development. Driven by student and...

Recent Posts

Humanizing School and District Leadership Through Student Experience

What would happen if school and district leaders used students’ experiences and perspectives as the basis for their leadership? In CEL’s partnerships with school systems, we ask leaders to focus on the experiences of students furthest from justice in their schools and...

Looking Back to Lean Forward: CEL’s 20-Year Journey

Dear partners and colleagues, In 2003, I was a second-year principal. At the time, my school was best known for its low standardized test scores and discipline rates. I thought that my general leadership ability was sufficient to lead a dramatic school turnaround....

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.

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