Teaching Effectiveness

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...

5 tips for setting up and sustaining coaching in your district

I recently visited two elementary school instructional coaches in a district where we are providing support to all K-12 coaches. Rebecca used to be a teacher at the school and is now in her first year as a full-time coach. Cheryl is in her second year as a...

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...

3 Important Ways to Connect Teaching Practice to Student Learning

Raise your hand if you think you’re keeping students at the center of your work. We all do. It’s why many of us went into education and it’s what motivates us to do the best we can every day. In my 23 years as a teacher, instructional coach and educational consultant,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Side by Side: Smart Strategies, Strong Support from Classroom Coaches

Learning curves have been steep in Carrie Howell’s classroom – for the students, for the teacher, and for the peers who have come to watch over the years as she worked side-by-side with Center for Educational Leadership coaches, tackling learning problems and trying...

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

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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