Effective Leadership

A professional learning community of leaders from superintendents to aspiring administrators to collaborate and discuss educational philosophy, best practices, and student learning.

Members: 68
Latest Activity: Nov 27, 2017

Discussion Forum

Modeling as a leader

Started by Glenn deMarrais. Last reply by Glenn deMarrais Feb 4, 2010. 5 Replies

Leadership Class for middle school...

Started by Grant MacKenzie. Last reply by Brian Hoelscher Jan 31, 2010. 3 Replies

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Comment by Cyprian Dusabe on August 3, 2011 at 11:12am
How have you been? I wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for all the support that you have given St Mark  Institute Of Health Sciences  in the past! Your support has helped in buying medicine which has helped in treatment of thousands of children and we also wanted to tell you about an exciting new opportunity for St Mark  Institute Of Health Sciences ! You Tube Videos
We have been selected by the GlobalGiving Foundation to participate in its Open Challenge, a fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations working around the world.
In order to succeed in GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge, St Mark  Institute Of Health Sciences must raise $4,000 from 50 donors by 31st August 2011 threshold, we will be given a permanent spot on GlobalGiving’s website, where we have the potential to benefit from corporate relationships, exposure to a new donor network, and access to dozens of online fundraising tools. In addition, we could earn as much as $3,000 in financial prizes for raising the most money.
Please help us reach the threshold of $4,000 from 50 donors! Be one of the first people to make a donation at  Not only will your donation help in Building Childrens Hospital In Uganda but, it will help us take advantage of a long-term fundraising opportunity!
We’re also going to need your help spreading the word! Please share this opportunity with your friends and family!
Thank you, as always, for your continued support!
Cyprian G. Dusabe
Executive Director
St Mark  Institute Of Health Sciences
Comment by Justin Tarte on September 25, 2010 at 10:57pm
Have heart, passion, and a love for positively affecting the lives of children - take a risk - refine and reevaluate your vision. Go to work every day with the goal of making those around you better.

"My proof will be the legacy I leave, the imprint I make, & the people I boost up along the way." Thank you Steve Farber
Comment by Meredith Johnson on August 8, 2010 at 3:59pm
It is interesting that our group has 49 members who are interested in the topic of Effective Leadership but no one has made a comment since Feb. 4. Perhaps one of the traits of leadership is sharing with others? I am interested in the topic of the 90/90/90 schools and I wonder if other leaders who help at-risk students have also been examining what these schools are doing?
Comment by Joe D'Amato on October 31, 2008 at 12:09pm
Benjamin, we are implementing this for the first time this year, which is a vast improvement over the previous tool that consisted of 10-15 statements that are rated 1,2,3 or N/A. The old tool never got to any of the finer points of teaching/learning, nor student engagement.

The C.D. observation tool was modeled from several others used in our area, and was done in a collaborative fashion (6 teachers representing all 3 levels and 6 administrators). We worked with the union to make sure the process was fair and doable for the teachers. Top-down does not work well for this sort of thing. As an aside we are looking to add other options for tenured teachers like a portfolio or peer review.

Once we completed the documents I met with small groups of teachers regarding the entire APPR process from goal setting and reflection to observations. I went through most of the bullet points for each domain and defined the process we will follow. In the pre-observation conference we can set a focus for the observation (like questioning, co-operative learning strategies).

Although it is a checklist of sorts, the comments that are entered along with the lesson outline that I write are the focus of the post-observation. We try to tie the Instructional goal for the year, the observation(s) and summative evaluation together into a seamless process.

We shall see how this works.
Comment by Benjamin Stewart on October 31, 2008 at 11:04am
>Joe, thanks for clearing up the clinical supervision and C.D. model. Do you find that working with a checklist takes away from the observation process? Are there elements from the checklist that are more important than others - from the observer´s point of view? Do teachers share different views as to what elements of the checklist are of greater importance? How do these different perspectives get resolved during teacher conferences? Are the elements of the checklist determined by the teachers (bottom-up) or administrators (top-down)?

I agree that common principals are necessary in order for teachers to share a common rationale towards teaching practice, but I wonder how a checklist will self-motivate them to initiate lasting change.
Comment by Joe D'Amato on October 30, 2008 at 7:55pm
I think it all depends on the districts practices. Based on my district we use clinical supervision model and Charlotte Danielson. Clinical supervision is more of a model of the things you do when observing teachers, like pre-observation meeting, observation, post-observation reflection and conference. We use Danielson as the tool for observing teachers. The benefits of the tool, in my experience, is that it clearly defines what good teaching and planning looks like and sounds like. A common language for the reflections, discussions and professional development that is needed to improve teaching and learning.

We have rewritten our whole professional review process around the domains. Teachers set SMART a goal at the start of the year, get observed (once for tenured, 3 times for non-tenured), and get a summative evaluation on a yearly basis. As an administrator I value the conversations about the goals and lessons, as they begin the journey to improved teaching.
Comment by Benjamin Stewart on October 30, 2008 at 3:29pm
I agree with you when you say, Improving professional teaching behaviors will only occur by changing to a professional development model where teachers self-assess, reflect and set goals on how to become better teachers.

What I´m not sure about is how the Charlotte Danielson model differs from a clinical supervision model (excuse my ignorance). To understand what "quality teaching" is or to determine "best practices", I would think in terms of establishing teaching principals. Starting with the teachers themselves, brainstorm and create a list of teaching principals (as opposed to methods and techniques) that most can agree on. Based on these principals, all subsequent observations, conferences, reflections, etc. can be discussed in terms of a common set of agree upon principals. I´m a strong believer in a change in teaching practice only comes from a self-realization that new practices are warranted.
Comment by Joe D'Amato on October 28, 2008 at 9:06am
I think the idea of wal-throughs to gather data for the purposes of moving the building forward is an excellent idea. Of course I did spend yesterday at a workshop on this very. The idea of using test data for evaluation could become a problem, however monitoring grades and testing can open doors for discussion on improving curriculum and instruction. Much of this depends on the culture of the building, union contracts (if they exist) and district philosophy. The bottom line for improving a teacher's performace is having data from multiple sources and working with the teacher towards improvement. A top down or directive approach will never achieve sustained change.
Comment by LKF on October 27, 2008 at 4:13pm
Lois poses another interesting, how can I as an instructional teacher, improve a mediocre administrative leader's performance?
Comment by Benjamin Stewart on October 26, 2008 at 9:50pm
Peter poses an interesting question: How can you as an instructional leader improve a mediocre teacher's performance?

I tend to agree with Peter´s first answer and would bring up the Downey walk-through when discussing the specifics of the observation and professional development. I think the answer is more in building learning communities than singling out a specific issue with one teacher, at least in the initial stages. The trick is to create a level of trust with the teacher so that reflective questions can be discussed with the intention that the teacher determines what practices can improve the situation (as opposed to the instructional leader dictating what practices to implement).

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