April 2017 Instructional Leadership Must-Reads

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April showers bring May flowers... and a roundup of excellent instructional leadership articles! Make sure to subscribe to our blog to have our must-reads sent straight to your inbox too.

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Expansive Listening: An Essential Coaching Skill, via Edweek

Elena Augilar, an educator and transformational-leadership coach, shares the differences in types of questions we often ask and how to transform constricted listening.

"As coaches, our primary tools are listening and questioning. It's time we take responsibility for how we've listened and the questions we've asked. It's time we listen and respond in new ways."

Teacher Labs: Making Professional Development Collaborative, via Edutopia

As part of the Schools That Work series, Birmingham Covington School showcases one of their key practicesvia video—of bringing teachers together to observe one another teaching and reflect together.

"Watch the magic that happens when educators observe each other teaching and then reflect together."

Culture of Coaching: Motivation is a Tricky Thing, via PIIC

Ellen Eisenberg, Executive Director of The Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching, writes about the phenomenon of motivation and how teachers and coaches must think through situations together that they can control, that reflect the lives of their students

"By establishing and clearly communicating your vision for instructional leadership, educators are able to hold themselves, and one another, accountable for their contributions."

Why Giving Effective Feedback Is Trickier Than It Seems, via MindShift

In this article, light is shined on the significance of giving (timely) feedback on students work and how important it is for the learning process.  

"An individual instance of feedback can give a teacher a close-up look at the student’s abilities with a specific skill, a snapshot of where they are in the scope of the class, and some ideas about where to go in the long term."

Teachers Like Common Planning Time, Survey Shows, via  Edweek

While a little light on analyzing survey results, Edweek helps show where teachers fall on the classroom improvement spectrum based on professional development.

"Teachers perceive that a wide range of common professional-development activities would make a difference in their classrooms, including common planning time and mentorship for new teachers."

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