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Instructional Leadership

See the low-inference note one-pager

•      Teacher action/Student action – Observer writes down the actions of both teachers and students using time stamps. Evidence collecting can adapt over time while a working theory is being formulated in the classroom.

•      Running record – Similar to teacher/student action, running record allows for observational evidence to be collected that does not rely on cause and effect analysis. Direct quotes, time stamps, number of hands, etc. can be included in a running record.

•      Interaction tracker – Observers track the interactions between teachers and students. This often comes in the form of pluses and minuses on a seating chart to reveal relationship dynamics, management challenges, and bias.

•      Student interview – In this method, observers ask direct questions to the students based upon the working theory about the classroom. For example, “too hard, too easy, or just right?” can reveal information about the rigor of the classroom. Or, “does your teacher care about you? Do students in this classroom behave the way the teacher expects?” can reveal information about the management approach and relationships.

•      Participation tracker – Observers track how many times students speak, work, or raise their hand. What the observer tracks is entirely dependent upon the working theory.

Criteria for Effective Action Steps: This one-pager provides an overview of the criteria for effective action steps.

Defining Excellent Instruction: To be able to formulate effective action steps, leaders must first define excellence instruction. This one-pager provides simple definitions of the 4 “big buckets” used in the coaching scope and sequence. This will help leaders ensure that their action steps are connected to a larger outcome.

Developing Theories: Knowledge, Skills, or Mindsets: Coaches identify the knowledge, skills, or mindsets that are holding teachers back from effectively executing an identified action step. This one-pager outlines how to formulate a theory.

Coaching Conversation Planning Template: This template follows the process that TLI uses for practice-based coaching.

Coaching Conversation Planning Template With Details: This template provides more details about each section of the coaching conversation. It can serve as a “checklist.”

Building Investment in an Action Step: This one-pager provides an overview about how to build investment in an action step.

Effective Praise: This one-pager outlines what effective praise looks like in a coaching conversation.

Leading Effective Practice During a Coaching Session: This one-pager provides an overview of they key elements of an effective practice portion of a coaching session.

Bank of Coaching Questions:  This resource provides a set of coaching questions that can be utilized in coaching conversations.

Situational Leadership: This tool created by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard allows coaches to effectively differentiate their communication techniques depending on the skill and will of the teacher given the task.

  • Coaching an Enthusiastic Beginner (D1): This tool outlines how to use a “directing” coaching style.
  • Coaching an Disillusioned Learner (D2): This tool outlines how to use a “coaching” coaching style.
  • Coaching an Capable, But Cautious Performer (D3): This tool outlines how to use a “supporting” coaching style.
  • Coaching an Self-Reliant Achiever (D4): This tool outlines how to use a “delegating” coaching style.

Common Communication Errors: This tool developed by Deloitte outlines some common communication errors.

Universal Prompts for Mindset Coaching: This one pager gives coaches universal prompts for digging into mindsets.

How to Spot a Disempowered Mindset (3 Profiles): This one pager gives an overview of the 3 profiles that is evidence of a disempowered mindset.

Visual of Disempowered Mindsets: Disempowered mindsets lead to fixed behavior. This visual represents this idea to help coaches understand the mindset coaching frameworks.

Sample Mindset Coaching Conversation: This is an sample mindset coaching conversation.

Overview of coaching: In this one-pager, leaders can get an overview of coaching, including some key research about coaching effectiveness.

Coaching for impact: In this one-pager, leaders can learn who they should spend the majority of their coaching time with and how much time should be allocated for each profile.

Should districts invest in coaching?: This one page cost/benefit analysis summarizes all of the research on coaching program effectiveness and outlines the typical costs to districts. More details will be outlined in a future white paper.

Co-Teaching and Modeling: This one-pager describes when and in what format coaches should consider co-teaching or modeling for a teacher.

Classroom Turnaround: This one-pager outlines when it is appropriate to intensively intervene with a teacher and what factors to prioritize.

Effective Session Design: This visual provides an overview of effective practice-based professional learning.

Effective Facilitation: This tool provides a number of resources for those who are executing professional learning for results, including a self-evaluation, tools for feedback, and specific guidance for areas of concern.

Session Internalization Guide: This tool allows leaders to take an existing professional development to effectively execute the session.

Rehearsal Feedback Sheet: This feedback sheet allows leaders to provide each other with feedback when practicing a session.

Novice Teacher Development

TLI is Oklahoma’s premiere leader in developing novice teachers with documented academic success. The following resources are available to any school districts to use. Feel free to get in touch with TLI staff for any details or explanation.

Original Scope and Sequence: TLI has designed a coaching scope and sequence that is geared towards new teachers. The goal of this specific tool is to make it very transparent to new teachers what skills they need to master in order to be a highly effective teacher.

Adapted for Distance Learning Scope and Sequence: Using the lessons from Spring 2020, TLI adapted the original scope and sequence to identify the concrete skills that are required for effective distance learning.

Planning vs. Execution: Leaders who effectively analyze root causes are able to solve problems more effectively. Categorizing root causes by planning or execution helps leader ensure that they are solving the right problem at the right time. See the planning vs. execution one-pager.

The Teacher Institute is a two week intensive training that provides an introduction to a lot of scope and sequence of development.

The initial pilot of teacher training has occurred over three years at Collegiate Hall Charter School. In Collegiate Hall’s first three years, 70% of teachers had no previous teaching experience before joining the school. Despite this, teacher averaged the following results:


  • On a measure of college-readiness on the MAP test, Collegiate Hall seventh grade students finished first in the nation in reading (86% of students in the top quartile) and second in the nation in math (69% of students in the top quartiles) compared to other schools started with the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship.
  • The academic achievement for the 2017-18 academic year includes:
  • Students grew an average of 1.83 grade levels in math, putting Collegiate Hall in the top 1% of schools for growth nationally
  • Students grew an average of 1.89 grade levels in reading, putting Collegiate Hall in the top 1% of schools for growth nationally
  • Students grew an average of 2.36 grade levels in science, putting Collegiate Hall in the top 1% of schools for growth nationally

You can find out more information about the pilot here.

Lead and Master Teachers

Senate Bill 980 created new certification pathways for career teachers. The following resources provide schools and districts with guidance on the Lead and Master teacher roles. Feel free to get in touch with TLI staff for any details or explanation.

See this one-pager about the details concerning Lead and Master teacher roles as outlined by Senate Bill 980

This one-pager presents the Teacher Career Ladder in the state of Oklahoma. While the career ladder is not linear in nature, it demonstrates the balance of teaching and leading staff can do within a school building.

Check out this one-pager about Lead Teachers

Check back for more updates soon!

The Leader Competency Model was a tool designed to provide feedback and measure growth to instructional leaders as part of the School Leader Cohort. Schools and districts can adapt the Leader Competency Model to select specific areas to offer feedback depending on the person’s role.

Change Management

One of the core outcomes of TLI’s School Leader Cohort is to aid school leaders in executing a specific, narrow change that would improve the school. The following are resources to help leaders effectively define and manage change.

The Instructional Core: All change begins at the Instructional Core (Elmore). This one-pager outlines the principles of the Instructional Core and how to think through content, teacher, and student factors when defining a change.

Check back for more updates soon!

Check back for more updates soon!

White Papers

The TLI White Papers synthesize research and provide specific guidance for schools on how to best meet the needs of Oklahoma educators.

“Certify, blink, hire” (Rutledge, 2008). Does this sound like our systems? In this White Paper, understand the continuum of hiring practices for teachers and how to find the right candidate for the job.

Across the United States, schools and districts are experiencing a greening of the teaching workforce. In 1988, the most common amount of time a teacher had been in the classroom was 15 years. In 2016, it was just 1-3 years (Ingersoll, 2018). With numbers of emergency teaching certifications growing exponentially, Oklahoma schools have no guarantee of prior preparation for new teachers (OKSDE 2018). With so many new teachers, some districts are turning towards strategic novice teacher development plans to combat attrition, avoid extra hiring costs, and improve student achievement.


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