EWING MARION KAUFFMAN SCHOOL
Leader Development +
Sometimes client needs are not always straight forward and require some outside of the box thinking to determine how to best support schools given the challenges they are facing. That was absolutely the case for the leaders at the Kauffman School. Not only was this school transitioning a new math instructional coach onto their leadership team, but they also had 100% of their middle school grade levels tasked with onboarding new Grade Level Content Leads. Additionally, each grade level was in the process of transitioning a new curriculum, a project that was started but not fully completed the year prior. The Kauffman School team wanted a wrap-around approach that would strategically meet each of these needs.
Dana Coleman identified creative ways to simultaneously build teacher and leader capacity while ensuring the challenges of transitioning new leaders and new curriculum were minimized. The work kicked off with a major summer project to revise and modify all assessments and unit plans for all middle school math courses. Not only was this essential in order for teachers to have the resources needed to hit the ground running with modifying their own lesson plans, but it also supported the new leader in having a replicable framework, process, and timeline for modifying curriculum on such a large scale. Throughout the duration of the project, Dana Coleman worked side by side with the new math instructional coach to model the process and thinking required for effective decision making in revising curriculum. Over time, the project intentionally and thoughtfully released more responsibility and decision making to the new instructional coach, allowing her to slowly gain her footing in effective project management and leader oversight. This strategy provided a strong balance of stretching the leader's skills while providing a fail-proof safety net along the way, resulting in leader capacity building while ensuring effective deliverable creation. Additionally, Dana Coleman participated in quarterly priority planning with the school leadership team to analyze math performance data, make recommendations in regards to the highest impact areas to prioritize for teacher development, and select strategies to leverage when engaging in coaching cycles.
You know a first year administrator has been set up for success when teacher feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and that was exactly the case in this scenario. Following a professional development series where each grade level was provided their newly revised interim assessments and unit plans, 100% of math teachers agreed they were "prepared to execute lessons effectively on the first day of school" and that "teachers and leaders work in strong partnership on the math team." Not an easy feat to accomplish with so many new priorities within the department! Additionally, at the end of the first quarter, the Kauffman School's new math instructional coach received unprecedented reviews on the end of quarter survey, with 100% of the teachers she managed agreeing that their manager contributes to their effectiveness. Furthermore, the curricular deliverables created as an outcome of this project have proven to support teachers with varying levels of experience, not just veteran teachers with deep content knowledge. Following each data analysis, we've seen teachers in their first year, and even long-term substitutes, achieving results similar to veteran teachers with 3 and 4 years of experience.