In the most successful Opportunity Culture schools, principals lead an instructional team of multi-classroom leaders selected for their teaching excellence and leadership potential. Other principals can emulate their approach using this set of tools, which help principals plan for and lead a schoolwide team, along with tools for principals new to an Opportunity Culture school. Leading a team of teacher-leaders who in turn support and guide all of a school’s teachers is a new experience for most principals—a far cry from scrambling to lead, observe, and coach dozens of teachers individually.
Two independent research studies, from 2018 and 2021, show very strong student learning gains for small teaching teams led by multi-classroom leaders (MCLs). These studies found that, on average, teachers who joined Opportunity Culture multi-classroom leaders’ teams moved from producing 50th percentile student learning growth to 77th percentile student learning growth.
So building MCLs’ leadership skills fast is crucial. Even the strongest teachers need coaching to excel as team leaders. Principals in any school with empowered teacher-leaders will find these tools helpful. They were informed by the research, advice, and stories of successful principals and multi-classroom leaders nationwide.
Use these tools to launch your instructional team of leaders and lead them to ensure excellence schoolwide—and to review these actions each year:
- Goal-Setting Worksheet (Word)—clarify your unique vision and goals
- Priority Dashboard (Excel)—choose strategies to meet your goals, with specific targets and measures of success all year long
- School Turnaround Plan (Word)—this tool keeps your plans linked in one place for sharing
- Principal Action Planner (Word)—to see each season in its own document, click on the following links: Summer; Fall; Winter; Spring
- Organizational Chart Template–Instructional Leadership and Teams (Word)—a visual snapshot of instructional leadership and teams in your school
- School Roles and Responsibilities Chart (Word)—a tool for listing each position and indicating roles and responsibilities
- Checklist for Principals Joining Opportunity Culture Schools (Word)
- Leading Across the Organization (Word)—a one-page summary of action areas for leading staff and leading operations
- Leading a Team (Word)—a one-page summary of all action areas
- Education Leaders’ Summary Action List (Word)—a quick review of all action areas
- Communications Planner (Web)—with accompanying tools to help districts and schools communicate consistently and effectively about their Opportunity Culture plans.
- Recruitment Toolkit (Web)—action planner with accompanying tools to find the right people for your school
- Teacher and Staff Selection Toolkit (Web) — includes job descriptions and competencies for success
- Instructional Leadership and Excellence—The Key Elements (Web)—dive deeply into improving instructional excellence and leadership, with more tools, videos, training, and PLC discussions
- Instructional Excellence Summary (PDF)—the critical elements of instructional excellence in one page
- Standing Agendas for Leading an Instructional Team of Leaders (Word)—examples and options for standing agendas for weekly meetings of schoolwide leadership team
- Multi-School Leader Schedule Specifications (Word)
- School Turnaround Principal Tools (Web)—for principals leading turnaround schools
Improve yourself and your team:
- Evaluation Guide (Web)