Instructional Leadership & Excellence

Leadership + Instructional Excellence = Student Results and Welcoming Environment for All

When teachers and principals lead small teams, educators can collaborate routinely and get weekly—or even daily—guidance, feedback, and support. The whole school can achieve instructional excellence and a welcoming environment for all.

Below, find curated resources on critical elements of instructional leadership and excellence for teachers, multi-classroom leaders, and principals.

  • Video clips of teacher-leaders and principals who have achieved high-growth student learning
  • Discussion questions and printable study guides for developing your team and yourself, with real examples from educators
  • Tools to help principals and teacher-leaders as they guide their teams
  • Other developmental resources including books, videos, articles, and tools

Additionally, go here for specific tools, action lists, and curriculum resources that guide you on the actions to achieve these elements of instructional excellence. These are based on the strategies of outstanding, high-growth teachers who have worked in schools served by Public Impact® and the common elements of several leading instructional experts.

Leading a Team

Leaders must connect with their team, set ambitious goals, and lead and develop the team together and individually to deliver instructional excellence. Leaders must plan, communicate, execute, and improve team actions. Click on each element below to learn more!

Launch and Lead

Establish leadership by ensuring the right people are on the team and clarifying the team’s vision, goals, roles, and process for collaborating to achieve excellence.

Build Team Cohesion

Build team spirit and help your team collaborate productively to achieve your common goal of teaching and learning excellence.

Support and Develop Individuals

Provide support and development to each educator, through co-planning, co-teaching or co-leading, modeling, observing and providing feedback, and coaching.

Manage Yourself

Take care of yourself and improve your leadership and professional skills and competencies to achieve consistent performance.


Lead Instructional Excellence

Lead others openly and rapidly to implement the specific elements of instructional excellence and achieve high-standards, high-growth learning. See Achieving Instructional Excellence elements below.

Achieving Instructional Excellence

Instructional excellence is the heart of a great school. Achieving it requires planning ahead, delivering strong instruction, then improving throughout the year so that each student is motivated and supported for high-growth, joyful learning. Click on each element below to learn more!

Plan Ahead and Raise Sights

Pre-plan high standards for each grade/course—with schoolwide curriculum, lessons, and useful assessments up to and beyond standards—to support achievement and growth.


Establish strong relationships with students and families to cultivate a culture of learning and respect.

Lead the Classroom

Lead with purpose and compassion, setting and reinforcing norms for routines and behavior, in face-to-face learning and online.

Execute Rigor and Personalization

Execute rigorous lessons aligned with the curriculum, personalizing and differentiating instruction for highly engaging, high-growth learning.

Monitor Learning

Assess students’ learning achievement and growth frequently with data—daily and weekly—from the start and continuing through the year.

Adjust Instruction

Change instruction when learning slows—and to help students advance faster—based on monitoring.


Engage students and families in each student’s growth by sharing progress and inviting student-driven improvements.


Continuously improve all of the instructional excellence elements.

Instructional Excellence and Curricula Resources

In schools, nothing matters more than the quality of instruction. Educators can save time and enhance teaching by choosing a curriculum and adapting pre-made lesson materials created with high standards and embedded personalization options.

Below, we offer easy-to-use teaching and teacher-leadership instructional and curriculum resources:

Instructional Excellence Support

Instructional Excellence Summary—This handy tool summarizes the critical elements of instructional excellence in one page. It is based on the strategies of outstanding, high-growth teachers who have worked in schools served by Public Impact® and the common elements of several leading instructional experts, whose work is listed within. The table below highlights the critical elements of instructional excellence. Read the summary for details.

Instructional Excellence Support Guide Overview and Support Tool—This guide provides detailed actions for each element in the Instructional Excellence Summary, and help for multi-classroom leaders in using that detail to guide and support teachers.

Instructional Excellence Action Lists—Download, print, and check off the following lists with suggested actions for each element:

Curriculum Guides

Recommended High-Quality Curricula: Detailed Summary for Curriculum & Instruction Professionals—this publication in the Opportunity Culture® Connect series offers recommendations for high-quality curricula, with links to free and low-cost options.

Recommended High-Quality Curricula: Leadership Summary—this one-pager in the Opportunity Culture® Connect series summarizes our recommendations for high-quality curricula.

Help to Teach Reading

The Science of Reading—Introduction: Understanding the Simple View of Reading—this slide deck details the simple view of reading equation—Decoding X Language Comprehension = Reading Comprehension—and distinguishes misleading conventional wisdom from facts based on research about teaching methods that boost students’ reading comprehension.

The Science of Reading—Study & Action Guide: Improving Your Multi-Classroom Leadership™ Team’s Instruction—this slide deck is intended to help Multi-Classroom Leader™ teams and other teachers improve reading instruction and student learning growth fast.

Bringing the Science of Reading Into the Classroom—in this new publication in the Opportunity Culture® Connect series, educators get a one-page reminder of the critical elements of reading research.

See the Instructional Leadership and Excellence web pages for free training, teaching team study guides, educator videos, and more help for teachers, those in Opportunity Culture® roles, and their principals.