Lead the Classroom

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

More Detail

Lead the classroom includes the following: 


Lead with a firm, yet warm presence, in person and online

  • Influence students with strong posture, voice, and online communication
  • Model eagerness for learning
  • Circulate throughout the classroom (and/or conduct check-ins online)

Set norms for a successful learning environment

  • Establish a culture of learning and growth in your classroom
  • Conduct consistent procedures and routines
  • Script, model, and reteach clear directions
  • Respond to unique strengths and needs of each student
  • Maximize all instructional time

Follow a continuous behavior management cycle

  • Set and reinforce high expectations
  • Convey the consequence hierarchy
  • Apply and assign consequences appropriately
  • Use least invasive intervention—de-escalate behavior

Introduce a positive incentive system to highlight exemplary learning behaviors aligned to your vision

  • Anticipate proactive steps to prevent misbehaviors
  • Describe positive behavior as it happens

See the one-page Instructional Excellence Summary covering all the key elements.

Study Guide

See this printable study guide with discussion questions and real examples from educators:

For Multi-Classroom LeadersKey Elements of Instructional Excellence: Lead the Classroom

Instructional Excellence Support Tools

Use this action list and tool to guide and support your teachers:

Instructional Excellence Action List: Lead the Classroom—print a copy of this detailed, checkable action list for each teacher you lead

Instructional Excellence Support Guide Overview and Support Tool—use this tool to record observations, provide feedback, and identify next steps

Videos—For Multi-Classroom Leaders & Other Instructional Teacher-Leaders

Watch these short videos of educators discussing the elements of Leading the Classroom, organized by action:

Discussion Questions

Use these discussion questions to help guide your instructional team through the elements of Lead the Classroom:

    1. Which actions in this element of instructional excellence are strengths for you or your team?
    2. Which actions in this element of instructional excellence are weaknesses for you or your team? Think about actions you never take, fail to take as often as needed, or do not take as well as needed to achieve strong learning growth consistently.
    3. What one to three specific changes will you or your team make to use your strengths more often or more consistently and improve weaknesses in the coming months?
    4. Make a brief action plan with specific goals, roles, and time by which you will make specific changes!
    5. Did your changes produce better learning results? If so, keep them. If not, think again about what other changes to make!

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