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Instructional Management for the Success of All Learners

Instructional Management Philosophy Statement
        Along with curriculum planning and development, educational leaders need to be well versed in the area of instruction to truly have an effect on the educational outcomes of their students.  According to Doyle (2002), "today's education leader, whether the leader of the school district, the school building or the classroom, must change data into knowledge, transform knowledge into wisdom and use wisdom as a guide to action. But if data-driven decision making and scientifically based research are the necessary preconditions to wise decision making, they are not sufficient. True, without data and solid evidence the modern decision maker is helpless, but simply possessing data and evidence is no guarantee of success.  If educators were to make one learned borrowing from medicine that would be it: knowledge-based decision making, a blend of scientific evidence based on data and hard-won professional judgment that, taken together, is that mix of intuition, insight and experience that we think of as wisdom" (n.p).  Like Doyle, I believe that educational leaders need to be skilled in data-driven decision making and be knowledgeable about research-based instructional strategies.  In addition to demonstrating competence with these elements of instructional management, educational leaders must also draw on experience and professional judgment in order to truly demonstrate the instructional "wisdom" Doyle is referring to.
        As previously described in my curriculum planning and development philosophy statement, I am a firm proponent of the Response to Intervention (RtI) model and the tiered instructional processes it represents.  Following is a brief outline of the instruction that typically occurs across the tiers (The Colorado Department of Education, 2009):

  • Tier 1 - high quality, research-based instructional strategies that support the district's core curriculum; flexible grouping to target specific skills to meet instructional goals of all students
  • Tier 2 - supplemental instruction in addition to the core curriculum received in Tier 1; instruction designed to meet needs of students not progressing in Tier 1
  • Tier 3 - more explicit instruction focused on specific skill need

As a student progresses through the tiers, more intensive instructional strategies are employed.  The RtI model of instruction has become a part of my instruction management philosophy because it is designed to meet the instructional needs of all students.  
        In an effective RtI model, progress monitoring data is collected across tiers to inform instruction.  According to Shapiro (n.d.), "although the assessment components of RTI (universal screening and progress monitoring) are essential elements of implementation, it is the instruction that occurs as a function of the outcomes of the assessments that truly drives the changes we hope to see in students who are identified as being at some level of risk for not meeting academic expectations" (n.p.).  Therefore, it is vital for educational leaders to be skilled in using data to drive meaningful instructional decision-making.  They need to model this practice to staff and be willing to assist staff in developing assessments that yield valuable data for instructional decision-making.  
        In addition to using data to inform instruction, educational leaders need to remain on top of the current research on curriculum and instruction.  Sharing of effective instructional strategies and techniques needs to be woven into discussions with teachers, other school staff, parents, and the community.  A strong knowledge base in instruction, coupled with experience and solid professional judgment, will allow educational leaders to better assist in the development and implementation of quality instruction within their building and/or organization.    

References
Doyle, D. (2002).  Knowledge-based decision making: Moving beyond intuition through data-laced wisdom leading to informed actions.  The School Administrator.  Retrieved February 22, 2010, from: http://www.aasa.org/ SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=9542&terms=data based decision making

Shapiro, E.S. (n.d.).  Tiered instruction and intervention in a Response-to-Intervention model.  Retrieved February 22, 2010, from the RtI Action Network Web site: http://www.rtinetwork.org/Essential/TieredInstruction/ar/
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The Colorado Department of Education (2009).  6 components of RtI - Curriculum and instruction.  Retrieved February 21, 2010, from: http://www.cde. state.co.us/RtI/Curriculum.htm

I.  Instructional Management for the Success of All Learners: Core Competency

  1. demonstrate an understanding of research of learning and instructional strategies;
  2. describe and apply research and best practices on integrating curriculum and resources to help all learners achieve at high levels;
  3. demonstrate the ability to utilize data for instructional decision making;
  4. demonstrate the ability to design appropriate assessment strategies for measuring learner outcomes;
  5. demonstrate the ability to implement alternative instructional designs, curriculum, behavior management, and assessment accommodations and modifications;
  6. demonstrate the ability to be responsive to the needs, interests and abilities of gifted and talented students;
  7. demonstrate the ability to identify appropriate school structures and resources for gifted and talented students;
  8. demonstrate the ability to appropriately use technology to support instruction.

Artifacts

The following artifacts demonstrate my competency in the area of instructional management for the success of all learners:

This artifact demonstrates my ability to use data for instructional decision making (I2), as well as my ability to appropriately use technology to support instruction (I8).  As the facilitator of our Student Assistance Team/Problem Solving Team, I lead monthly data reviews.  The purpose of these data reviews is to monitor the progress of students receiving individual interventions (Tier III) and make adjustments to their intervention plans as needed.  I created this Excel document to promote a more systematic way of tracking our problem solving students.  At these meetings, we use technology to review academic and behavior data stored in several different web-based programs (Web Portal, AIMSweb, and School-Wide Information System). 

This artifact demonstrates my ability to implement alternative instructional design, curriculum, behavior management, and assessment accommodations and modifications (I5).  As a member of the problem solving team, I work collaboratively with the school counselors and assistant principal in my building to develop academic and behavioral intervention plans for students of concern. I also meet with the students' teachers to review the plans, model specific strategies, and provide ongoing consultation and support to help ensure effective implementation.   This artifact demonstrates my ability to design and document a behavior support plan for a student with a wide range of behavioral needs. 

 
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