Leadership to Support Teachers to Increase Student Achievement

I have worked with Mark Rolewski in two venues.  My first meeting was working with Mark and Florida Title I directors as the Deputy Chancellor for School Improvement.  The impact of his work with school districts was evidenced by changes in instructional practices.  School administrators were empowered with tools and strategies to support their teachers as they focused on the varied needs of students.  Teachers gained specific strategies to improve their instructional practices.

When I transitioned from the Department of Education back to a school campus, it was Mark Rolewski who provided me with the needed skills to support my school!  The administrative professional development support I received ensured that I was able to discern what was urgent and focus my feedback to teachers on the impact of instruction on student learning.  I began to observe the complexity levels of instruction and not just “seeing” a good lesson.  As a result, my school achieved the highest learning gains of all schools in our county.

Principals do not always get a “do over,” however, through my work with Mark, I am able to truly be an instructional leader at my site.  As principal, I am better able to make sure my students get quality instruction the first time.  The process of improving instructional practices is no longer a game of chance, but one that is deliberate and bringing forth needed instructional changes in our school – increased student achievement. My school campus is an environment of continuous learning for all.

Iris C. Wilson, PhD
Former Elementary School Principal
Leon County Schools
Former Deputy Chancellor for School Improvement, Florida Department of Education

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