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Tools for Administrators

The role of a school administrator or district mathematics coordinator carries responsibility for establishing the conditions for teacher work and student learning on a site-wide basis.

We know that effective teacher practice is refined through a structured, collaborative effort among stakeholders across levels of a school system, and it is often helpful to have structured tools and processes to guide collaboration. Here, school leaders can find resources to support their work with teachers. 

Structured Reflective Conversation Planning Tool

Purposeful reflective practice enables groups to think more deeply, challenge assumptions, and make progress towards goals. These conversations do not happen by accident; preparation and practice are key to effective focused conversations that move people forward and lead to actionable decisions. The Structured Reflective Conversation Planning Tool provides support for that preparation and offers a structured, action-oriented conversation protocol. The tool is based on content from The Art of Focused Conversation for Schools (Nelson, 2007) and was adapted by the Charles A. Dana Center as part of a series of supports for school and district leaders.

Clarifying Instructional Leadership Innovation Configuration Map

The use of reflective tools can guide instructional leaders as they grapple with the complexities of building and sustaining a rigorous instructional program. Innovation Configuration maps are descriptive documents that provide clarity by detailing what an innovation should look like in practice; they are a means to assess and measure the various forms of innovation implementation and inform goal setting and next steps.

The Charles A. Dana Center’s Innovation Configuration maps are organized around four dimensions of sound instructional leadership – Strategic Competence, Facilitating Adult Learning, Planning and Collaboration, and Data Support and Analysis. Download an example of the map for Strategic Competence.

For additional information on these tools or to inquire about professional learning opportunities on the use of Innovation Configuration maps and other topics for school and district leaders, contact the Charles A. Dana Center.

Additional Resources

We also recommend these sites and tools by other organizations:
School Reform Initiative protocols