Quality Instruction: It starts with the principal

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November 7, 2016 by HCDE-Texas

Quality Instruction: It starts with the principal

Principal Academy grad Tudon Martinez and his staff

Now more than ever, there is a need for principals to be instructional leaders. They are responsible for instructional programs and curricula. They are also expected to foster academic growth in students and meet state assessment accountability requirements. Instructional leadership is evident in schools where principals communicate high academic standards for all students and are highly visible in classrooms to ensure that quality teaching and learning are taking place.

This month’s featured instructional leader is Tudon Martinez, a 2016 graduate of the Harris County Department of Education Principal Academy. Although only a second year principal at Ethel R. Coop Elementary School in Houston ISD, his students are already making academic gains. Before serving as a principal, Tudon was an instructional specialist supporting teachers in high-needs middle schools.

HCDE Principal Academy built on Tudon’s skill set by providing individualized leadership coaching and targeted resources to hone his instructional leadership practice.  As a result, he meets regularly with teachers to facilitate their professional learning, to analyze student data, and to give them individualized feedback about instruction.

Principles of Instructional Leadership is one of the core components of the HCDE Principal Academy coursework. Principal candidates get an overview of the relationship among curriculum, instruction, and assessment of student learning. They examine effective teaching and learning approaches and practice a variety of strategies for using data to drive instructional decision making. Through research and project-based learning, candidates learn the impact of effective staff supervision and evaluation on student learning. They also learn the role of professional development in improving school instructional programs.

The Principal Academy has two cohorts each year. The spring cohort begins January 7, 2017. For more information about HCDE’s Principal Academy, visit our website.

About the Blogger:  Deirdre Sharkey is the Leadership Advancement Officer for Harris County Department of Education. Before coming to HCDE Deirdre was a transformational school leader in an urban public school district. A recent newly-wed she enjoys spending time getting fit with her hubby.

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