Knowledgeable Leadership Critical in Adolescent Literacy Initiatives

Written By Amy Awbrey Pallangyo

On October 27, 2009

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Training and ongoing coaching are key aspects of successfully implementing any adolescent literacy initiative. However, years of experience demonstrates that even excellent and thorough professional development, without accountability, will do nothing to improve teaching or learning. Teachers must be held accountable for the quality of their instruction and consistent implementation of strategies that support student learning.

In schools where there is a positive culture of commitment and accountability, teacher implementation increases, and the quality of instructional practice improves. Highly effective principals use a variety of strategies to enhance teacher accountability, including:

  • regular building “walk-throughs” to look for global indicators of infused literacy approaches, with targeted feedback to full faculty teams
  • regular classroom observations, using a literacy-specific observation tool, with quick and informal feedback for individual teachers
  • requirement of lesson plans that indicate intentional use of literacy strategies to support content learning
  • engagement of teachers in gathering and examining data related to student learning strategies and results

What strategies do you apply, or have you seen others apply, to create a positive culture of instructional accountability?

For more information about administrative leadership to support adolescent literacy improvement, visit the NASSP website, Creating a Culture of Literacy.