Investing in Excellence: Building on the Strengths of Teachers

?Recently, we held our i3 National Meeting “Investing in Excellence: Building on the Strengths of Teachers” which was an opportunity for principals and district leaders to gather and discuss current topics in education.

The first presentation featured Stephanie Hirsh and focused on Common Core Standards. Ms. Hirsh is the Executive Director at Learning Forward, formerly known as the National Staff Development Council. She played a leading role in the creation and national distribution of the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning.

She said, “I can’t imagine anything else that we can do, investing in our school, any other way to spend money that will improve educator effectiveness more so than professional learning.” 

Here at CLI, we believe this is true which is why we provide teachers with the skills and support they need to be effective literacy literacy. The second presentation featured Dr. Anthony Muhammad and focused on methods to create and sustain Professional Learning Communities. Dr. Muhammad, of Solution Tree, is a renowned educational consultant and is well-recognized for his use of the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ model of school improvement.

After the keynotes, breakout sessions were held to hone in on core topics and reflect on what attendees had heard throughout the day. Topics included distributed leadership, collaboration and literacy professional development.

One attendee shared her colleague’s reaction to “Creating Time for Effective Professional Learning Communities” she said, “one of our colleagues came back so excited and realizing that she talked to a principal and saying ‘Wow, this principal , she worked on the weekends and she made sure that teachers had common prep time and she was very clear on what the community needed and she made it work’ and our colleague came back very inspired.”

We know that teachers are the single most important in-school factor for student achievement which is why CLI Model Classrooms build toward professional learning communities, sustaining a school-wide culture of improved literacy outcomes and changes lives forever. 

A principal  shared, “It (breakout session) allowed me to reflect where my team was and I think that is very important because we speak to teachers all the time about reflection, reflection, reflection how did your lesson go?, how did your day go with your kids?, but how are we reflecting, especially when we are running group meetings and using up teacher’s time so it allowed me to see where the teams I am running are now.”

We believe that PLC’s build a foundation which is why we expand and sustain our work by creating professional learning communities that include teachers, principals, school-based coaches, district leaders and families for lasting impact and success.

Additionally, the day also featured video examples from CLI Model Classrooms™ and the launch of CLI Compass

The day was a success and proved to be a day to engage, discuss and reflect with colleagues from across the country. We hope to see you next year!


Siouda A. Chestnut, Principal Welcome

Sharing after the breakout sessions 

Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director Learning Forward, Keynote presentation 

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