Take the Instructional Leadership Challenge so you can...
Confidently get into classrooms every day
Have feedback conversations that change teacher practice
Discover your best opportunities for school improvement
Plan, Track, and Organize Your Visits
Start getting into classrooms immediately with our one-sheet Classroom Walkthrough Tracker.
No prep needed—just print and go.
The Tracker will guide you through your first three cycles of visits over a 4-week period.
Then, you'll be ready to use the Classroom Visit Index Cards to stay on track for the entire school year.
Every day, you'll take the top 3 cards from your stack, so you know who's up next in your rotation.
Each notecard has space for the teacher's schedule, prep time, lunch, and more, so you can find the best time to visit. We'll send you pre-cut notecards printed on heavy card stock—as many as you need.
Record the date, return the card to the bottom of the stack, and you're on the path to 500 walkthroughs a year—putting you in the top 1% of instructional leaders in our profession.
Schedule for Sustainability
Ever block out time for walkthroughs—only to get interrupted again and again?
Use the Classroom Walkthrough Schedule Generator to build a realistic, sustainable schedule that gets you into classrooms—with plenty of flexibility to handle interruptions and emergencies.
Plan your visits (Excel and Google Sheets versions included), then add them directly to your Google, Outlook, or Office365 calendar.
Use The Walkthrough Model Trusted
By More Than 15,000 K-12 Leaders
In Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership, you'll learn how to conduct sustainable, high-impact classroom walkthroughs that are:
- Frequent—18 biweekly visits per teacher per year
- Brief—around five to fifteen minutes
- Substantive—more than just making an appearance
- Open-ended—focused on the teacher’s instructional decision-making, not just narrow data collection
- Evidence-based—centered on what actually happens in the classroom
- Criterion-referenced—linked to a shared set of expectations
- Conversation-oriented—designed to lead to rich conversations between teachers and instructional leaders
Put Systems In Place To Protect Your
Time For Classroom Visits
Experienced leaders know we'll never "find" time for classroom walkthroughs—we have to make time.
The conventional wisdom says to "block off" a large chunk of protected time on your calendar—but for most leaders, that's a huge mistake. It simply doesn't work, because interruptions are inevitable.
If you've been frustrated by interruptions, and feel like you can't get away from the office for hours at a time, you're not alone.
In the Instructional Leadership Challenge, you'll discover a flexible approach to planning time for your visits, so you can deal with whatever each day brings—while still getting into classrooms three times a day—500 times a year.
3 a Day = 500 Walkthroughs A Year
If you ask principals how often they're in classrooms, they'll often say what they're expected to do—perhaps 10, 20, or 30 walkthroughs a week.
If you ask teachers, though...you get a different answer: "My principal only comes once a year, for my formal observation."
The sad reality: almost everyone tries to get into classrooms, and almost everyone fails miserably.
Why? Because conventional wisdom steers us wrong—into approaches that are too complicated, too time-consuming, and just plain unpleasant.
Here's the secret: classroom walkthroughs can and should be FUN! Done right, they take just a few minutes a day, and they're the BEST minutes of the day—for students, teachers, and administrators alike.
In the Instructional Leadership Challenge, you'll learn how to develop a permanent new habit of visiting three classrooms a day, every day—so you can have the impact you've always dreamt of having.
With consistency, 3 visits a day adds up fast—to an astounding 500+ visits per year.
Program Table of Contents
Welcome & Introduction
Module 1: Get Current
Module 2: Get Into Classrooms
Module 3: Get Into Feedback Conversations
Module 4: Get Aligned and Specific
Powerful Tools for Better Walkthroughs
The Toolbox gives you all of the same tools we include with our high-end training programs, like the Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification—at a fraction of the price.
3-Cycle Startup Plan
Teachers often become alarmed when leaders start getting into classrooms more often:
"Why are you here?"
"Am I being singled out?"
"Is this part of my evaluation?"
In the 3-Cycle Startup Plan, you'll discover how to build trust and make teachers feel good about your visits—no fear, no panic, and no grievances.
You'll ramp up your visits gradually, over three cycles of visits to each teacher you supervise, so no one feels singled out, and no one feels like you're out to get them.
Classroom Walkthrough Tracker
The Classroom Walkthrough Tracker will help you stay on track with two key aspects of your classroom visits:
1. Ensuring that you don't miss anyone
2. Getting into the habit of visiting three classrooms a day, every day
The Tracker will guide you through your first three cycles of visits—use it to get started, and when school resumes after every break.
The Tracker is also the fastest way to get started—just print it on a single sheet of paper and go get into classrooms!
Classroom Walkthrough Schedule Generator
You'll never "find" time to get into classrooms. You have to make time.
The Classroom Walkthrough Schedule Generator features an interactive quiz that will guide you to the right plan based on your master schedule (elementary vs. secondary) and how often you're interrupted.
Then, you can use the spreadsheet (Google Sheets & Excel) to rapidly schedule specific times on your calendar (Google, Outlook, or Office365) with one click.
Teacher Schedule & Visit Record Index Cards
Finding the best time to visit each teacher is tricky, because everyone has a different schedule—plus, you need to find time to talk afterward.
The solution is to keep each teacher's schedule at your fingertips with our Teacher Schedule & Visit Record Index Cards. They're trusted by more than 33,507 school leaders in 50 countries around the world, because they're so simple and reliable.
Keep them in a stack, and take the top 3 cards each day. Visit those teachers when your schedules align, jot the date, and return the cards to the bottom of the stack.
Absent teacher? Miss someone? Put their card back on top for tomorrow., and you'll always stay on track—without missing anyone.
Teacher Evaluation Organizer
How can you keep track of every stage of the teacher evaluation process—especially if you have a complicated process or a large staff?
Our Organizer spreadsheet (Google Sheets & Excel) allows you to quickly customize up to 50 steps in your walkthrough, observation, and evaluation process, for unlimited staff.
Tired of getting lost in big spreadsheets? Staff names and column headers are pinned in place so they always remain in view. Tip: Use Google Sheets to share with your admin team.
Classroom Walkthrough Interruption Matrix
Not all issues are emergencies, and not everything that comes up should interrupt your classroom walkthroughs.
Get on the same page with your office staff about dozens of common interruptions, using the Classroom Walkthrough Interruption Matrix.
Should they call you? Wait till you're done in classrooms? Handle it without you? Decide in advance, so you can anticipate common events that would otherwise derail your time in classrooms.
7 Keys To Sustainable Impact
What should you include in your walkthroughs?
Make them too complicated, and they become unsustainable.
Make them too casual, and they won't have an impact.
There's a sweet spot, and in the 7 Keys to Sustainable Impact training, you'll learn how to conduct classroom walkthroughs that maximize your impact, while remaining simple and sustainable.
What should you announce about your walkthroughs—before you start, and after people have started to see a pattern?
Don't start with a big announcement or grand promises. But after you've visited everyone twice, there's a specific message to send so people don't doubt your intentions or worry you're out to get them.
You'll also get specific language you can use to answer questions from students and staff.
Feedback Phrase Bank
Finding the right words for a tricky situation is never easy. In the Feedback Phrase Bank, you'll get sentence-starters and sample language to use for:
- Introducing a difficult topic
- Clarifying a concern
- Setting expectations
- Getting teachers to reflect on their practice
..and more, so you'll always know what to say.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you'll get instant access to the full Instructional Leadership Challenge program, plus the audiobook of Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership.
You can print the Classroom Walkthrough Tracker right away, and complete your first cycle of visits within an hour of signing up.
Then, we'll send your welcome package via Priority Mail, containing a hardcopy of the Now We're Talking! book and pre-cut Classroom Visit Index Cards on heavy card stock.
The Instructional Leadership Challenge is designed for instructional leaders—school administrators, instructional coaches, and district leaders.
While the Instructional Leadership Challenge is exclusively for members of our $99/month Instructional Leadership Association, you'll get to keep it even if you cancel.
You are also welcome to keep any of our members-only tools that you download during your 14-day free trial.
Yes, and you'll get a 14-day free trial of the Instructional Leadership Association, with full access to all of our programs, including the Now We're Talking audiobook. After the free trial, ILA membership is $99/month—cancel any time by simply emailing [email protected].
Plus, your purchase includes a 14-day Instructional Leadership Association membership trial, giving you full access to all of our members-only resources.
The Instructional Leadership Challenge, our fast-start video training program that has helped more than 10,000 administrators in 50 countries make a habit of getting into 3 classrooms a day
Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership (Solution Tree), the definitive book on classroom walkthroughs—print edition ($35.95 value), plus unabridged audiobook ($29.95 value)
The Classroom Walkthrough Toolbox—everything you need to start getting into classrooms, including the Tracker, Notecards, Interruption Matrix, and more ($229 value)
The Instructional Leadership Show, our weekly video podcast to help you deepen your instructional leadership practice according to the Instructional Leadership Roadmap
Repertoire Content Creator, the professional writing app for instructional leaders, with the world's most advanced tools for teacher observation and evaluation
Ascend Live, our video podcast on the job search for educators seeking their next-level instructional leadership role
The Ascend Job Search Starter Pack—everything you need to succeed in the admin job search, including résumé templates and the Rapid Interview Prep Toolkit ($2,612 value)
The interactive Video Interview Practice tool, with more than 50 questions you can practice on-camera so you ace your next interview ($500 value)
The Cover Letter Generator, our drag-and-drop, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank app for writing a powerful cover letter that gets you more interviews ($500 value)
The Instructional Leadership Association Planner, our printable monthly planner with 2-page spreads to help you track your time, priorities, and classroom conversations
The Marshall Memo, a weekly summary of the most important news and research for K-12 educators ($50 value)
The Inbox Overhaul, our program for leaders who want to end email overwhelm and use email as a leadership tool
Who's Behind The Instructional Leadership Challenge?
JUSTIN BAEDER, Ph.D.
Director, The principal center
The Instructional Leadership Challenge was created by Justin Baeder, PhD, Director of The Principal Center. Dr. Baeder has been a full-time author and consultant since 2012.
He is the author of Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership (Solution Tree), the leading book on classroom walkthroughs, as well as Mapping Professional Practice: How to Develop Instructional Frameworks to Support Teacher Growth, with Heather Bell-Williams.
Dr. Baeder is the host of Principal Center Radio, a weekly podcast featuring interviews with leading authors and thinkers such as John Hattie, Charlotte Danielson, Robyn Jackson, Douglas Reeves, Ken Williams, and more than 365 other distinguished guests.
Justin served his entire career in public education as a principal and teacher in Seattle Public Schools. He holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Seattle University and a PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy from the University of Washington.
We believe the Instructional Leadership Association will transform your productivity, give you the tools you need to build the capacity for instructional leadership in your school, and multiply your impact on student learning.
You’ll be amazed at the transformation that takes place in your ability to accomplish the work of leadership and move your school forward. We are fully committed to making our program the most powerful professional development for instructional leaders anywhere.
If you are not satisfied with the our program for any reason, contact us within 30 days for a full refund.