A 24-Month Cohort Program for Instructional Leaders

Get the support & accountability you need to get into classrooms every day

School Improvement Happens
One Conversation At A Time

How to leaders clarify their vision for improvement? How do teachers actually change their practice?

It all happens through conversation. 

In Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership, Dr. Justin Baeder outlined the definitive model for classroom walkthroughs and feedback conversations.

Now, in an all-new 2024-2026 cohort program, Dr. Baeder will help you have a dramatically greater impact in your next 1000 feedback conversations.

Have the Right Conversation 
for Each Situation

Leaders often struggle to engage in feedback conversations with teachers consistently, because they attempt to use the same approach in every conversation. 

Perhaps you've experienced the "feedback sandwich" conversation: 

  • A compliment to open the conversation
  • A suggestion for improvement or criticism sandwiched in the middle
  • A second compliment to end on a positive note

The feedback sandwich doesn't work, because it's not a conversation—it's a one-way delivery of feedback from observer to teacher. A true conversation is a two-way street.

Skilled instructional leaders differentiate their approach to each conversation. For example:

  • The expectation-setting conversation
  • The clarifying conversation
  • The reflective conversation
  • The context conversation

Over the next two school years, you'll master these and countless other conversation types, so you can make every walkthrough count. 

Accountability & Support
for Staying On Track

If you've ever struggled with consistency in your classroom visits, you're not alone. 

In One Thousand Classrooms, you'll stay accountable to a community of like-minded peers through our Classroom Walkthrough Scoreboard. 

Each week, we'll update our members-only scoreboard, and you'll see your progress toward 1000 conversations.

3 a day is all it takes—and yes, how often we get into classrooms matters just as much as what we do when we visit. 

Too often, leaders get sidetracked by concerns about "quality over quantity." 

But this is a misplaced concern—the quality of something that isn't happening is irrelevant.

In fact, quality comes from quantity—we get good at classroom walkthroughs and feedback conversations by doing a great number of them consistently over time.

The key is to start small, and avoid making walkthroughs and feedback more complicated than necessary. 

For example, extensive written feedback after each walkthrough might feel like an indicator of quality—but it guarantees that your efforts will be unsustainable. 

Instead, focus on the conversation itself, and don't worry about putting feedback into writing. 

You can take notes during your observations, and you can document directive feedback with a follow-up email.

Otherwise, rely on face-to-face conversation, and you'll find it much easier to stay on track. 

But you'll also have the direct support of Dr. Justin Baeder and our community. 

No Zoom Calls—
Two-Way Video Messaging

Because we have participants around the world, we'll be interacting asynchronously in One Thousand Conversations. 

There will be no live sessions to attend at fixed times, thanks to our interactive two-way platform. 

You can ask a question or share a reflection any time, and get a response from Dr. Justin Baeder and other members of the program. 

Give it a try! 

Click the video, and send in a question in video, audio, or text format. 

You'll get a response sent to your email address.

You'll have full access to our Repertoire app and all other Instructional Leadership Association member benefits for the duration of the program. 

The Professional Writing App for Instructional Leaders

Keep precise professional language at your fingertips, reuse phrases, and write with A.I.

Take evidence-rich notes with timestamps, and transcribe handwritten notes with A.I.

Use drag-and-drop templates for flawless high-stakes writing—just update the details

Evaluation Criteria At Your Fingertips

Tired of flipping through a multi-page document to find relevant evaluation criteria as you observe? 

With Repertoire's Snippet feature, you can search by keyword and find exactly what you're looking for.

Then, you can "pin" relevant criteria on the screen to guide your observation.

Repertoire supports all teacher evaluation systems, from Danielson to Marzano to custom criteria. Simply let us know what you use, and we'll set up your criteria as Snippets.

It's also easy to add custom Snippets that match your writing style. In fact, Repertoire saves new phrases automatically as you type.

Find The Perfect Feedback

Ever notice how Google Search shows suggestions as you type? Repertoire works the same way, drawing on your personal Snippet database. 

As you type, matching Snippets will appear—insert them with just a click and cut your keystrokes by up to 90%.

Repertoire makes it easy to re-use your writing. If you type something new, it's automatically saved as a new Snippet.

Your repertoire of feedback phrases will grow over time, so you can give more precise feedback with less typing.

Rapid Notetaking with Timestamps

Capture timestamped low-inference notes, line by line, as you observe with Repertoire.

Just hit "Enter" after every line you type, and your notes will be encoded with a timestamp marking the exact time, down to the minute or second.

Transcribe Handwritten Notes

Prefer to take handwritten observation notes, or leave handwritten cards for teachers? 

Repertoire makes documentation easy—simply snap a photo, and Repertoire's ChatGPT integration can transcribe your handwriting, and even write a summary.

And Repertoire isn't just for observations—you can use these tools to take notes in meetings, too.

You'll also get lifetime access to our flagship training on classroom walkthroughs, which you can complete at your own pace: 

Frequency First

In the Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program, leaders learn how to get into classrooms 3 times a day, every day—consistently.

This simple practice provides leaders with two key resources:

  1. Decisional information and
  2. Professional relationships

Even before we consider the value of our feedback conversations with teachers, simply showing up in classrooms on a daily basis makes all the difference in the world.

But it's not just about making an appearance—it's about showing up with the right theory of action.

It's not the feedback we write on a form that changes teacher practice. It's the evidence-driven conversations we have that allow us to truly have an impact.

Evidence-Driven Feedback Conversations

Practice-changing feedback begins with evidence: what's taking place in the classroom? 

But what we can see and hear is just the tip of the iceberg. It's our window into teachers' thinking and professional judgment, but there's much more that lies beneath the surface.

Sometimes surface-level evidence gives us enough information to provide clear directives: stop doing this, start doing that, more of this, less of that—the low-hanging fruit of improvement.

But for experienced teachers, surface-level feedback isn't enough. Instructional leaders must engage teachers in deeper thinking about their practice if we hope to have a long-term impact on student learning.

"Feedback plays a smaller role in professional conversations than it does in more traditional forms of supervision and professional development. When educators recognize that for teachers to advance in their understanding, they must be the ones to engage in the work of self-assessment and reflection on practice, then external feedback is even seen as a possible hindrance to that process."

Charlotte Danielson, Talk About Teaching, p. 10

In the Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program, you'll learn how to use evidence to explore teachers' thinking, sharpening professional judgment and improving the quality of instructional decision-making.

Once you experience this approach to changing teacher practice, you'll never go back to the old "kudos and critique" approaches that didn't work.

The "Never Enough Time" Problem

Having the right approach only helps if we can actually make it into classrooms. For most leaders, the demands of the job—from paperwork to discipline to email to emergencies of all kinds—make it nearly impossible.

That's why the Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program tackles the challenge of time head on.

First, we'll overhaul your schedule: instead of "blocking out time" on your calendar for classroom visits, we'll craft a schedule that works in the real world—interruptions and all.

Then, we'll put systems in place to keep you on top of your work—so you can get into classrooms with confidence.

If you let it, email alone can keep you busy all day long. If you're going to get into classrooms, you'll have to make time—and in the Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program, you'll actually set up the systems to keep email and other work under control, so you can always get into classrooms.

Long-Term Impact

It's a myth that classroom walkthroughs change teacher practice in the short term. Yes, there's low-hanging fruit in every school, but after we've made the obvious suggestions, our long-term impact takes a different form: Decision-making.

Through regular feedback conversations, we can:

  • Sharpen teachers' professional judgment, and
  • Make better-informed school improvement decisions.

"Conversations about teaching must be about the cognition. It's not sufficient to describe, or discuss, or even critique what a teacher has done; it's essential to also explore the reasoning that underlie those actions." 

Charlotte Danielson, Talk About Teaching, p. 7

Proof of Impact

In the Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program, you won't just learn strategies for effective walkthroughs—you'll actually prove that best practice is your practice.

The Certification process generates the evidence you'll need to sustain this work year in and year out. As you see your impact, you'll never go back to the old ways of approaching instructional leadership.

What You'll Learn in Each Module

Module 1

Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthroughs

  • Why good feedback begins with evidence, not a list of "look-fors"
  • How to stop playing the "Fake Feedback Game" and start having conversations that actually sharpen teacher professional judgment
  • How to overcome resistance and get into classrooms consistently
  • Why the "diagnose and prescribe" approach doesn't work with experienced teachers, and how to differentiate based on skill

Full Module 1 Contents

  1. What Does It Mean To Be Evidence-Driven?
  2.  The High-Performance Instructional Leadership Model
  3. The Hippocratic Oath For Instructional Leaders
  4. The Feedback Myth: Unlearning The Prevailing Theory of Action
  5. Theory of Action: Evidence-Driven Walkthroughs
  6. Frequency First: Why Low-Key, High-Frequency Visits Are Best
  7. Appreciative Inquiry: Understanding the Status Quo
  8. Module 1 Self-Assessment
  9. Module 1 Portfolio Artifact: Classroom Visit Notecards

Module 2

Productivity Systems for Confidently Getting Into Classrooms Every Day

  • How to protect your time for classroom visits without leaving your staff feeling unsupported
  • Three systems for getting email, paperwork on your desk, and all the tasks on your to-do list under control for good
  • How to ramp up your first three cycles of classroom visits, and keep a consistent rotation
  • How to use our Daily Scorecard system—and members-only planner—to get your most essential work done each day

Full Module 2 Contents

  1. Confidently Get Into Classrooms
  2. Staying On Track: Making Adjustments To Hit 3 Visits A Day Consistently
  3. Strategies, Tools, & Habits: The High Performance Triangle
  4. Conserving Mental Bandwidth for Classroom Walkthroughs
  5. Planning Your Week and Day So You Can Get Into Classrooms
  6. Tracking Tasks with a Dedicated Electronic App
  7. The Future File System
  8. Next Action Stickies
  9. The Chronological File
  10. Low Walls: Protecting Your Time for Classroom Walkthroughs
  11. Balancing The Stress Equation
  12. Breaking Free from the Paradox of Choice
  13. Making Your Visits Mutually Rewarding

Module 3

Evidence-Driven Feedback Conversations for Changing Teacher Practice

  • Why teaching is intellectual work, and how to give feedback that respects it as such
  • 3 roles instructional leaders can play in feedback conversations—the boss, the coach, and the leader
  • How to use evidence-driven questions to gain insight into teachers' invisible thinking and decision-making
  • Scenarios for practicing differentiated instructional leadership with video

Full Module 3 Contents

  1. How People Actually Change Their Practice
  2. Teaching As Intellectual Work
  3. Instructional Leadership Without Micromanaging
  4. Directive Feedback: Changing Behavior
  5. Reflective Feedback: Changing Teacher Thinking
  6. Reflexive Feedback: Changing the Working Conditions
  7. Differentiated Roles for Changing Teacher Practice
  8. Using Framework Language in Feedback Conversations
  9. Raising the Level of Teachers’ Professional Judgment
  10. Understanding Teacher Defensiveness
  11. The Learning Leader

Module 4

Discovering Your Best Opportunities for School Improvement

  • The close link between your operations management and instructional leadership roles—and why they can't be separated
  • How to map the improvement opportunities in your school based on your walkthroughs, and take the actions that will produce the greatest gains
  • How to develop shared expectations to move practice forward
  • How to use walkthroughs to reduce uncertainty in the teacher supervision and evaluation process

Full Module 4 Contents

  1. What Is Instructional Leadership?
  2. The Bird’s Eye View: Using Your Vantage Point To Spot Opportunity
  3. Understanding Before Improvement
  4. “Last Mile” Implementation Problems
  5. Generating & Validating An Improvement Hypothesis
  6. Root Cause Analysis: Solving The Ultimate Problem
  7. Acting On Decisional Information
  8. Bulk Change vs. Lean Change
  9. The Diffusion of Innovations Model
  10. How To Turn A Bulk Change Into A Lean Change
  11. Uncertainty & Risk in Staff Performance
  12. The 80/20 Strategy for Managing Evaluation Uncertainty
  13. Instructional Leadership As Gardening
  14. Pacing Change for Teachers
  15. Identifying Individual Teacher Needs
  16. Identifying Patterns In Teacher Needs
  17. Identifying Needed Student Supports

Certification Program

The Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program allows you to demonstrate your ability to provide effective instructional leadership—particularly through evidence-based, framework-linked feedback conversations with teachers. 

You'll receive:

  • Individualized support and feedback on your work
  • Portfolio review and assessment
  • Signed certificate upon completion of certification requirements

Evidence-Driven Portfolio Tasks

To earn your Certification, you'll assemble a portfolio of evidence with artifacts from real-world performance tasks, including:

  • Schedule for and records of classroom walkthroughs
  • Video responses to feedback conversation scenarios
  • Reflection and analysis of real feedback conversations with teachers

There's no deadline or expiration date—complete the portfolio whenever it's convenient for you.

Program Format

Interactive Video-Based Professional Learning

The Classroom Walkthrough Certification is the first professional development program anywhere to use our two-way interactive video technology, allowing participants to both learn and respond via video—with no need to attend live sessions or watch replays. You can watch and respond directly from your computer or mobile device.

A New Kind of PLC—the Perpetual Learning Community

Our interactive, on-demand format enables a new kind of cohort experience. Instead of learning alongside only your colleagues who are able to participate at the same time, you can share your learning with everyone in the program—regardless of schedule. You'll be able to see and hear others' responses to reflection prompts, contribute your voice, and challenge your thinking with diverse perspectives.

Interactive Checks for Understanding

The Classroom Walkthrough Certification is organized into short, self-paced sections that allow you check your understanding in real time. 

Need more review? No re-watching needed—clarifications, extra examples, and alternative explanations are built in. 

Module Transcripts

To help you review your learning and find key concepts quickly, you'll get complete transcripts of all training modules. 

You can download, search, and even print these professionally formatted PDF transcripts for easy review without re-watching videos. 

Certification Portfolio

To earn the Certification, participants compile a portfolio of evidence including records of their classroom visits, video of feedback conversations, and written artifacts to demonstrate their instructional leadership. 

While some components can only be completed while school is in session, the Portfolio can be submitted at any time; the program includes lifetime access. 

Audio Review

Prefer to listen, or want a quick review? You'll get a complete MP3 audio file for each module, so you can brush up on key concepts quickly, or pick up the learning again after a break. 

Everything is yours to keep, with lifetime, on-demand access and no expiration dates or deadlines.

Who Is This Program For?


  • Give feedback that actually helps teachers improve—even if you're not an expert in every subject area
  • Gain the context you need to make sound evaluation decisions about each teacher 
  • Gather evidence throughout the year—not just in "dog-and-pony show" formal observations
  • Stop feeling guilty about not doing enough walkthroughs, and finally start getting into classrooms every day—500x a year
  • Help teachers sharpen their professional judgment—without micromanaging 

Principal Supervisors

  • Give your principals a proven model based on real research, not "instructional leadership folklore"
  • Get your principals into classrooms earlier in the school year and more often, so there are no surprises
  • Help teachers feel supported, rather than harassed, by instructional leaders' efforts to give more feedback
  • Align expectations for practice across the organization

Assistant Principals

  • Gain direct instructional leadership experience by getting into classrooms
  • Build relationships with teachers via evidence-driven feedback conversations
  • Get to know students as learners by seeing them at work in the classroom
  • Align your expectations for teaching & learning as an admin team 
  • Identify operational improvement opportunities by spending time where the core work takes place—the classroom

Aspiring Administrators

  • Learn how to become a welcome presence in classrooms—and a trusted thought partner to teachers
  • Develop productivity systems and habits for staying on top of the heavy admin workload
  • Articulate your impact on teacher practice and student learning, so you can ace your next interview
  • Prepare for your next level of impact as an instructional leader

About Your Instructor

The Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program is led by Dr. Justin Baeder, Director of The Principal Center.

Dr. Baeder is author of Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership (Solution Tree), and creator of the Instructional Leadership Challenge, which has helped more than 10,000 leaders in 50 countries make a daily habit of classroom visits.

He holds a PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Washington, and helps senior leaders in K-12 organizations build capacity for instructional leadership


When you enroll in the program, we'll include even more to help you succeed:

2-Year Instructional Leadership Association Membership
($2,376 value)

Our tools and trainings help you build capacity for instructional leadership, with new resources each month, plus Repertoire, the professional writing app for instructional leaders™ 

Concierge Setup of Repertoire App

  • Staff import
  • Instructional framework import
  • Personal 1:1 training

Free Copy of Now We're Talking!

You'll receive a signed copy of Now We're Talking! 21 Days to High-Performance Instructional Leadership, by Principal Center Director Justin Baeder.

Plus, you'll receive the audiobook version in MP3 format for on-the-go listening.

The Instructional Vision Institute

You'll get instant access to the 2-part Instructional Vision Institute program, so you can develop your own instructional frameworks for professional practice. Like a teacher evaluation framework, an instructional framework breaks a practice into key components and levels of fluency, so you can provide teachers with a clear rubric outlining shared expectations.

The Inbox Overhaul

Is email keeping you out of classrooms? An out-of-control inbox can be stressful and overwhelming. If you're ready for an Inbox Overhaul, this program will help you get your inbox empty every day, so you can use email the way it was intended—as a powerful communication tool.

Working with Office Staff & Your Admin Team

Office staff and other administrators on your team are crucial to your success in getting into classrooms. In these two bonus trainings, you'll learn how to work as a team, so you can cover for and support each other, and still get into classrooms every day.

Money-Back Guarantee

One Thousand Conversations will dramatically strengthen your instructional leadership skills, and allow you to provide highly effective feedback to teachers at all skill levels.

We're fully confident that it's the most powerful professional development for instructional leaders anywhere—but don't take our word for it. Try the program for yourself, and experience the transformation that it brings to your leadership.

If you're not 100% satisfied with the our program for any reason, contact us within 30 days for a full refund.

Turnover Protection™ for Teams

Even if you have turnover on your team, everyone will have access to all of our tools and programs. If a member of your group departs, we'll create a new seat for your new hire at no additional charge.

Plus, the departing staff member can keep their access and Repertoire account. We call it Turnover Protection™, and it allows you to invest with confidence in your team's professional growth. 

24-Month Program

One Thousand Conversations

  • Full Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Course
  • Signed Copy of Now We're Talking! + Audiobook
  • 2-Year Instructional Leadership Association Membership ($2,376 value)
  • Concierge setup of Repertoire App
  • Portfolio Review
  • Signed Certificate (upon completion)


Frequently Asked Questions

I'm paying out of pocket—do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we offer an interest-free payment plan for individuals paying out of pocket.

For schools, we accept one-time payments via credit card or check/purchase order. 

I have a team I'd like to register—do you offer group rates?

Yes, we offer a substantial discount for groups of two or more. See our registration form for pricing details.

How long do I have to complete the program? 

Your purchase includes lifetime access to the Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification Program. 

You can go through the program as many times as you'd like, and complete the Certification component whenever you want. 

The 1000 Conversations support and Instructional Leadership Association + Repertoire access lasts 24 months. 

How does Turnover Protection™ work?

Turnover Protection protects your school against unanticipated changes in staffing, so school funds are guaranteed to benefit the school. 

Even if you have turnover on your team, everyone will have access to all of our tools and programs. If a member of your group departs, we'll create a new seat for your new hire at no additional charge.

Plus, the departing staff member can keep their access and Repertoire account. We call it Turnover Protection™, and it allows you to invest with confidence in your team's professional growth. 

Is this approach compatible with our evaluation system?

Yes, this approach is compatible with any teacher evaluation system. The classroom walkthroughs you'll learn how to do in this program are not officially part of the evaluation process, though you'll learn a great deal about each teacher's practice, placing formal observations in a much richer context and making evaluations easier to complete. 

Participants will have access to our Repertoire Content Creator app, which makes it easy to take evidence-rich notes using the specific vocabulary of a shared instructional framework. Our members use a wide range of frameworks, including:

  • Danielson
  • Marzano
  • Stronge
  • Marshall
  • T-TESS

and many others.

What does the Certification mean?

The Evidence-Driven Classroom Walkthrough Certification signifies a deep knowledge and demonstrated practice of effective instructional leadership through informal classroom visits. 

Prospective employers can be confident that candidates who hold the Certification will be instructional leaders who get into classrooms every day, have feedback conversations that change teacher practice, and have a deep understanding of their school's strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Do I have to attend live sessions at a certain time?

No, the entire program is delivered through interactive two-way video. Everything is available on-demand, on your schedule, anywhere in the world.

You'll be able to see other people's responses, even if you aren't going through the program at the same time. It's an approach we call the Perpetual Learning Community.™ 

We also offer live cohorts from time to time—your registration entitles you to participate in all future cohorts (or access the recordings) at no additional charge. 

What is the Perpetual Learning Community?

The Classroom Walkthrough Certification is based on a new model of professional learning—a PLC for the future of professional development. In our Perpetual Learning Community™, you'll be able to interact with the ideas and thinking of other participants, even if they're completing the program on a different timeframe. 

Because your ideas are uploaded to the course, it gets better and better as more people complete it. On your second time through, you'll find new ways to sharpen your thinking and hone your practice.

Register for One Thousand Conversations