Unmistakable Impact

by Jim Knight

An Impact School

Jim Knight defines an Impact School as one that every aspect of professional learning is designed to positively influence and provide direction for teachers and ultimately student learning. When schools provide an atmosphere that is energized, thrilled, and empowered for teachers, this is easily transferred to students and we then move closer to the goal of all students receiving dynamic instruction in every class every day.

Building an Impact School with Professional Learning

Impact Schools are built around 5 concepts:

* Humanity - In Impact Schools, respectful interchange is expected while recognizing everyone's value. All voices are valuable and encouraged while remembering that we are all learners and teachers.

* Focus - Focused professional learning includes: a campus one-page Instructional Improvement Target, a lifelong learning principal, workshops supporting the target, teacher teams (PLCs), Instructional Coaches to help teachers translate what is being learned into everyday practice in the classroom, and district leaders who support and positively guide/monitor everyone's progress toward accomplishing the goals in the Instructional Improvement Target plan.

* Leverage - Change leaders focus on the most important variable related to change. Teachers work toward mastering high-leverage teaching practices while the learning from professional learning opportunities is supported by instructional coaches.

* Simplicity - By removing distractions, a simple plan is crafted that finds order in complexity. The solution, and the route there, becomes clear.

* Precision - Coaches, professional developers, administrators and other change leaders must have a deep, complete understanding of the practices described in the Target. They must also be able to clearly articulate those practices to all stakeholders so that everyone can learn, internalize and use them.

Smore designed and written by: Christy Van Scoyoc