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IGNITE Intentional Leadership to create adult led systems that lead to improved student outcomes.

What is Texas Instructional Leadership?

Texas Instructional Leadership (TIL) is a program through which trainings and support are provided with the intention to assist district and campus administrators on the development of their instructional leadership skills and their ability to build the capacity of the educators they manage.  Educational Service Centers (ESCs) across the state of Texas will offer a suite of trainings, including school culture, action coaching, data-driven instruction, and lesson planning with formative assessments, intended to foster continuous improvement by helping campuses and districts administrators looking to increase overall student achievement and close the gaps between students. 

TIL trainings are aligned with many of the best practices descibed in the Effective Schools Framework (ESF) and will include a series of face-to-face workshops with rounds of on-site implementation support, and one-on-one coaching between sessions.  Therefore, TIL-trained and certified ESC staff will deliver the face-to-face training and then walk alongside participants as they put practices into action on their campuses and in their districts.  Admininstrators will receive direct coaching from ESC staff on strengthening their implementation by excecuting new skills and creating systems for sustainable change.

For more information about Texas Instructional Leadership:

TEA Website:  Texas Instructional Leadership

ESC 14 Contact:   Candilyn Smith                 csmith@esc14.net                                 (325)675-8664

Texas Instructional Leadership (TIL) uses job-embedded professional development (PD) practices with its participants to promote growth and change management within the district and/or campus.  Job-embedded PD is defined as professional development that includes face-to-face training and subsequent opportunities for participants to be provided real-time feedback and one-on-one coaching as they begin implementation of their newly learned skills back on their campuses or in their districts.  Job-embedded PD includes all three of the following:

  • Whole group training  to establish a shared understanding of success and allow for deliberate practice; 
  • Implementation support to observe implementation and provide real-time feedback;
  • One-on-one coaching to rapidly improve application skills and practices.

When applicable, this approach allows for increasing leverage and sustainability of professional development by focusing on those who, through proximity and responsibility, can best support the implementation of newly learned skills and systems - campus and district instructional leaders. However, the practice can also be applied to teachers.   

The approach also seeks to measure the impact of training based on student outcomes improvements and/or by measuring outputs, such as demonstrated application of key practices, rather than inputs, such as number of hours of PD delivered (wherever possible and/or relevant).

Data-Driven Instruction:

Instruction trains administrators to break down the knowledge and skills required by Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills learning standards, analyze student work samples to hone in on what students need in order to demonstrate mastery, and support teachers in making-and sticking to- a plan to maximize limited instructional time.

School-Wide Culture Routines:

Helps administrators establish a mission and vision for their campus, create routines to support a positive school culture, and create monitoring systems that ensure a supportive and consistent learning environment for all.

Lesson Alignment & Formative Assessments:

Instruction to train administrators in coaching for effective lesson planning by focusing on the dissecting of student expectations to develop rigorous, measureable, manageable, distinct & data-driven daily objectives; incorporating formative assessments; monitoring lesson alignment; & providing effective feedback.

Observation & Feedback: Guides administrators in developing strong systems and routines for regular observation of teachers and providing feedback on their campuses. It provides a strong framework for developing teachers' skills through regular feedback meetings and tools that enable consistent follow-through.
3 Pillars of TIL

Face-to-face professional development allows the relevant campus and district participants to convene to build a shared understanding of the skills, practices, and/or systems that educators will work to bring back to their campuses and districts. The whole group setting, often involving groups of participants from different campuses and districts across a region, provides for both an efficient way to establish a baseline understanding of the practices to be implemented and benefits from the cohort learning experience, where participants learn both from facilitators and fellow educators who occupy similar roles on other campuses or in other districts.

Implementation support occurs when participants are observed and given feedback in their day-to-day work settings. This provides two opportunities for professional development that includes (1) real-time feedback by facilitators as participants are observed in action, (2) allows the facilitator to gather evidence/artifacts on the strengths and struggles of the participant’s implementation so that the facilitator can identify the highest leverage growth area for the participant in preparation for a one-on-one coaching session between the facilitator and the participant, and (3) recurring check-ins provide an opportunity for the facilitator to establish priorities for leaders in their implementation of instructional best practices, check-in on progress towards priorities, and ensure that action steps are aligned to leaders accomplishing priorities in their district/campus.


One-on-one coaching allows instructional leaders to rapidly close practice and/or implementation gaps. By focusing on high-leverage growth areas identified during implementation support, facilitators structure one-on-one coaching sessions so that practitioners have an opportunity to see a strong model of what success looks like for the gap in question, compare that model to the practitioners’ own implementation, identify the discrete steps to take to close the gap, and then practice those steps with support and feedback from the coach.


Crystal Althof, TIL Coach

(325) 675-7046



Vicki Hayhurst, TIL Coach

(325) 675-8669



John Lally, TIL Coach

(325) 675-8667



Kriste O'Dell, TIL Coach

(325) 675-8690



Shannon Phillips,TIL Coach

(325) 675-8679


Smith C

Candilyn Smith, TIL Lead & Coach

(325) 675-8664


Smith L

Lucy Smith, TIL Coach

(325) 675-8641



Amy Wright, TIL Coach

(325) 675-7018



We see success when DISTRICTS meet the following criteria:

  • Superintendent and principal supervisors want the district/campuses to participate in the program
  • Clear and consistent communication occurs between district and campus leaders
  • Clear expectations are set for campuses’ implementation of practices, such as calendars to capture when data meetings are held, use of trackers to capture action steps assigned to teachers, etc.
  • Implementing practices learned through IGNITE is at or near the top of the district priority list
  • Other district stakeholders are familiar with the initiative for the purposes of coordination

We see success when the PRINCIPAL SUPERVISOR:

  • Attends all trainings, participates fully, and is the lead learner
  • Is a champion for implementation
  • Is (or is willing to learn to be) a coach to principals
  • Is willing to be coached
  • Holds campuses accountable on implementation
  • Is willing to lead change, even in the face of pushback

We see success when CAMPUS LEADERS:

  • Attend all trainings, participate fully, and model adult learning
  • Are committed to pushing through the highs and lows of implementation
  • Can lead change and develop/maintain trust with staff
  • Are open to acknowledging their own gaps and working through them
  • View their primary role as enabling great instruction through:
  • Establishing/supporting systems
  • Coaching