Ways to Maximize Your Building Leadership Team

Session notes from “Ways to Maximize Your Building Leadership Team,” presented by Courtney Goodman.

What were the speaker’s main messages?

Rehbein: Outcomes: ways to establish (or re-establish) a building leadership team, how to set an effective purpose, and new ways to lead with collaboration in mind

Cosentino: How the leadership team can work collectively to help increase student achievement.

What was the speaker’s best quote?

Rehbein: Collective efficacy is the collective self-perception that teachers in a given school make an educational difference to their students over and above the educational impact of their homes and communities. “When teachers share this belief, it outranks every other factor.”

What were the top ideas from the session?


1. Ways to establish (or re-establish) building leadership team

Who is on it?

  • Surveys (self or peer nominate)
  • Volunteers (volunteer or paid)
  • Time (amount and frequency
  • Rotation (every year or 2)
  • Representation (all voices)
    • Specials teachers, resource personnel, etc.

2. How to set an effective purpose

Establish a clear purpose: what are you doing and why?

Consider “The Elements of Professional Community” from Adaptive Schools when developing your purpose (www.thinkingcollaborative.com)

3. The Elements of a Professional Community

  1. Having a common purpose for working together
  2. Personal efficacy = collective efficacy
  3. Social capital leads to productive teams
  4. Fewer “closed doors”
  5. Trust is the glue
  6. Learning how to learn together requires conscious attention, purposeful structures and meaningful feedback

4. What are the measurable goals?

Connect your team’s purpose to the goals

  • Task focus
  • Process skills development
  • Group development

5. Norms and strategies

Norms are ways of thinking and listening

  • Pausing
  • Paraphrasing
  • Posing questions
  • Paying attention to self and others
  • Providing data
  • Presuming positive intentions

Facilitative Strategies

  • Find areas of agreement (use when disagreeing with a colleague)
  • Return focus to objective
  • Name the elephant
  • Offer help
  • Dignify differences
  • Reflect and redirect
  • Inquire about intent
  • Recognize others’ expertise
  • Feel, felt, found


  • Shared ways to get the right people in place for your leadership team.
  • Established ways to have a clear purpose of your leadership team and focus on instruction.
  • Part of the purpose of the leadership team is to build the efficacy of the leadership team.
  • Facilitative strategies for your leadership team.

What is one strategy that you will implement immediately?

Rehbein: Choosing members for the building leadership team

Cosentino: Build purpose statements for your leadership teams and purposefully implement the facilitative strategies.

What is one strategy that will help you with instructional leadership?

Rehbein: Facilitative strategies

Cosentino: Ultimately, I want to look at my building leadership team and deeply evaluate how I have run the team in the past and how I can harness the collective group’s strengths in a much more efficient way. Post-COVID, I want to move away from the management to instructional leadership.

What is one idea that you want to learn more about?

Rehbein: Collective self-efficacy and its impact on staff culture

Cosentino: I would like to learn more about any research around the topic of team building and instructional leaders.

What are three resources you will check out?

Rehbein and Cosentino: 

  • “The Elements of Professional Community” from Adaptive Schools when developing your purpose
  • Thinking Collaborative (Norms of Collaboration)
  • Research Tools: Survey Instruments to Help You in Your Investigation of Schools (climate and culture survey)

I can’t wait to tell my teachers about this idea:

Rehbein: Taking facilitative strategies from building leadership meetings to their own grade-level meetings.

Cosentino: During COVID, we were very reactive and tried to stay afloat. Now that we are beyond the struggles of the past two years, I really want to purposefully structure more instructional synergy among the leadership team.

What are some relevant or surprising stats you learned?

Rehbein: The time of day, how often you meet, and length of the committee meeting matter.

Notes by Tiffany L. Rehbein, principal, Bain Elementary School in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Ed Cosentino, principal, Clemens Crossing Elementary School in Columbia, Maryland.