Principals as Co-Learners participating in a moderation session with FSL teachers


‘When it comes to supporting educators as they learn and work to improve student achievement, nothing a principal does “has a bigger payoff than learning visibly and publicly alongside staff in a school”’

(Katz & Dack, 2013, p. 46).


“nothing that a leader does has a bigger payoff…than learning visibly and publicly alongside staff in a school”


What are the benefits of teacher moderation?

  • Participants develop a deeper understanding of their students’ thinking and learning and their own teaching practices.
  • Inquiry with colleagues focused on student learning develops a deeper understanding of effective pedagogy and content knowledge.
  • Private practice becomes public and less isolated. The learning community is strengthened.
  • There is greater alignment in assessment and instruction within grades, divisions, and schools.
  • The understandings and terminology related to student learning, assessment, and teaching become more common throughout the school.
  • Looking deeply at student work and analysing the quality and appropriateness of the task allows teachers to reflect on their instructional practices, examine how they set goals, measure attainment of the goals, and align actions with ministry, board, and school expectations.


Administrators can lead the way
(Adapted from Principals as Co-learners LNS)

As a principal who may not speak French, there are many ways to participate in a moderation session with your FSL teachers. Providing the opportunity, space and attention to the session is a very positive first step. Letting your teachers know that you value the time and effort required to participate in the moderation is essential. Here are some other key factors to consider:

  • Be open to uncertainty – curiosity and a desire to know drives inquiry.
  • Be present as a co-learner – connect your professional learning and inquiry to the learning and inquiry of your students and teachers.
  • Be vocal – model effective questioning, accountable talk, and actively contribute to the collegial dialogue about student achievement.
  • Be vulnerable – acknowledge when you don’t know and openly share what and how you are learning.
  • Be aware of your own mindset – operate from an asset stance with students and with other educators.
  • Be transparent – position student learning and well-being at the heart of all discussions and decision making.

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