NELP Building Standards Paper


Write a paper discussing the NELP Building Standards (2018) in which, at this time, you describe your role as an instructional leader (curriculum development, discipline, mentoring etc.) in which you are proficient and those standards in which you believe you still need some improvement. Study and use NELP Building Standards (2018) as the basis for your analysis on this assignment. Please review the Syllabus and the Rubric for Assignment 1. NELP-Building-Standards.pdf ( University Chicago
Master’s Program
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Leadership Paper
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EDL 6240 – Instructional Leadership
4889 – C85
Summer I 2022
Michael Parrie
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Leadership Paper: Reflection on the NELP Building Standards (2018)
Sample Student
Concordia University Chicago
This paper is a self-reflection on the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP)
program building standards (2018), which consists of seven effective leadership standards. This
paper outlines the two standards that I feel I am proficient in and two standards for which I need
some improvement. Through my experience as a grade level lead, Mathematics department
chair along with my collaboration with my school’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), I have
identified and will describe my proficiency around Standard 1: Mission, Vision and
Improvement and Standard 4: Learning and Instruction. The two standards in which I feel I need
some improvement include Standard 5: Community and External Leadership and Standard 6:
Operations and Management. In this paper, I will also reflect on how these four standards that I
have identified as areas of strength and improvement have impacted my development as a school
Keywords: Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), National Educational Leadership
Preparation (NELP)
Leadership Paper: Reflection on the NELP Building Standards (2018)
The NELP building standards “articulate the knowledge and skills expected of
educational leaders” (NPBEA, 2018, p.2). The seven standards outlined in the NELP “embrace
and describe the skills and attributes needed by educational leaders to enhance student
achievement” (Green, 2017, p.10). It is important to acknowledge that student achievement,
academically and non-academically, is kept at the center of all of these seven standards. While I
feel that I am continuously learning and have much to learn around each of the seven standards,
there are two in which I feel I am more proficient. Those two standards are: Standard 1:
Mission, Vision and Improvement and Standard 4: Learning and Instruction. On the other hand,
there are two standards that I have identified as areas of growth. Those two standards are:
Standard 5: Community and External Leadership and Standard 6: Operations and Management.
Standard 1: Mission, Vision and Improvement
A critical factor of standard one “is the ability of educational leaders to create and
implement a shared vision of learning” (Green, 2017, p.15). In 2005, I was asked to be the first
Mathematics teacher at a new high school in Sample City 1. As one of the first educators at this
school, I worked collaboratively with my colleagues to create the vision and mission for the
school. Then, again, in 2013, my administrator was asked to open up a new high school in the
Sample City 2 neighborhood. Again, I was a part of a team of educators that worked to create
the school’s mission and vision, which focuses on the “academic success and well-being of each
student” (Green, 2017, p.14). When writing a mission and vision for a school it is essential that
it is written collaboratively so that all voices, ideas, opinions are listened to, reflected upon and
Once a collaborative vision and mission statement has been written, the work is only
beginning. At both high schools I worked at, as part of the ILT, we created an improvement
plan. This improvement plan included actionable steps involving learning, reflecting, and
gathering data so our school could assess the progress towards the attainment of our school’s
vision and mission. Just this year, our ILT revisited our vision and mission statements realizing
it no longer expressed the needs of our current students. It is always important to reflect upon the
vision and mission of a school and get feedback not only from educators but the students and
community it serves.
Standard 4: Learning and Instruction
Once a vision and mission for a school has been created, a school then focuses on the
learning for both educators and students. As an ILT, we work together to implement a learning
plan that improves the academic practices in our school. As a school staff, we worked together
to first identify an instructional need. When I first arrived to Sample City 2 High School, our
Targeted Instructional Area (TIA) that we identified as a need was Depths of Knowledge (DOK).
We realized, after analyzing student work on summative assessments and tasks, that our students
were having difficulty applying what they were learning to real-life contexts. Also, after unittuning and providing feedback to our colleagues within departments, we realized we were not
providing enough opportunities for our students to reach DOK level four, which focuses on
application, design, synthesis and analyzation.
We then began working in our department teams to create projects, experiments, and
other activities that would allow our students the opportunity to demonstrated their knowledge,
ensuring they are able to reach level four. All of this work involved staff learning about DOK,
then discussing together how it can be implemented into their classroom, and then teaching this
new instructional strategy to students. Then, again, it is important to take the time to reflect upon
the current practices and instruction strategies by gathering data. This then guides a new cycle of
Most recently, my high school has discovered a new instructional need in our school. For
the past three years we have been focusing on Close Reading. We shifted specifically towards
Close Reading after analyzing our school’s SAT results. After a deep dive into the SAT with the
whole staff, we noticed that the areas where our students needed more support was around the
higher-level critical thinking questions. Our students were not successfully making connections
and inferences. That is why the ILT, in collaboration with the whole staff, has worked on
implementing Close Reading as an instructional practice that helps to improve our students’
ability to critically think. As a school and as an educator, it is essential to continuously reflect,
learn, and adjust one’s learning and instruction to meet the needs to all of our students. I have
realized that as an ILT it is essential to “engage faculty in the gathering, synthesizing, and using
data to evaluate the quality, coordination, and coherence of the school’s curriculum, instruction,
and assessment practices” (NPBEA, 2018, p.20).
Standard 5: Community and External Leadership
“Engaging families and other members of the community is a critical part of what
educational leaders do to promote each student’s academic success and well-being” (Green,
2017, p.24). As a teacher, I work to build relationships with my students’ families. I have done
this through consistent communication to parents to discuss their child’s progress in my class,
highlighting their areas of strength and growth. However, I feel that I have much to learn around
engaging the community in the work of my high school. I first need to work on knowing the
community I work in more. Then, I need to work on building relationships with the community
and its stakeholders. From there, I will be able to work in collaboration with these stakeholders
to provide more resources and opportunities for the students in our school community.
In the past three years, I have begun to advocate more for my school and the community
needs by establishing a partnership with Math Circles of Chicago. Math Circles is an
organization that provides all students within the community access to mathematics with the
hope of showing them that all students can be mathematicians. This program is held at my high
school and is offered to any student in grades 5-11. Through this partnership, I realize that there
are so many other resources and partnerships that I can create that will “strengthen student
learning, support school improvement, and advocate for the needs of their school and
community” (NPBEA, 2018, p.21).
Standard 6: Operations and Management
When I initially read the words “operations and management,” the first thing that comes
to mind is managing the budget, inventorying technology, and managing all personnel in the
building including the engineer, custodians, lunchroom staff and security. However, I have
realized that it is more than that. It is about developing a school’s master schedule, finding
resources and materials to support the needs of students and staff, developing relationships with
other feeder schools for enrollment, and manage internal and external politics, just to name a
As a grade level lead, mathematics chair and ILT member, I have only begun to scratch
the surface of some of these responsibilities. As a department chair, I work together with the
administrators and my team to determine course offerings and placements. In addition, I work
together with my department to decide the resources and/or technology that will be needed to
enhance student learning. However, I need a learn more about policies, regulations, laws, and
procedures that are apart of operations and management.
After learning about the seven NELP standards, I have realized that I have a lot to learn.
While I feel there are some standards I feel more proficient and knowledgeable about, I have
many areas of growth. I have also learned that in order to be an effective leader, it is important
to listen to and involve all stakeholders in order to achieve a common goal instead of being the
sole decision maker. As a member of multiple leadership teams as my school, I would often get
frustrated with my principal because they constantly would ask us what our goals are for our
students and teachers. I felt this was frustrating because I felt they had so many ideas, strategies
and goals in mind and they weren’t sharing them with us. We sometimes would just want to be
told what to do and how to do it since they are the leader and should know best. But, I realized
that it is not the leader’s job to dictate what should be done and how it should be done. It is the
leader’s job to exhibit “the passion and purpose to change, clearly communicating to
stakeholders, leading and influencing others to work toward a shared vision, enabling other to
thrive, and focusing on results” (Strike et al., 2019, p.7-8).
The seven NELP standards were created as a way to have common language, practices,
and expectations for all educational leaders no matter the program the leader enrolls in. By
unpacking these seven standards and reflecting upon my areas of strength and growth, I now
have a deeper understanding of the standards and their expectations. As I continue my learning
journey, I know that I will continuously need to reference and reflect upon these seven standards
in order to become a more effective leader.
NPBEA. (2018). National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Program Standards –
Building Level. Retrieved from:
Strike, K. T., Sims, P. A., Mann, S. L., & Wilhite, R. K. (2019). Transforming Professional
Practice. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Green, R. L. (2017). Practicing the Art of Leadership: A Problem-Based Approach to
Implementing the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. New York: Pearson
Education, Inc.

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