Cultivating Strong Leaders

TxCEE provides professional learning opportunities aimed at developing instructional leaders at the school and district level. The System for Effective Educator Development (SEED) is a professional learning system that stems from campus and district goals and utilizes collaborative learning communities to influence educator practices across all levels and positively impact student learning (Holland, 2005). Additionally, the Texas Principal Residency Program (TxPRP) will provide a system of targeted support for novice principals who have less than two years of experience. TxPRP is modeled after the concept of a teaching hospital’s approach to the training and support of their new medical doctors. In TxPRP, the novice principal will be provided intensive and individualized coaching, mentoring, training, and support.

Learn more about two initiatives that can assist you in cultivating strong leaders — System for Effective Educator Development and Principal Residency Program.



The Texas Center for Educator Excellence (TxCEE) provides differentiated, sustained professional learning opportunities to support educator success to impact student learning. Our key priorities are investing in and equipping educators with research-based resources and strategies to implement in instructional settings, as well as building capacity of campus- and district-level administrators to influence educator practices that positively impact student learning.

At the heart of an effective Human Capital Management System is a professional learning system to support teacher and principal needs identified through the evaluation process. The System for Effective Educator Development (SEED©) is the foundational component of the TEEM professional learning system. SEED provides targeted and personalized professional learning for ALL teachers, principals and district leaders regardless of “effectiveness”. The SEED structure aligns professional learning with district goals and campus objectives to significantly impact classroom teaching and student achievement. SEED is rooted in collaborative learning and focuses on the experience and creativity of professional educators working toward a common goal.

The goals of SEED are to (1) increase targeted, job-embedded professional development and collaborative learning opportunities for educators and (2) enhance support for educators via a multi-tiered career pathway structure. SEED is grounded in human capital, organizational design, educational leadership, teaching and learning research, and field based practices. SEED was developed based on research with input from various stakeholder groups.

Key Components of SEED   (CLCs)

Provides the district a systemic structure for delivering quality professional development

  • Aligns with a district’s chosen educator evaluation system
  • Aligns with a district’s chosen curriculum and programs/initiatives

Provides opportunities for educators to improve effectiveness based on individualized need

  • Supports teachers and principals with individualized needs identified through the evaluation process
  • Uses multiple forms of data to drive professional development content
  • Enhances educator support through a tiered system

Provides job-embedded opportunities to transform practice


Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs)


The structures for professional learning as part of SEED are called Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs). CLC meetings are an integral part of SEED. Research indicates that meetings serve as opportunities to share new ideas, discuss issues that have arisen in practice, collaborate with others, and evaluate student achievement or educational programmes (Klein, 2005). During SEED CLC meetings, educators collaborate to make informed decisions. This requires a non-threatening environment and trusting relationships between and among stakeholder groups. This CLC meeting structure begins with district administrators meeting, analyzing data, and designing a district blueprint that includes an overarching focus area(s). Teacher, Campus, Principal, and District CLCs then design roadmaps to align goals to the overarching focus area(s). The district blueprint might include focus areas such as language acquisition, critical thinking, and writing.

Goals for each CLC meeting might include the following:

  • Teacher CLC: Ask questions at the creative, evaluative, and/or analysis levels that focus on the objective of the lesson and provoke thought and discussion.
  • Campus CLC: Engage all students in complex, higher-order thinking and real-life problem solving connections.
  • Principal CLC: Monitor the effectiveness of critical thinking instructional practices and impact on student learning.
  • District CLC: Provide services and supports, as requested, to build capacity in the focus area of critical thinking.

This aligned approach focuses on systemic change and allows for ownership and learning at each CLC level: teacher, campus, principal and district. CLC goals, set at each level, reflect identified areas for student and standards-based focus and align to teacher or principal evaluation standards. New learning takes place in small, collaborative groups of teachers, campus leaders, principals, and district administrators who work to impact teaching in order to address a specific student need they have identified through focused data analysis. CLC meetings aren’t intended to focus solely on pedagogy, but rather to work on subject specific and student focused strategies. New learning is then tracked by monitoring the progress of students through their work.



The Texas Principal Residency Program (TxPRP) provides a system of targeted support for novice principals who have less than two years of experience.


Traditional principal training programs “haven’t been as connected to the realities of the profession as they need to be,” said Dick Flanary, the deputy executive director of programs and services for the National Association of Secondary Principals (Zubrzycki, 2012). The TxPRP is modeled after the concept of a teaching hospital’s approach to the training and support of their new medical doctors. In TxPRP, the Novice Principal will be provided intensive and individualized coaching, mentoring, training, and support by successful and well-trained Attending Principals (mentors). 


The Attending Principal will initially be a member of the TxCEE staff. As the program develops TxCEE will work to build capacity in the partner district to take on this role. The Attending Principal must possess the evidence, knowledge, and skills to effectively lead a campus, as well as the interpersonal skills necessary to develop relationships with the principal residents and provide servant leadership. TxCEE currently has several staff members that meet these criteria.

The TxPRP curriculum was developed by TxCEE collaboratively with university partners and based on best practice research and the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. One of the most important skills of an adept educator is the ability to effectively gather and analyze multiple forms of data to make instructional decisions. Novice Principals will engage in at least ten one-on-one coaching and mentoring sessions with an Attending Principal on their home campus each year as well as webinars and virtual PLCs throughout the year on various leadership topics.

Districts will have the opportunity to expand the residency program to include a leadership superhighway for identifying and developing future leaders— based on outcomes from the evaluation systems and/or those who may also benefit from this additional degree of intensive support and leadership training. The TxPRP will provide mentoring and individualized job-embedded support to novice principals and future leaders.