Transformational Leaders’ Network

“This was one of the most valuable training/networking opportunities I have attended.
The time to work closely with other administrators – people facing similar challenges –
supported by veterans (the facilitators) was extremely valuable. I felt able to
honestly share challenges and issues I am facing without worry about quick judgements. I left feeling connected to others and hopeful for more opportunities to catch up with the same people.”

What is TLN? 


The Transformational Leaders’ Network (TLN) is a five-part series of day-long sessions designed to improve your leadership capacity to help reach your school’s improvement goals.  The TLN is intended for principals, assistant principals, and curriculum coordinators in Maine districts. The kickoff Summer Conference for this initiative took place with a 3 day session in June. However, we’re seeking additional participants for the coming school year. New members of TLN will have an Orientation Session the day before Session 1 of the 2019-20 TLN.

Objective of the TLN


1. Each participant will develop two workable plans:

  • goals and an initial action plan for improving learning in your school
  • goals and an initial action plan for your personal leadership growth (clearly linked to enhancing success at leading the school improvement plan)

2. Each participant will come to know and trust fellow network members as learning colleagues in order to support each other in their leadership and professional growth.

3. Each participant will deepen her/his understanding of how school leadership can contribute to school improvement.

In the TLN, facilitated by experienced educators, we make the following assumptions:
  • Participants come with knowledge of their school environment and ideas (and possible draft plans) for school improvement goals.

  • Each participant has his/her own learning style, beliefs, and experience as well as understanding of leadership and self-concept as a leader.

  • Schools’ success with students improves through sustained attention to a manageable action plan led by leaders who themselves are engaged in professional learning.

  • We as facilitators of learning meet participants where they are and do what we can to support learning paths toward deeper understanding of what each person can do to grow as a leader of school improvement.

  • Our approach is largely to cultivate communities of learners who learn through identifying goals for growth and supporting multiple methods of skill, and knowledge, building.


Overview of Sessions


All sessions are 8:30-2:30; locations to be announced August 2019.

Orientation Session (Only for those who didn’t attend the Summer Conference; September 26, 2019)

  • Overview of the framework and flow of the TLN.
  • Receive feedback on draft of school improvement goal for this year.
  • Analyze the willingness and ability of school community members to help fulfill the goal.
  • Consider personal leadership challenges in the context of this goal.
  • Draft preliminary School Improvement and Leader Learning plans.

Session 1 (TLN Network; September 27, 2019)

  • Get re-acquainted; meet new colleagues; refresh the TLN’s purpose.
  • For those participants who attended the Summer Conference: How did the School Improvement Plan (SIP) and Leader Learning Plan (LLP) you set at the Summer Conference play out?  Lessons from them for your ongoing plans.
  • For all other participants: individualized assistance as needed to further clarify your planning.
  • Discussion: overview of Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader.  Is there a concept or skill here that can help in your revised LLP?
  • Refining your plans: zeroing in on what is manageable and doable in the coming month(s).

Session 2 (Regional Groups; October 25, 2019)

  • Reflection on how you have enlisted staff members, inspired a shared understanding of the goals and mobilization toward meeting them.
  • Discussion: “Fundamental Four: Engage Others” from Learning Leadership. How can we build a culture in our school that supports constructive feedback on our school improvement efforts and leadership growth?
  • Looking at the interpersonal aspect of leading and learning:
  • Assess your efforts to adjust your leadership behaviors and attitudes to move toward your goals for improved school performance.
  • Consider your efforts at the relationship building that is necessary for the success of your SIP.

Session 3 (Regional Groups; December 6, 2019)

  • Reflection on and planning for enabling others to act toward meeting the school improvement initiative.
  • Discussion: “Fundamental Five: Practice Deliberately” from Learning Leadership. How do I incorporate leadership learning in my own practice and support it in others?\Assessing your progress: 
  • Are your efforts making a difference?
  • How are you practicing building trust and fostering collegial relationships more deliberately?
  • Revising your leading and learning plans based on your progress and feedback from others.

Session 4 (Regional Groups; March 13, 2020)

  • The importance of the Intrapersonal aspects of leading and learning:
    • How have your actions reinforced your values?
    • Where are there tensions in your “walk” v. “talk”?
  • Revisiting your LLP goals for leading and learning and assessment of your progress to date.
  • Discussion: “The Sixth Essential: Celebrate Together” from Encouraging the Heart. Consider how you will celebrate accomplishments of the school community and recognize individuals who were instrumental in the progress addressing your school improvement goal.

Session 5 (TLN Network; May 8, 2020)

  • Reflecting back on the year:
  • Gauging your leadership development
  • Sharing your learning with colleagues
  • Analyzing the success of the initiative

Looking forward:

  • What are the needs of your school? How will you sustain the work?
  • What are your needs? How will you continue your learning?



The Maine DOE is committed to working with you to improve teaching and learning.

As such, DOE will cover costs for the actual TLN sessions, texts and materials that will be used throughout the year for selected principals. Schools or districts are responsible for travel costs and a fee of $125 per person to help defray expenses for refreshments and lunches for all sessions. For recertification purposes, contact hours will be awarded to TLN participants.

If interested in joining the SY 2019-20 TLN cohort, please submit your registration by September 23, 2019.


Cheryl Lang
ESEA Federal Programs and School Turnaround Coordinator