Season 5, Episode 1 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Liz City

Season 5, Episode 1 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Liz City

Running More Effective & Efficient Meetings in Schools with Guest Elizabeth City


This is Season 5, Episode 1 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Dr. Elizabeth City. It was originally recorded live for a live audience in Delaware and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, Wilmington University, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Dr. City has to say about her book Meeting Wise, how it leads to a stronger culture in schools, and so much more.



Dr. Elizabeth City Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners


Dr. Elizabeth City is a Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where she is Executive Director of Reach Every Reader and previously served as Director of the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program. 

Liz has served as a teacher, instructional coach, principal, and consultant, in each role focused on helping all children and the educators who work with them realize their full potential. 

She is currently focused on developing successful readers and strategic leaders in equitable, learning-rich environments. She has authored and co-authored several books for educators, including Meeting Wise, Data Wise, Strategy in Action, Instructional Rounds in Education, Resourceful Leadership, and The Teacher’s Guide to Leading Student-Centered Discussions.



FocusED Show Notes with Dr. Elizabeth City

Dr. City starts her discussion with the challenges of adults collaborating effectively to support kids. 

She talks about the fact that educators are all pressed for time but that we need to maximize the time we do have. 

Joe asks about a practical tip that leaders can do tomorrow. Liz answers that the agenda for the meeting can be used as a place to start. Don’t miss what she says about adult learning. 

Dr. City tells us that we should shift some of the agenda items at our meetings to collaborative problem-solving. What if one person brings a dilemma, and we use a consultancy protocol? 

Ask this about meetings: Why do we need these people to come together? 

The cycle that she explains is critical to what happens before and after meetings to get the work done. 

Joe asks about the consultancy protocols that Liz talked about. The give-and-get structure is important because everyone learns, and everyone contributes. 

Liz calls for an increase in rigor in schools. “We underestimate what kids can do, and that reflects what we ask them to do.” 

We need tasks that engage the hearts and minds of kids. ~ Dr. Liz City 

Don’t miss the questions that she asks when we’re analyzing a task that we ask students to do. 

  • Exactly what are we asking students to do? 
  • Assuming success on this task, what should we expect students to understand and be able to do? 

Her favorite resource is when we can learn from one another. The profession is too isolated. 

Joe ends by asking what Liz wishes would get more attention. She talks about amplifying the voices that don’t always get heard. Powerful way to end.


Related School Leadership Content Based on This Show

Our Podcast with Richard Elmore

From Tinkering to Transformation: How School District Central Offices Drive Equitable Teaching and Learning by Meredith I Honig & Lydia R. Rainey

The Great School Rethink by Rick Hess 


Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @, where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 


FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next.