Instructional Leadership in Action

What Does it Look Like When Principal Supervisors are Effectively Coaching Principals?

by Max Silverman on Nov 10, 2014

denver_convening_wendy-639923-editedThat is the question over 60 principals, principal supervisors, and other central office leaders from across the country came to discuss and learn about at last week’s Leading for Effective Teaching meeting in Denver. The meeting, part of the Leading for Effective Teaching Project that CEL is leading with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, included participants from 13 districts and charter management organizations (see box).

In presentations and break out sessions, CEL staff established the basics of a successful coaching partnership between principal supervisor and principal and highlighted some of the newest project findings. In a next step, participants put theory into action and observed Denver Public School instructional superintendents, the school system's prinicpal supervisors, coaching principals in schools.

Participating School Systems

Alliance College-Ready Public Schools • Bridgeport Public Schools • Gwinnett County Public Schools • Denver Public Schools • Houston Independent School District • Jefferson County Public Schools • Los Angeles Unified School District • Montgomery County Public Schools • New York City Department of Education • Newark Public Schools • Pittsburgh Public Schools • Prince George’s County Public Schools • Tulsa Public Schools

With CEL’s new, research-based Attributes of Effective Principal Supervisor Coaching Sessions as an observation framework, participants visited ten different coaching sessions and provided feedback to Denver Public Schools leaders.

But seeing instructional superintendents at work is only one part of the equation. In a panel discussion, Denver Public Schools principals shared their own impressions on the support they receive from their instructional superintendents.

Educators and administrators left inspired by what they learned from the Denver Public Schools team eager to improve upon their own work at home. Or, as one participant put it in their final takeaway: “Confidence in the success of our work is growing!”


Download CEL's Attributes of Effective Principal Supervisor Coaching Sessions

Topics: District Leadership, Principal Supervisors

About the author: Max Silverman

Max Silverman is the executive director of the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) where he provides leadership for improving school systems focused on equitable outcomes for students.

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