Principal Supervisor Institute: How To Develop Principals as Instructional Leaders

Around the country, district leaders are recognizing they have yet to figure out how to improve principal performance at scale. For most, being successful as a principal supervisor will require new ways of thinking about instructional leadership, new skills, and a new set of relationships, especially for those who come from more traditional administrative or management positions. Even principal supervisors with lengthy experience in leading instruction for teachers typically need support in how to work effectively with principals in a partnership role.

The Center for Educational Leadership’s Principal Supervisor Institute is designed to answer the question, “What does a principal supervisor need to do in order to improve performance of principals as instructional leaders?” Participants in the two-day institute learn to apply the current research and best practices for assessing, analyzing and improving support for principals.

During the institute, participants will:

  1. Understand and begin to apply the current research and best practices on improving the performance of principals as instructional leaders.
  2. Complete a needs assessment and use the assessment results to create next steps for improving principals’ practice as instructional leaders.
  3. Analyze their district’s current theory of action for supporting principals as instructional leaders and begin to develop a theory of action that more closely aligns with the research and best practices in the field.

Institute content is based upon CEL’s Principal Supervisor Practices:

  1. Work one-on-one with principals to grow their instructional leadership capacity. 
  2. Develop principal professional learning networks that support principals’ growth as instructional leaders.
  3. Provide and broker professional development for principals based on individual and group learning needs.
  4. Collaborate with others in the central office to support principals as instructional leaders.
  5. Utilize a principal evaluation process to support principals’ growth as instructional leaders.

Other Practices:

  1. Prioritize time to focus on principal instructional leadership.
  2. Collaborate with principal supervisor colleagues to ensure coherent support to all principals.
  3. Reflect on practice, set improvement goals and measure progress towards those goals.

CEL’s teaching methods, designed to support adult learning, include:

  • Working from participants’ problems of practice.
  • Analyzing readings, case studies and videos.
  • Facilitating time for collaborating with colleagues and planning next steps.
  • Using processes and protocols.