Principal Supervisor Professional Development and Coaching

Around the country, district leaders are recognizing they have yet to figure out how to improve principal performance at scale. Despite investments in revised principal supervisor roles, districts are struggling to provide the requisite professional development and training for leaders taking on these roles. Successful principal supervision requires new ways of supporting principals in a partnership role, leading by teaching and learning in an atmosphere of mutual accountability.

The Center for Educational Leadership’s Principal Supervisor Professional Development is intended for central office leaders who support principals’ instructional leadership growth as their primary responsibility.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand and create the structures and routines necessary to improve the performance of principals as instructional leaders, including:
    • Building and protecting calendars (prioritizing the maximum possible amount of time to focus on principal instructional leadership).
    • Developing effective 1:1 work with principals.
    • Developing effective principal professional learning communities.
  2. Use a teaching approach as the primary lever for improving principal performance.
  3. Clearly and continually communicate the work between the principal supervisor and principals.
  4. Assess, gather and use evidence to support and monitor principal progress.
  5. Jointly develop a focus of work with each principal and utilize learning and planning guides to focus their work together.
  6. Reflect upon, set goals for, and monitor progress of their own development as effective principal supervisors.

The Center for Educational Leadership’s approach to training principal supervisors is contextualized to meet the unique needs of the district.  To determine the best learning design, we begin with an assessment of the current state of principal supervisors’ practice. The self-assessment is aligned to the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Principal Supervisor Instructional Standards. The self-assessment, conversations with stakeholders, and an analysis of district structures to support principals are used to design the learning plan.

A typical training engagement includes both whole-team learning sessions and job-embedded coaching delivered on consecutive days over a number of months.  A key feature of our approach includes the use of CEL’s Instructional Inquiry Cycle, which allows principal supervisors to learn critical skills through their actual work with principals. 

Training Content:

  • Understanding research-based practices of effective principal supervisors.
  • Creating effective 1:1 relationships with principals.
  • Building principal networks.
  • Differentiating approaches for each principal.
  • Observing, growing and evaluating principal practice.

Training Methods:

  • Working from problems of practice.
  • Using cycles of inquiry.
  • Learning from case studies.
  • Embedded coaching.