The Best of Us S2/E9: Campus Leaders’ Role in Teacher Development with Paul Offill and Christy Watley

In this episode of The Best of Us, building principals Christy Whatley and Paul Offill discuss school leadership strategy for professional learning and teacher support. They give us the nitty-gritty on implementing a CHAMPS program district-wide, plus tips for consistent follow-through and using data to demonstrate the program's effectiveness.

Christy and Paul also address the challenges of teacher evaluation from a building leader’s perspective, supporting educators from non-traditional backgrounds, setting a campus tone, and much more.

Listen now:


Christy Whatley and Paul Offill (00:01:48) Introduction to the role of building principals and their backgrounds.

Demographics and School Programs (00:03:17) Christy and Paul describe the demographics and programs at their respective schools.

Setting the Culture (00:05:45) Christy and Paul discuss how they set the tone and culture for their staff and families.

Professional Learning at Paul's Campus (00:09:20) Paul explains the approach to professional development at his campus, including teacher-led PD and leveraging expertise within the building.

Professional Learning at Christy's Campus (00:11:50) Christy details the professional development approach at her campus, including teacher surveys and utilizing learning coaches.

Role of the Principal in Professional Learning (00:14:22) Christy and Paul discuss the principal's central role in ensuring professional learning has an impact in the classroom, including providing time, follow-up, and data-driven feedback.

Implementing the CHAMPS Program (00:17:10) Discussion about the implementation and impact of the CHAMPS behavior management program in the district.

Impact of CHAMPS on Campus Behavior (00:18:15) Observations and data showing the positive impact of CHAMPS on campus behavior and teacher buy-in.

Teacher Retention and Staffing Challenges (00:21:46) Challenges faced by the district and individual campuses regarding teacher retention and staffing, particularly with alternative certified teachers.

Challenges of Teacher Evaluation (00:24:04) Challenges related to teacher evaluation, including the lack of traditional education background for some teachers and the need for a growth-oriented approach.

Improving Teacher Evaluation Process (00:29:51) Efforts to improve the teacher evaluation process, including being present in classrooms, providing feedback, and offering resources for growth.

Walkthroughs and Data Collection (00:31:34) Principals discuss the importance of walkthroughs, campus focus areas, and academic data collection for professional development and teacher feedback.

Scheduling Classroom Visits (00:33:31) Principals discuss their scheduling strategies to ensure intentional and regular classroom visits, emphasizing the importance of being present as instructional leaders.

Principal-Coach Relationship (00:37:35) The discussion focuses on the relationship between principals and coaches, emphasizing trust, shared expectations, and the need for a safe space for teachers.

Coaching and Teacher Support (00:40:51) Principals emphasize the vital role of coaches in supporting teacher growth, building relationships, and creating a positive impact on the campus.

Professional Growth and Leadership (00:44:15) Principals discuss the importance of professional growth, teacher leadership, and creating a positive impact on the school campus.

Modeling Non-Negotiables (00:46:08) Leadership and modeling non-negotiables as a way to earn respect and move people in the right direction.

Being Liked vs. Being Respected (00:47:07) The importance of consistency and being respected rather than being liked in leadership roles.

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