Professional Development for Principals

Professional Development for Principals

Focusing on teachers and their learning is not enough. School leaders … also need to learn and change in very specific ways if teacher learning is to result in the kind of system that ‘raises the bar and closes the gap for all students’.

Ginott, H. (1971). Teacher and child, p. 71

NSI believes that principals have an essential role in shaping the school climate by guiding their staff towards embracing a collaborative approach to evaluation, problem solving and learning. The professional development we offer helps equip principals to do this effectively.

Principal companion booklet

NSI provides companion booklets for principals each of our surveys, providing professional reading about the different aspects of the school climate and their influence on student outcomes. The companion booklets also support principals in interpreting the various graphs and analyses that are used within the NSI survey feedback packages, map out a structured process for engaging with the data and linking it to action and reflection, and provide practical advice to help principals develop their pedagogical and reflective leadership.

Coaching and training

Effective coaching is a potentially powerful strategy for supporting teacher professional development and school improvement. NSI provides coaching support and training for principals and middle leaders in conjunction with the survey data.

Action research process

Principals engage alongside other staff in an inquiry team to lead school improvement through an action research process. Participating in this process is a powerful learning experience for principals and positions principals as co-learners with their staff. As principals lead the inquiry team and the school-wide improvement efforts over multiple years, they will see and be able to provide evidence of their own professional growth as reflective pedagogical leaders who use data to drive planning and improvement.

We also offer the following more formal professional development opportunities for principals and school leaders, led by NSI Partnerships facilitators.

We also offer the following more formal professional development opportunities for principals and school leaders, led by NSI Partnerships facilitators.

Understanding, interpreting and using the feedback

This workshop is designed to take leadership teams through an inductive process to help them to understand and interpret the feedback that results from the survey/s used. The session helps the leadership team to start formulating ideas and plans concerning how the data might be used.

Qualitative information to support whole-school data

Qualitative information is important to help to understand and explain the results of the surveys (quantitative data). An NSI Partnerships facilitator leads the collection of qualitative data during a staff meeting, facilitating staff in explaining the responses for and ways to improve different scales. We then analyse the qualitative information and report the findings back to school leaders.

Leading professional learning groups

Principals can join with teacher-leaders in this half-day workshop (led by an NSI Partnerships facilitator), which aims to build leadership capacity at the school. During the workshop, participants look at literature on professional learning communities and explore practical strategies to empower and engage teachers in professional learning and action research.

Coaching skills

Principals can join with teacher-leaders in this full-day workshop (led by an NSI Partnerships facilitator), aimed at developing leaders’ coaching skills in preparation for working with a professional learning group of teachers throughout the year. During the workshop, leaders learn about and practice effective coaching skills.

Principals can also benefit from participating in the professional development sessions we offer for teachers and teacher-leaders.

Measurable improvements over time

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