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Transformative Principal is 

Jan 24, 2021

Joellen Killion is a senior advisor to Learning Forward and served for many years as the association’s deputy executive director. As senior advisor, she leads initiatives related to the link between professional development and student learning. She led the most recent revision of the Standards for Professional Learning, and has extensive experience in planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of professional learning at the school, system, and state/provincial levels. She works with coaches, principals, district and state leaders to support understanding and embedding standards-based professional learning in a system. The author or co-author of numerous books, her most recent book, published in 2015, is The Feedback Process: Transforming Feedback for Professional Learning. Her other books include Coaching Matters (with Cindy Harrison, Chris Bryan, and Heather Clifton); Assessing Impact: Evaluating Staff Development; Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teachers and School-Based Coaches (with Cindy Harrison); Becoming a Learning School (with Patricia Roy), and others.

  • Coaching in this crazy time.
  • Constant change - primary focus helping people stay positive
  • We have turned on a dime—making remarkable transformations overnight.
  • Learning themselves.
  • Helping people take care of themselves.
  • How to stay positive when it is really challenging.
  • Being truthful
  • acknowledging emotional distress is one of the most positive things we can do.
  • what do we mean by a coach.
  • Consulting vs coach vs collaborator
  • A good coach is someone who helps a person define the problem seek possibilities, and guides that person in decision-making by helping the person sort out options.
  • It’s not about getting it right, but forming a hypothesis.
  • Trying to get to the root.
  • Find appropriate solution that gets to the
  • help people search for and identify their own means.
  • knowing who I am as a coach
  • My primary mission as a coach is to lead them to discover their own best approach.
  • helping someone facilitate and mediate their own thinking.
  • Empower another by doing that.
  • It’s our identity as a teacher.
  • We have learned over the last decade that more engagement in problem-based learning and opportunities for kids to solve their own problems, it solves so many problems.
  • Dialectic approach to feedback
  • When we give people information, that information is discounted
  • The person giving the feedback is doing all the work!
  • I do not allow people to use the words give and receive in talking about feedback.
  • Holding myself superior to you.
  • Starts with what did you know? What did you discover?
  • The feedback process starts with two steps:
    1. Get clear about what they are intending to learn?
    1. Establish jointly a clear set of success criteria
  • If I know what I’m looking for and I don’t engage you in cearly
  • The Coaching Habit
  • Helping students have a voice in their process.
  • How to be a transformative principal? 1. Take a moment to identify three things they are proud of in their leadership practice. 2. Taking enough time to be with their families to have time for non-work related relationships to be renewing.



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John Catt

Today’s Transformative Principal sponsor, John Catt Educational, amplifies world-class voices on timeless topics, with a list of authors recognized globally for their fresh perspectives and proven strategies to drive success in modern schools and classrooms.

John Catt’s mission is to support high-quality teaching and learning by ensuring every educator has access to professional development materials that are research-based, practical, and focused on the key topics proven essential in today’s and tomorrow’s schools.

Learn more about professional development publications that are easy to implement for your entire faculty, and are both quickly digestible and rigorous, by visiting
Learn more about some of the newest titles:

John Catt is also proud publisher of the new book from Transformative Principal host Jethro Jones: SchoolX: How principals can design a transformative school experience for students, teachers, parents – and themselves
Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt’s research-based materials to your school: