Why Work with Us?
What Craig’s clients and observed teachers have to say about him.
Just wanted to let you know about a really positive incident that happened this summer at the Miami Principal Training Center (PTC) course. As you know, everyone (at some stage) has to present a “pearl of wisdom” to the group – an inspiring story that resonated with them as educators. There were some really inspiring stories of course, but the one where you were mentioned was great.
Nancy spoke about how much she learnt when you were working together as the HS admin team. In particular, she spoke about the power of your walk throughs. Your immediate discussion with teachers showed her that walk throughs could be more than just checking off a box.
She then told everyone about how, in your discussions after the walk throughs, you would ask two questions:
- “What did your students learn today?”
- “If you could teach the lesson again, what would you do differently?”
Both of these questions asked the teachers to really reflect on their teaching as part of the learning process.
An avid supporter of the frequent walk through, Nancy continues this tradition at AISR and still asks these questions today. Teachers have the chance to think about their lesson with the learning as the focus and, at times, make the changes that are necessary to make the lesson more effective.
What I was really blown away by was how this story resonated with everyone. In the days following Nancy’s “pearl”, I heard many teachers asking those two questions during their role plays and interactions. It clarified their thinking about what they were really looking for in good teaching practices.
I was so proud of having been one of the lucky teachers who have worked with you. Now, as an administrator, I also try to emulate your walk through style and can only hope that I will inspire complete strangers as you did this year.
I’m sure this will make your day to hear all this – you deserve to know how you have changed lives.
“Every school leader should read this book.
Are you unhappy with the current way you complete teacher observations or walk-throughs? Are you struggling to see improvement in student learning based on the current way you observe and evaluate teachers? I know I was!
Craig’s approach to creating trust, focusing on teacher strenghts, and moving away from evaluating pedagogy was exactly what I was looking for but I just didn’t know it. TBO gave me the tools and approaches to be in classes very day, interacting with students, and having reflective conversations with teachers who felt supported and therefore willing to take risks to improve their teaching. I highly recommend you read this book! After reading the book we also decided to hire Craig to help us learn and put in place TBO. Best use of PD fund EVER!
Thanks to Craig and TBO for finally getting the teacher observations and reflection process put together in a way that actually improves student learning.”
“The focus on risk-taking and innovation in practice is huge! And, focusing on the good will makes a difference in teachers staying in the profession.”
“I’ve had a ton of conversations where I’m doing the heavy lifting and now I feel the teacher is doing the heavy lifting, they are doing the thinking–and the form does that–long term it’s easier on the teacher and you.”
“Just finished an incredible week of hands-on professional development for principals and school leaders! Trust-Based Observations with Craig Randall led our instructional leadership through what I believe will be a transformation for our school. It’s a strengths-based teacher observation approach that leverages the incredible skillsets our educators already have with the tools to build collective instructional knowledge and application. We are going to STOP RATING TEACHERS and start supporting them better. Everything we need for change, is already here.”
“You can see the effect on the staff this morning: “I am going to do this, I am going to try that.” Just the conversations that it has already sparked. We can already see a culture shift!”
“We can already see the teachers who have gone through the process walking tall.”
“We have had such a productive and empowering week being trained by the fabulous Nancy in Trust-Based Observations (Craig Randall). The training has transformed how we conduct teacher observations and there is such a positive vibe throughout the school. Teachers empowered to take risks, try new things, learning and sharing together. Thank you so much, it’s been a learning revolution for everyone!”
“It’s way better. It takes supervision to a new level. It creates a positive and professional environment where we can develop teachers to teach better. It’s a powerful springboard to move the whole school forward and change the culture of the school based on trusting each other. It’s not just an observation tool, but a tool for the growth of the whole school. It’s fabulous.”
“TBO gives us specific ways to talk about our hopes and dreams for growing our faculty.”
“End of an amazing week – Trust-Based Observations (TBOs). Highly recommend the book. Totally Changed our outlook on the use of observations to bring about sustained improvement in teaching and learning. whilst also developing professional trust.”
“When I read the book I thought if somebody is in education and Trust-Based Observations doesn’t resonate with them within the first few chapters I would wonder why they were in education.”
“I feel this has been the missing piece.”
“A few times I thought, Should we have this guy come here, but now I realize it would have taken me three years to get to where I am in five days.”
“I’m really excited about this, it feels fun and exciting. I used to put observations on the calendar and it’s the easiest thing to let slip because I just dreaded it, and now I know people are not going to be upset when I come in. I can’t wait to see where we are in two years and how it transforms the school culture.”
“The most impactful feedback we’ve gotten is from the teachers, their responses, their body language, the happy tears, thanking us; it shows the power of recognizing and validating what someone is doing.”
“The changes we have seen in teacher practice at the start of this year is nothing short of remarkable!”
“This is truly one of the best and most insightful training opportunities I’ve ever had in education. Craig and Nancy are amazing trainers and we loved having them at Juniper. We cannot recommend TBO highly enough. There will be growth in so many areas of learning, because our teachers will grow in confidence to take risks and think outside the box without fear of criticism. I believe every school needs this!”
“I love the training model. It feels personal and bespoke, not regurgitated from a script or powerpoint. This adds to the impact, and practices what TBO stands for: the power of relationships. What you have created is so special and really has the power to change the world of education. Every school needs this!”
“This is the best training I have ever had. I have loved every second of it. You have coached and guided us without a single PowerPoint. For me it has been the emotional response of the staff; the vibe has been different this week. People look like they are proud to be teachers again. I think everyone should do this.”
“I was lucky enough to be a part of this training and can state with all honesty that it was nothing short of revolutionary. The impact was evident immediately and has created such a warm buzz within the school. I cannot thank you enough, Craig and Nancy. You have made such an impact in such a short time. You have rekindled the excitement and have started a healing foundation within our school. Thank you!”
“For the first time I have felt that I have made a difference across the school as a middle leader. It’s been humbling.”
“For us, the glass ceiling of what is possible has been well and truly shattered!! If you buy any book this year or purchase any professional development, and you truly want to change your school, it has to be Trust-Based Observations.”
“The impact that using Trust-Based Observations will have on learning will be phenomenal. Craig’s new way of observing lessons is nothing short of genius.”
“This was the best training on observations I have ever had. It is a complete system from observation to performance management with comprehensive professional development all linked in. Could not recommend this more highly. Thank you Trust-Based Observations.”
“…I have never worked for someone for whom I have a higher professional regard.”
“We will do anything for him because we believe in what he stands for and we know that we are in his good hands.”
“…strong administration as Craig provides leads to a depth of collaboration, staff appreciation and student success that remains unmatched in my career…”
” Dynamic individual whose humor, intelligence and experience make him approachable and his willingness to pitch in and support has been awesome.”
“Craig has this wonderful gift of being approachable and honest yet always professional.”
“I was impressed by his openness and willingness to listen. He took my concerns seriously and helped us think outside the box. Craig was clearly interested in finding a solution that worked and would be genuinely useful, not just concerned about his own agenda or personal convenience.”
“Passionate, organized, professional. The bottom line is that Craig cares about great education.”
“I really like the approach take by Craig regarding observations. Instead of coming in and just seeing us once at a scheduled time we get periodic mentoring sessions which provide positive opportunities for learning on a regular basis.”
“Craig is great at connecting with us individually. He is funny and down to earth and his professionalism and sincere respect for the work that we do is clear in all that he does.”
“When working with Craig a relationship of trust and respect is easily established. Craig goes above and beyond to create a team environment where we feel integral and important.”
“I appreciate Craig’s ability to praise my strengths as an administrator whilst continuously challenging me to improve.”
“Craig is committed to improving teaching and learning”
“He will make time and go out of his way to make sure his teachers know that they are appreciated and supported.”
“Craig does what so many say but don’t follow through on–he puts the best interest of the kids first.”
“I always gained so much insight into my work from the informal discussions we would have afterwards. I felt both validated and guided to improve–a tough balance to achieve.”
“Craig does what so many say but don’t follow through on–he puts the best interest of the kids first.”
“Craig understands people and what motivates them to do and be their best.”
“Craig is an inspiring and passionate leader who puts teachers and the growth of his teachers first.”
“Craig believes passionately in the importance of building relationships. His primary method is frequent classroom visits and walkthroughs with swift feedback. He provides thoughtful, constructive and intelligent feedback, and above all–a space in which teachers can reflect and articulate their strengths as practitioners and identify areas for growth.”
“Craig cares about the quality of teaching and learning and he is there to help teachers do their job more effectively and continue to learn and grow.”
“Craig supports teachers and improves the quality of teaching and learning.”
“Teachers feel supported and listened to.”
“His vision has resulted in the establishment of an atmosphere of trust and respect within our faculty.”
“The greatest compliment that I can report is that a long standing and very senior member of the faculty at the end of the final meeting of the school year to say that Craig was the best principal the school had ever had. His remarks were greeted with resounding agreement and applause.”
“Craig is by far the best principal I have had the opportunity to work with over the past 27 years.”
“Craig has a knack for maintaining high standards for best practice while still being supportive and approachable–a quality rare in administrators and Craig seems to achieve it naturally.”
“He is constantly in teachers’ classrooms and the feedback he offers is immediate, positive and encouraging. He wants to know what teachers are doing to ensure student success and he wants teachers to know that he is there to support them.”
“Teachers welcome him in their classrooms, and appreciate how he prioritizes truly knowing what is going on in different departments.”
“Craig is intentional in working with teachers and wants to make every moment worth their while.”
“Craig worked hard to develop meaningful relationships with teachers. It is clear he understands that effective leadership starts with these relationships and he first cultivated these before trying to implement change.”
“He keeps student success as the driving force behind the decisions he makes.”
“Craig taught me practical tips about how to develop relationships and cultivate trust among teachers and students.”
“Craig is a great school leader who can inspire teachers and students alike.”
“Craig empowers, supports and challenges teachers in their teaching.”
“Key is Craig’s ability to build strong, personal, and very professional relationships with teachers and students alike.”
“Craig phrases the questions and their subsequent conversations in such a way to inspire teachers to really take ownership of their teaching and always be self-accountable for the learning that goes on in their classrooms.”
“The word inspiration gets bandied around all too frequently, but after reflecting on Craig’s relationships with staff and students, I can’t help but know that the best word to describe Craig is inspiring. It’s not a loud inspiration, but one that percolates through people.”
“Craig is a dedicated educational leader and I have enjoyed watching our school grow and thrive under his visionary leadership.”
“I admire and respect Craig’s proactive and hands on approach to leadership and his commitment to continuous professional learning.”
“Craig is keenly aware of the impact of teacher training on student achievement.”
“A verifiable cheerleader, Craig encourages his teachers to take risks in the classroom and provides the feedback needed for them to grow and improve their practice.”
“Craig is a leader who believes in building relationships within the entire school community. The teacher-administrator relationship is crucial to leading a nurturing learning environment and Craig clearly understands how to cultivate these relationships. Teachers feel heard and understood.”
“Craig fosters a community of openness and growth.”
“Because of the form we have been able to see more details, and because we focus on the positive things, we notice more positive things.”
“We’ve gotten so much more out of observing those lessons than before. The staff have all made comments that this is the way we are doing things now. Let us have a go with this. We want to get on with this now. Let us take the risk.”
“We have tangible evidence within three days on how to improve things and the positive impact it is having on our teachers.”
“Wherever I go I will take this with me; it’s collective teacher self-efficacy in action.”
“I thought I knew what good teaching was, but I’ve never normed this much on evidence collection. I love the way the form and training does that. I love developing a new understanding of what deep instruction is, and using that to collectively building on our capacity!”
“This week’s training has been the best thing ever in my career.”
“The training has been a privilege and privilege is a very strong word. It has helped us build cohesion. It has given me confidence in leading my team.”
“I was blown away by Trust Based Observations, it is truly remarkable. I’ve never enjoyed a training as much as I enjoyed last week. It instils pride into teachers and raises their confidence; the impact has been immediate. Walking around the school over the last two days, I have seen how the teaching staff are starting to analyse their forms and adapt their practice to reflect the areas of pedagogy highlighted. It has created a buzz and kickstarted the healing process. It has cemented the shift from old to new and has already started to accelerate the trajectory of improvement within everyday classroom practice. In short, the teachers feel excited again!”
“I just want every teacher in every school to benefit from what we have. The impact on our children’s learning will blow you away.”
“It has blown the lid off what we can achieve here.”
“Craig has pushed me to reevaluate my teaching style, and to make changes and improvements within the bounds that I am comfortable with full support and encouragement.”
“Patient, supportive and persistent, the message that I received from Craig was that he truly cared about my development as a teacher.”
“These two questions go straight to the core of quality teaching and I really enjoy the opportunity to reflect, question and develop my practice during our discussions.”
“He is encouraging and supportive whilst always challenging us to improve our instruction.”
“I never felt that he was judging, but always felt that he was listening. This allowed me to reflect on my practice without fear.”
“He works with me and supports me as a teacher so I can do my job better.”
The teacher observation evaluation process is supposed to improve teaching and learning, but research makes it clear that it doesn’t. In fact, it creates fear, which stifles teacher innovation and risk-taking.
Trust-Based Observations changes that.