Principals rediscover their joy and purpose through coaching

By Kay Psencik
April 2022
Principals are feeling the stress of these tumultuous times. According to a recent report sponsored by The Wallace Foundation, principals report that, for the last two years, they have spent most of their time on COVID-19 responses, teacher absences and retention, and designing online instruction (Clifford & Coggshall, 2021). They also feel the urgent need to catch students up academically and provide emotional support for students, staff, and parents. Amid all these challenges, principals want to regain their purpose and return their schools to the core values of educating every student to high standards. They see professional learning as a way to address acceleration, biases in the school, use of curriculum materials, assessments of student learning, and instructional practices and to strengthen a culture of

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Clifford, M.A. & Coggshall, J.G. (2021). Evolution of the principalship: Leaders explain how the profession is changing through a most difficult year. American Institutes for Research & NAESP.

Learning Forward. (2014). The Principal Story learning guide. The Wallace Foundation & Learning Forward.

Resources for Learning. (2015). Twin Tiers Principals’ Coalition project summary. Unpublished report.

Kay Psencik ( is a senior consultant at Learning Forward.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Kay-psencik-150x180-1

Kay Psencik served students and educators for over 30 years in Texas public schools as a teacher and school administrator. She has supervised, supported, and coached principals for over 40 years. Today, she is a senior consultant with Learning Forward, co-author of Becoming a Learning System and The Learning Principal, and author of Accelerating Student and Staff Learning and The Coach’s Craft. She is a professional certified coach with over 500 hours of coaching experience.

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