Principals Boost Coaching's Impact

School leaders' support is critical to collaboration

By Learning Forward
Categories: Coaching, Implementation, Leadership
February 2015
For the past 12 years, I have worked with peer coaches in more than 40 countries, and I have seen schools where peer coaches have collaborated with colleagues to improve teaching and learning in classrooms across the school. In other schools, coaches have played a critical role in creating a culture of collaboration that helps build the school’s collective capacity to improve teaching and learning. But in many schools, coaching is yet another small-scale, short-lived educational experiment. Explaining the differences in success is key to understanding how to implement coaching successfully. Successful coaches know their effectiveness in collaborating with peers to improve teaching and learning hinges on the support of principals who control the budget and other key resources. Many coaches also understand that the

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Les Foltos

Les Foltos ( is founder and director of Peer-Ed, which helps teacher leaders develop the skills they need to coach colleagues. This article is adapted from his book, Peer Coaching: Unlocking the Power of Collaboration (Corwin Press, 2013).

What is Your Coaching Focus?



Foltos, L. (2013). Peer coaching: Unlocking the power of collaboration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fullan, M. (2011). Whole system reform for innovative teaching and learning. Available at

Killion, J. & Hirsh S. (2013, August). Investments in professional learning must change. JSD, 34(4), 10-28.

Knight, J. (2011). Unmistakable impact: A partnership approach for dramatically improving instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Meyer, K., Peterson, K., McMann, M., King-George, S., Ragan, V., Huston, M., & Foltos, L. (2011). Coaching plan. Peer Coaching V4. Available at (Requires login.)

+ posts

Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

Categories: Coaching, Implementation, Leadership

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    February 2024

    How do you know your professional learning is working? This issue digs...

    December 2023

    Professional learning can open up new roles and challenges and help...

    October 2023

    Both special education and general education teachers need support to help...

    August 2023

    Prioritizing professional learning time is an investment in educators and...

    Skip to content