Episode 36 – Craig Randall – Trust Me On This

Adam DeWittPrincipal Leadership Lab Podcast

Join Adam & Jeff for this Friday edition as we speak with Craig Randall. Craig has worked as an elementary and middle school counselor, including one intense year in the classroom with students with severe behavior issues. In addition he has served as an academic advisor at the college level. He has worked as a collegiate basketball coach. He has worked as a teacher at the elementary, middle, and high school levels as well as in college.

And, of course, Craig has worked in the job of his passion and calling: assistant principal and principal. Craig has done his work at schools both in the US and overseas. Now, as the author of the book and founder of the business with the same name: Trust-Based Observations, Craig’s goal is to transform the world of teacher observation and evaluation. He is dedicated to training and consulting school leaders on the use of Trust-Based Observations, empowering them to build supportive relationships with their teachers, relationships which foster risk-taking, which in turn, dramatically improve teaching and learning.

Craig’s Story:

Classroom teacher had to restrain kids, at one point, for 180 straight days!

Has coached in his career

Work international – Warsaw, Poland

Principal endorsement – became AP in Korea

Differences in countries – kids are kids wherever you go

Focus on global citizenship

“Week without Walls”

Service trips, internships

Transition from “School Person” to business owner/author

Anything more than 10 indicators, and we start to lose the forest for the trees…

While in Brazil, a principal said he wanted him to teach other people

Teachers responded well to it. – what part(s) of it did they respond well to?

What were you doing to help students learn vs. what were you teaching

Left principal prep program ready to observe & evaluate….

Felt like it was arrogant of him to tell a teacher what she was doing wrong, give pointers…

TBO Model – what are the steps?

We don’t rate the pedagogy – teachers stop taking risks, start playing it safe

Teachers select action research projects

12 twenty min observations per week
3 reflective conversations per week
Convo happens in teacher’s room
Ask permission to sit beside
Ask questions, fill in template
Share what we notice
Risk taking & Innovation

Prioritizing Time – what can you hand off?

Leadership Struggle

Made a mistake as a principal. Needed to have a challenging conversation.  Plan out the approach and prepare for what you may encounter.


WE can create trusting relationships and safe spaces.

Creating comfortable environments to be able to deal with uncomfortable situations




Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt



Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt



Principal Leadership Lab

Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


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