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Coach It Further

Coach It Further
Using the Art of Coaching to Improve School Leadership

Foreword by Coach Ron Mulson

September 2018 | 224 pages | Corwin

Practical strategies for building coach-leader relationships


Leadership is complex work. High quality leadership coaching is one of the most effective methods of professional development for leaders. Coach It Further uses a narrative format to illustrate the important aspects of leadership that leaders and coaches can work on together to achieve their shared goals. It includes:

  • Authentic stories from leaders and students
  • The Collaborative Leadership Growth Cycle, which provides leaders with a starting point and specific steps to take to reach their goals
  • Strategies for the four priorities research shows school leaders are most concerned about: collective efficacy, communication, student and family engagement, and political climate
  • Reflection questions for leadership coaches to use with their leader-coaches  

Whether you are a seasoned coach, a leader looking to be coached, or a leader looking for guidance on how to coach burgeoning leaders among your staff, this book will build your confidence and provide you with valuable insights and strategies. 

Watch Peter's interview with WNYT-NBC as he discusses Coach It Further.


Offers a model of how educators can engage in the art of leadership coaching. School administrators will connect to the realistic, varied, and detailed examples illustrating the complexities of leadership. Here you will find thoughtful insights and practical suggestions for improving the quality of leadership coaching in your practice.

–Jenni Donohoo, Best-selling author and Professional Learning Facilitator


A must-read for school leaders and leadership coaches. You will connect to the real struggles of a principal learning to be coached. This book is chock-full of research, tips, and examples to help you improve your self-efficacy as a leader.

–Jessica Johnson, School Leader

Co-Author of The Coach Approach to School Leadership and Breaking Out of Isolation

Why We Need Coaches in Educational Leadership  
Stories Matter  
Audience for This Book  
The Self-Efficacy of Leadership  
Leadership Shouldn’t Be a Solitary Pursuit  
Coach’s Corner: Virtual Coaching  
Special Features  
About the Author
Chapter 1: Beginning a Coaching Relationship
What to Do Versus What Not to Do  
Coach’s Corner: Strategies for Coaching Assistant Principals  
Am I In Over My Head?  
Coach’s Corner: Strategies for Addressing Insecurities  
Coach’s Corner: Leadership PLCs on Voxer  
It’s Time for a Coach  
Chapter 2: Gavin “Accepts” Coaching
Coaching Credibility  
Introducing Leadership Coach Michelle Hebert  
Coach’s Corner: Credibility Matters  
Of Course I Want to Be Coached!  
Coach’s Corner: The Preengagement Survey  
Let Go of Coaching Myths  
Coach’s Corner: Sample Questions for Coaches to Ask Leaders  
Chapter 3: Fostering a Supportive School Climate
Interact With Students and Staff at the Beginning of Each Day  
Emphasize the Positive  
Coach’s Corner: Student Focus Groups  
Be Transparent About the Coaching  
Invite Everyone to Work Toward the Mission  
Coach’s Corner: Improving the Culture of the School  
Embrace Vulnerability  
Believe in Your Own Capability  
Coach’s Corner: Self-Efficacy Review  
Improve the Climate First, Then the Culture  
Coach’s Corner: Fostering an Inclusive School Climate  
Coach’s Corner: Coaching and School Climate  
Coach’s Corner: Where Do You Want to Start?  
Where Should Gavin Start?  
Coach’s Corner: Ways to Strengthen a Collaborative Culture  
Chapter 4: Gavin Becomes More OPEN to Coaching
What It Means to Be More OPEN to Coaching  
Coach’s Corner: Set Ground Rules  
Coach’s Corner: Walk-Throughs  
Whose Agenda Is This?  
Coach’s Corner: Understand Your Coachee’s Needs  
Gavin Seeks Advice From a Friend  
Chapter 5: Gavin Establishes His Goal
Why Does Collective Efficacy Still Matter?  
Coach’s Corner: Understand the Research You Promote  
Coach’s Corner: Raise Self-Efficacy  
Coach’s Corner: Assess Your Own Style of Coaching  
Four Priorities of Leadership  
Chapter 6: A Survey That Inspires Collaboration
The Survey That Inspired It All  
Coach’s Corner: Collaborative Leadership Team (CLT)  
The Morning After  
Coach’s Corner: Create a Collaborative Leadership Team (CLT)  
Collaborative Leadership Team  
Coach’s Corner: Strategies to Overcome the Challenges of Distance  
Surface to Deep  
Chapter 7: Priority I—Collective Efficacy
How Can Gavin Maximize His Time?  
Coach’s Corner: Do What You Love  
Coach’s Corner: Beware of Educational Jargon  
Coach’s Corner: Strategies to Increase Trust in Schools  
Coach’s Corner: Coaching Your Assistant Principals  
Chapter 8: Priority II—Communication
Enabling Conditions  
Coach’s Corner: Assess Your Communication Practices  
Coaching Communication  
Coach’s Corner: Establish Communication Frequency  
Complications of Communication  
Communication With Assistant Principals  
Communication With Staff  
Coach’s Corner: Communication Mistakes to Avoid  
Coach’s Corner: Feedback Triggers to Watch Out For  
Coaching Challenging Conversations  
Coach’s Corner: Ways to Challenge in Conversations  
Chapter 9: Priority III—Student and Community Engagement
Collaborative Leadership Team Explores Family Engagement  
Coach’s Corner: Encourage Coachees to Assess Family Focus  
The Collaborative Leadership Team Realizes All Doesn’t Mean All  
Working With Outside Organizations  
Coach’s Corner: Encourage Community Engagement  
What Should Community Engagement Look Like?  
Michelle’s Community Engagement Coaching Conversation  
Chapter 10: Priority IV—The Political Climate
Negative Rhetoric Affects Us Too  
Hattie’s Politics of Distraction  
Coach’s Corner: Beware of the Politics of Distraction  
The Collaborative Leadership Team Gets Distracted  
Epilogue: Where Does Gavin Go From Here?
Understanding Priorities  
Four Priorities  

Dr. Peter DeWitt writes from the perspective of someone who has had an exceptionally varied combination of life experiences; the struggling student, the honors student, the teacher in both urban and rural educational settings, the administrator, the scholar, and the advocate for those in need of support. He is a rare combination of theorist and pragmatist and his insights on leadership and coaching are both thought-provoking and useful.  They also may help many educators get closer to that ever-elusive good night’s sleep.

Ron Mulson
Hudson Valley Community College

In this well-timed book, Peter DeWitt uses evidence-based stories to illustrate how educators can engage in the art of leadership coaching. School administrators will make multiple connections to the realistic, varied, and detailed examples DeWitt uses to illustrate the complexities of leadership. If you’re looking to improve the quality of leadership coaching in schools and districts, you’ll find thoughtful insights and practical suggestions contained throughout. 

Jenni Donohoo
Best-selling author and Professional Learning Facilitator

Coach It Further is a must-read for school leaders and leadership coaches. This is not your typical professional learning book. I promise you will enjoy reading as you follow the scenario of a principal learning to be coached. You will also make connections with the real struggles of leadership and coaching. This book is chock full of research, tips ,and examples to help you build your self-efficacy as a leader and lead your school to build collective efficacy.

Jessica Johnson
school leader and author

Peter DeWitt has a credible authenticity that strikes a chord of recognition with teachers and principals. In Coach It Further he further develops the critical factor of collective efficacy and shows how a skilled coach can help a principal break a school cultural impasse and move a struggling school forward. This excellent book has a readability quality that will engage all readers.

Neil MacNeill, Head Master Ellenbrook Independent Primary School Western Australia
Neil MacNeill, Head Master Ellenbrook Independent Primary School Western Australia

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ISBN: 9781506399492