Michael (Mike) Nelson began his career as an elementary school teacher before becoming an elementary school principal. As a district leader, he led learning initiatives in two Washington state school districts. As the superintendent for Washington’s (EEE)Enumclaw school district, he led several initiatives to improve cultural support and academic outcomes for Native students. In 2019, the Washington Association of School Administrators named him the Washington State Superintendent of the Year.

Peter DeWitt (Ed.D) is the founder and CEO of the Instructional Leadership Collective. He was a K-5 teacher for 11 years and a principal for 8 years. For the last 10 years, he has been facilitating professional learning nationally, and internationally, based on the content of many of his best-selling educational books.

Show Highlights

The importance of having an inner fire to do great things for others.

Strategies for lowering suspension rates and conducting classroom walkthroughs.

The 6 parts of the Instructional Leadership Reflective document.
  1. free reflection document during the show

The value of listening and understanding from the student perspective

Examples of Success Criteria, implementation and reflecting on student engagement.

How to get school boards to engage in the conversation about the need for coaching at all levels of leadership.

Redefining collaborative communities and collective.

“One of the things that I have learned is you always care about the people in the room, whether you’re a teacher or a principal or you’re facilitating workshops. One of the things that I’ve learned over the past three years of working with Mike is I’m much more intentional in what I do with that carrying.”
- Peter DeWitt

“Instructional Leadership Academy, where people are coming together to talk collectively, the word collective means something different to us. Danny and I think that’s the key is it’s this integrated approach. And if I could describe it, not only are we talking about work, but I’m making you better, and you’re making me better with each and every conversation that we have together. And we’re building this network with each other and support.”
- Mike Nelson

Dr Chris Jones
Dr Chris Jones

Read my latest book!

Learn why the ABCs of powerful professional development™ work – Grow your skills by integrating more Authenticity, Belonging, and Challenge into your life and leadership.  

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How We Serve Leaders


The School Leadership Scorecard™

Identify your highest leverage areas for growth this year in 10 -minutes or less.   



Month-to-Month Principal Checklist

As a principal with so much to do, you might be thinking, where do I even start?

When you download The Principal Checklist you’ll get

  • 12-months of general tasks that every campus need to do
  • Space to write your campus specific items.
  • Space to reflect and not what worked as well as a space of what didn’t work

Go to https://betterleadersbetterschools.com/principal-checklist to download now.


Ruckus Maker Mindset Tool™

The “secret” to peak performance is ot complicated.  It’s a plan on how to optimize the five fundamentals found in The Ruckus Maker Mindset Tool™.



The Positive Spotlight Tool™

Energy flows to where attention goes!

If you want to get more of what you want, when you want it as a school leader I have a tool for you…

Download The Positive Spotlight Tool™ for free here:



The Ruckus Maker 8-Step Goal Setting Tool™

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With less effort and in less time?

When you download The Ruckus Maker 8-Step Goal Setting Tool™  I’ll send you the tool and a short 8-minute coaching video that shows you how to work smarter, not harder…and create more value for your school campus.

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How much student talk happened today?
When classrooms come alive with conversation, learning improves, students feel a sense of belonging, and teachers feel inspired.

The TeachFX instructional coaching app gives teachers powerful insights into their student talk, student engagement, and classroom conversation.

With TeachFX, teachers see how much student talk happened, the moments of students sharing their brilliance, and the questions that got students talking. Learn how to pilot TeachFX with your teachers. Visit: teachfx.com/betterleaders


Why do students struggle? I’d argue that they lack access to quality instruction, but think about it. That’s totally out of their control. What if there was something we could teach kids there was something within their control that would help them be successful in every class? It’s not a magic pill or a figment of your imagination.

When students internalize Executive Functioning Skills they succeed.
Check out the new self-paced online course brought to you by OB that shows teachers how to equip their students with executive functioning skills.

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