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The Counter Narrative Podcast Season 2, Episode 19: Interview with Craig Randall

The Counter Narrative Podcast Season 2, Episode 19: Interview with Craig Randall


Welcome to the Counter Narrative Podcast, a show designed to change the way we talk, and think, about education. By sharing stories of successes and triumphs, we aim to challenge the dominant narrative that often negatively portrays our disenfranchised populations.

I’m your host, Charles Williams. An educator for 15 years, a current school principal in Chicago, and an educational consultant.

Let’s get started.

In this episode, I chat with Craig Randall who has had an eclectic educational career. He started as an elementary school counselor then worked a year in the classroom with students who had severe behavior issues, before taking a major detour into small college basketball coaching for a number of years. Taking another significant detour, Craig and his wife Michele decided to fulfill a dream by working at international schools. Craig taught in Warsaw, Poland while also pursuing his principal certification. He moved into school administration, first as an assistant principal and then principal as they worked their way around the globe. Along the way, not terribly aware of it at the time, he was developing what became Trust-Based Observations. He and his family returned to the US after a decade overseas and he wrote Trust-Based Observations, which came out in September, and now he is busy striving to change the world of teacher observations to a model of support that fosters risk taking and growth.

During our conversation, we talk about the dreaded teacher observations. To be honest, this is one of those things that neither teachers nor administrators enjoy. And that is precisely why Craig set out to do them differently. He points out that teaching is an art and should be treated as such. Traditional observational approaches place pressure on accountability and leads to teachers playing it safe instead of being innovative and creative. Instruction becomes more about checking off boxes than authentic learning opportunities.

Listen as Craig shares some practical tips and suggestions for revamping this outdated and ineffective approach to improving teacher practices.

I want to thank you for listening to The Counter Narrative Podcast. If you like what you are hearing, please be sure to like and subscribe. The show can be found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several of your other favorite platforms.

This podcast is also featured on, where you can find educational articles, videos, and interviews with educators from around the globe.

Be sure to connect with the host and other listeners by following the show on Twitter at @theCNpodcast and joining the show’s Facebook Group.

Take care.

Charles Williams has served in urban education for 15 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal while working with students in grades PK - 12. He has developed innovative programs and structures that have resulted in successful schools in both Indiana and Illinois. He has also presented and spoken at numerous events. Charles is the founder of CW Consulting, an Educational Consulting Group, the host of the Counter Narrative Podcast, and the host of Real Educators Talk, a monthly discussion designed to engage educators in authentic conversations around education.


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