Effective Coaching


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This Power Point presentation shares the various methods to provide professional development to teachers and teacher assistants. The presentation also discusses the effects of quality coaching and the components of practice-based coaching. And finally, the Power Point presentation provides the three Ps of programmatic support to educational staff -- preparation, policies, and processes.

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  • Leadership is critical for starting and sustaining successful coaching programs. This session will provide an overview of NCQTL's coaching framework and will describe tools you can use to support program leaders as they implement evidence-based coaching models. Participants will learn about the "3 P's" of a successful coaching program: preparation, policies, and processes. We will share experiences from Head Start grantees with successful coaching programs, describe tools to use with program leaders, and offer online resources. Finally, participants will have an opportunity to discuss the supports and needs of their programs.
  • Teachers and caregivers experience a range of professional development opportunities. The Professional Development (PD) Tree represents some of these experiences.The PD Tree represents supports that can be used to help teachers implement quality teaching and learning experiences. PD supports can help teachers learn how to use high-quality activities as a context for teaching content aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework.Although the tree shows PD practices that will help teachers implement quality teaching and learning experiences, the ultimate goal of these PD experiences is to promote children’s learning and their school readiness
  • Quality coaching, quality teaching, and quality child learning are all interconnected. Quality coaching supports quality teaching. Quality teaching promotes school readiness for all children. It’s important to frame coaching and all professional development around one important outcome: school readiness for all children.
  • The coaching cycle components are (1) planning goals and action steps, (2) engaging in focused observation, and (3) reflecting on and sharing feedback about teaching practices. PracticeBased Coaching occurs within the context of a collaborative partnership. Each component in the cycle is designed to inform the actions taken by a coach or teacher during the subsequent component (or throughout the coaching process). The cyclical nature of Practice-Based Coaching emphasizes that expectations, understandings, and desired outcomes of coaching are regularly reviewed and updated.PracticeBased Coaching is a flexible tool that can be implemented in different delivery formats. Coaches can be experts, peers, or even oneself. Delivery can be on site or from a distance. More information about Practice Based Coaching is available at ECLKC. http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/center/development
  • The “3 P’s” communicate the importance of coaching to leaders, staff, and community stakeholders.   All three elements—policies, preparation, and processes—are critical features of successful coaching programs.PreparationPreparation to implement the coaching model; Preparing both coaches and teachers to participate in and benefit from coachingPoliciesArticulating policies that provide the foundation for and demonstrate the program’s commitment to quality coachingProcessesUsing data to support coaching and connecting to the larger school readiness goalsSome might also consider a fourth “P”: Personnel to emphasize staffing and support
  • Remember, the 3 P’s are not linear. It is important to think about all three when planning and implementing coaching programs. For the sake of discussion, we’ll start with preparation today.
  • Before implementing a Practice-Based Coaching program, the following questions should be considered:How does coaching fit into the grantee’s larger professional development program? What school readiness goals will coaching address in the professional development plan?Are the grantee’s stakeholders supportive of the coaching program?Have adequate resources been allocated for a coaching program to be implemented?Involving the stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, staff, families and community, in determining the goals, the design, and allocation of resources is an important step in developing a sustainable coaching program. See Guiding Questions for Stakeholders Handout.How can grantees allocate additional personnel? Some suggestions from the field:Reorganize how personnel are allocatedUse other “works” programs/ state programs to provide staffing resourcesUse grant money to fund additional personnelAssess how funds are being spentMultiple streams of fundingUsing TA dollars Shifting of current personnelUse administrator/managerCombining staff roles, such as transportation aidesTraining parentsTraining community volunteers (e.g., retired teachers)Training graduate studentsRe-assigning personnel to centers or classrooms based on priority for coaching
  • Coaching is a collaborative partnership between the coach and the teacher. It is essential that coaches have strong interpersonal skills and experience working with young children.Although there are no hard and fast rules for characteristics of effective coaches, it may be beneficial to look for the following characteristics:•Successful experience working with young children. It is helpful if coaches have “been there”. This provides credibility and helps the coach provide resources and support.•Extensive knowledge of the curriculum or model they will be coaching.•Understanding of adult learning strategies and collaborative teaming•Experience with the policies, procedures, and workplace culture of the center or grantee.A grantee should develop a core set of coaching skills that a high quality coach would need to possess. Establishing competencies will guide the hiring and training of coaches.Some example coaching competencies include:Ability to collaborate with teachers to determine needs and goals for the individual classroomAbility to facilitate teacher learning through positive feedback and constructive feedback Ability to obtain and analyze data to determine progress and needs of teachers and classrooms Ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders (i.e., teachers, program leaders) Ability to seek assistance from other professionals (e.g., community of coaches) as neededAbility to appropriately give and receive feedback to support learningCoaches should have opportunities for ongoing professional development and support in the training areas described above including adult learning strategies, content, and coaching strategies. The coach may also need training on the content and evidence-based practices on which he/she will be coaching. Often, coaches need support in how to handle difficult coaching situations, such as reluctant teachers, challenging child behaviors, and addressing difficult topics through supportive and constructive feedback. This support can be provided through peer support, supervision by a master coach, or a combination of these.Examples: Head Start Early Learning Mentor Coach grantees had periodic calls in which coaches discussed successes and concerns.Supervision by a master coach: feedback checklist from Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP) Center for the Advanced Study of Excellence (CASE) in Early Childhood and Family Support Practices. http://www.fipp.org/Collateral/casetools/casetools_vol2_no2.pdf.
  • Teachers should be prepared for coaching through training that includes an introduction to the coaching process and training in any skills specific to the coaching process. Before coaching begins, teachers should be given an overview of the goals of coaching and the difference between coaching and supervision. Teachers also need to be aware of how coaching will be delivered. Teachers should also be trained in any skills needed to interact with the coach , any equipment or documentation that will be used in the coaching process, and their roles.Ideally teachers are part of the process for determining the coaching purpose and procedures but when turnover occurs or when a program-wide coaching plan is implemented (i.e., a new curriculum is adopted), some teachers may need brought up to speed.Coaching is individualized for the teacher’s needs, but some elements of the coaching may be program- or center-wide such as how the coaching is delivered (distance vs onsite) Teachers may need equipment such as video recorders if a distance delivery format is used or software if tracking data electronically; forms for coaching such as action plans
  • Samples of these items will be available in the Program Leaders’ Guide.
  • To ensure coaching is a safe place for teachers, prior to coaching, coaches need time to observe and meet with teachers to establish the collaborative coaching partnership. The initial meeting between the coach and teacher should include:The teacher and coach’s goals for the coaching partnershipTeacher preferences for how coaching will be delivered, such as how the coach will provide support (e.g., cueing the teacher during the observation, during the feedback session, through video reflection, etc).A plan for the coach’s role in the classroom (e.g., interactions with children, times for visits, supporting the teacher before, during and after observations).As a program leader, it is important for you to make the distinction between coaching and evaluation. Begin by thinking about the purposes of these two activities. The purpose of coaching is to help teachers use or refine effective teaching practices. Effective teaching may also be a goal of evaluation procedures, but evaluation also serves a monitoring and compliance function.
  • Coaching requires a time commitment from both the coach and the teacher. How many teachers can  one coach support? That answer will vary depending on the needs and characteristics of the teachers and coach including: Type of coaching partners (i.e., expert, reciprocal/peer, self)Time for building the collaborative coaching partnership between the coach and teacherType of observation (i.e.,videotaping or on-site) Travel time by the coachLevel of need of the teachersClassroom schedules and teacher times available for observation and feedback meetingsShift in other duties or release from other duties for the teacher or coachPlanning and reflection time for the teacherCoaching Case Loads: Examples from Head Start Programs with Expert CoachingIn the Heartland Head Start program in Bloomington Illinois, coaches work with four to six classrooms. Coaches visit classrooms on a weekly basis and work with the teaching team (teacher, assistant teacher(s)) at the same time in most cases.  In the YMCA of the Central Bay Area Early Childhood Services program in California, one coach works with seven or eight classrooms. The coach works individually with teachers or with the teaching team depending on the practices being coaching. Suggestions for Reducing the Amount of Time Required for Coachingimplementing an alternative coach partner deliver method such as peer/reciprocal coaching or self-coachinggrouping teachers who are working on similar goals (reducing preparation and meeting time)meeting on a less frequent basis using email to deliver feedback (reducing time needed to meet on-site) observing via videotape (reducing time needed to observe on-site and travel)
  • Practice-based coaching focuses on what teachers do in the classroom to help children learn. This means we need three general types of information to plan, monitor, and evaluate a practice-based coaching program. We need information about:What are teachers doing in the classroom? (teacher practices)Is it working to support child learning? (child outcomes)What supports do teachers need? (professional development)Grantees will use their school readiness goals as a foundation for planning professional development that includes Practice-Based Coaching.
  • Data is the “key” to the house.Data connects coaching to child outcomes and progress towards school readiness goals. Data is collected on teacher implementation of practices and child outcomesThe connection between the larger professional development goals and identified child outcomes should be articulated and the connections with established school readiness goals should be clear.If improvement in teacher practices is evident but child outcomes after a reasonable time are not progressing then the plan should be evaluated.
  • At the classroom levelAssessments are used (including self-assessments) to determine teacher strengths and needs for coachingData is taken by the coach or teacher to determine progress towards achieving action plan steps and goalsAt the program levelAggregating data across teachers to determine if the coaching is effective overall Collecting data and information about teaching practices before, during, and after coaching allows the coach and teacher to determine what skills to target, how teaching practices have improved, and what additional supports may be necessary.
  • For practice-based coaching to be sustainable, a process for reviewing the strengths and needs of the model needs to be in place. Input and feedback should be gathered from all stakeholders (e.g., teachers, coaches, program leaders, other involved staff, families) and throughout the coaching process (e.g., before coaching, during coaching, and after the coaching model has been in place for a period of time)After a period of implementation, stakeholders should discuss the successes and challenges with the identified coaching plan and determine any changes that should be made. This process is repeated as changes are implemented to ensure that the coaching plan is meeting the needs of the teachers across the centers/sites.
  • Handouts: Abridged Case Studies 1 & 2; Guiding Questions for Stakeholders Activity Sheet
  • Effective Coaching

    2. 2. STROLL AND SHARE • Walk around the room and share your successes and struggles by placing a blank post-it note under a statement that matches your experience (or anticipated experience)!
    3. 3. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Technical Assistance Study Groups Co-Teaching Materials Practice-Based Coaching Consultation Mentoring Communities of Practice
    4. 4. EFFECTS OF QUALITY COACHING • All coaches use research-based strategies to support adult learning and professional development Quality Coaching Quality Teaching • All teachers and staff use effective curricula and research-based teaching practices • All children learn important skills and are ready for kindergarten Quality Learning
    5. 5. PRACTICE-BASED COACHING Practice-based coaching is a cyclical process for supporting teachers’ use of effective teaching practices that lead to positive outcomes for children
    6. 6. Components of Practice Based Coaching
    7. 7. “Adoption of coaching as a form of professional development is a complex endeavor that requires careful planning, system-wide changes, and ongoing support and review.” (Loyd & Modlin, 2012)
    8. 8. THE “3Ps” OF PROGRAMMATIC SUPPORT Programs must prepare to implement coaching and prepare coaches and teachers for the coaching process. Policies Preparation Processes Successful coaching programs are grounded in effective processes such as using data to support coaching and connect coaching to child outcomes. Sustained Quality Coaching Grantee policies, such as providing sufficient time for coaching and training for coaches and teachers, are critical and lay the foundation for effective coaching.
    9. 9. PREPARATION Preparation Practice Based Coaching
    10. 10. PREPARATION: GRANTEE-WIDE Stakeholders should: • work together to determine the goals and design of the coaching program. • agree on the allocation of resources to support and sustain coaching.
    11. 11. PREPARATION: COACHES • Provide training and ongoing support for coaches – Adopt a set of coaching competencies – Train coaches in coaching strategies, adult learning principles, administrative tasks and content as needed – Community of coaches
    12. 12. PREPARATION: TEACHERS • Provide training for teachers and other participants – Focus on expectations for coaching – Explain coaching procedures and purpose – Discuss the teacher’s roles and responsibilities in coaching – Any specific equipment or documentation needed for the coaching process
    13. 13. PREPARATION: PROGRAMMATIC SUPPORTS • Coaching Competencies • Coaching Contracts • Supervision Policy Statement
    14. 14. POLICIES Policies Preparation Practice Based Coaching
    15. 15. POLICIES • Establish coaching as a “Safe Place” – The teacher is able to try new things, get supportive and corrective feedback, and ask for help in a non-evaluative environment – When supervisors serve as coaches, roles are clearly defined – Data collected are clearly identified for coaching or for evaluation
    16. 16. POLICIES • Provide the time and supports needed for both teachers and coaches – Reasonable caseloads – Additional personnel for support – Time for all aspects of coaching
    17. 17. PROCESSES Processes Policies Preparation Practice Based Coaching
    18. 18. DATA PROCESSES
    19. 19. PROCESSES • Data guides coaching – At the classroom level – At the program level – Before, during, and after coaching
    20. 20. PROCESSES • Gathering information on coaching processes and progress regularly – Ensure sustainability by: • Review the strengths and needs of the coaching model • Gather input from all stakeholders
    21. 21. LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT PROGRAMMATIC SUPPORTS… • “Unpacking Coaching Success Stories” • Case Study
    22. 22. PROGRAM LEADERS’ GUIDE • Integrating Feedback • Refining the Guide
    23. 23. For more Information, contact us at: NCQTL@UW.EDU or 877-731-0764 This document was prepared under Grant #90HC0002 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, by the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning.
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