Instructional Coaching Presentation (Sessions 1 and 2)


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EARCOS Leadership Conference 2010
1. What is an instructional coach?
2. Why should I have an instructional coach at my school?
3. What does research say about the impact on student learning and cost benefits?
4. What does an instructional coach do?
5. What are the keys to successful coaching programs?
6. Which leadership skills enable coaches to lead reform efforts in school?
7. What qualities should I look for in a coach?

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  • Improving the quality of instruction is directly linked to positively impacting student achievement.
  • The instructional coach should be an exemplary teachers with a deep understanding of the interventions they are sharing with teachers. They should be able to pull a repertoire of strategies from their “tool box” as needed to meet the diverse needs of the teachers they work with.
  • Coaches are effective relationship builders. Teachers see them as a peer.
    ...... create safe environments that promote open and reflective professional conversations.

  • Top Down Feedback: Coach uses data to shape the teacher
    Partnership Feedback: Circular - data -- coach--dialogue---teacher--data
  • The Big Four Framework is used as a guide to incorporate research-based interventions. Identify and assist with implementation of proven teaching methods.

  • Equality
  • Trust is essential
  • Brainstorm some reasons arguing why a school shouldn’t...
  • The pressure to improve instruction is greater today than at any other time in history. Instructional coaching, helps schools respond to the pressure.
  • Usually getting no better than a 10 % implementation rate. Quick fixes or one-shot programs (weekend workshops) fail to address practical concerns or lack follow-up.
  • Typical workshops....Instructional Coaches understand change as a process. Sometimes you need to through the cycle 3-4 times. It’s normal that teachers will “drop the ball” after a few weeks. This is where instructional coaches can support change as a process.

  • Through healthy, empathetic conversation, ICs help teachers move away from regressive interactions in which personal responsibility is reflected most through blaming external factors such as parents and administrators to progressive interactions that involve “effective knowledge processing.

  • Natalie Gilbert, a 13 year-old, began singing the National Anthem before a basketball game between the Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks on April 25, 2003. When Gilbert struggled to find the correct words for the song and became flustered, Trail Blazers’ Coach Maurice Cheeks came to her side.

  • Reflections from Father Guido

  • Getting teachers onboard. Interviews, small-group teams, large group meetings (workshop style - with follow-up, principal referral (big 4 walk-through) as a choice (video, books/articles...IC), informal conversations
  • The interview is a powerful way to get to know the teacher, learn about their professional goals and narrow our focus.

  • hold one-to-one or small group meetings

  • Breaks down teaching strategy, lays out step-by-step procedures, suggests what teacher should observe during the model lesson, does everything possible to make it easier for teachers to implement,
  • asks about and addresses collaborating teacher’s concerns, co-constructs observation form with teacher
  • Coach makes herself vulnerable
  • provide concrete description of what you’ll be doing, clarify roles for behavioral management
  • Safe, encouraging, direct praise
  • Critical teaching behaviors, fidelity to scientifically proven practices, student behavior and performance, additional teacher concerns

  • Dialogue and reflections, rather than stating a single truth, should be constructive, but provisional, empathetic and respectful. Coach and teacher identify what data will be gathered.
  • collaboratively plan with teachers to identify when and how to implement effective

  • More modeling, observation, collaborative exploration of data and professional dialogue.

  • Can be tied into school initiative, small group book studies, etc.
  • What was supposed to happen?
  • What happened? What accounts for the difference?

  • What will I do differently this time?

  • Too many things need to be done... coaches have a flexible schedule... job descriptions are vague.... Coaches must spend the bulk of their time working with teachers on instruction.. .collaborating with teachers, preparing lessons or modeling/observing in the classroom.
  • repertoire of tools; deep understanding of scientifically proven practices they can share with teachers to help them improve in any or all of the “Big Four” areas of behavior, content knowledge, instruction and formative assessment.
  • Without their own professional development, instructional coaches run the risk of being ineffective, wasting time and money or even misinforming teachers.
  • How to deepen their knowledge and employ powerful, proven practices and improve their professional skills in areas such as communication, relationship building, change management and leadership.
  • This come back to the partnership philosophy. a) coaches and teachers are equal partners b) teachers should have a choice about what and how they learn c) teachers should reflect and apply learning to their real-life practice as they are learning d) pro d should be authentic dialogue e) coaches should respect and enable the voices of teachers.
  • In most cases, if the principal does not support the coach, the coach will not be effective.

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