Jim Knight highlights seven foundational must-haves of coaching programs that work.
"Coaches and onsite professional developers often find themselves in high-stakes, critically important roles expected to lead school reform efforts with little or no professional preparation for successfully performing such tasks. . . . While every coaching situation presents unique challenges,
an established process for guiding the coaching experience ensures that instructional coaches have all the tools they need to help teachers set and achieve their goals."
Steven Montemarano reflects on what it took to build a coaching program from the ground up.
"We knew that
any instructional program is doomed to fail without routine communication to all relevant stakeholders—including our teachers' union, administration, and Board of Education. . . . By having all parties agree on a shared vision it helps pave the way for impactful instructional coaching."
"I often hear schools talk about creating a culture of collaboration, and not just that their staff is collaborating but that they take on the beliefs and spirit of collaboration as well. The ultimate goal is that this culture will produce meaningful and lasting results for their students. . . .
To change or create a culture, you need everyone to support the work. It can't just be administration (top down), just teachers (grass roots is great, but if you don't have structures, professional learning, and institutional support it can fall short), or just coaches."
Steve Barkley explores ideas for building relationships with teachers who are new to working with a coach or mentor.
"Mentors might start by having the beginning teacher coach the mentor. Invite the beginning teacher into the mentor's classroom to observe and provide feedback. Model for the mentee the way she can request coaching from the mentor. Coaches can work with mentors to introduce coaching and mentoring as a gift.
All teachers deserve coaching vs need coaching."
Howard Pitler provides 6 tips for implementing a coaching program.
"For a coaching program to be successful it is important to have a culture in the school oriented toward growth and focused on the idea that everyone can and should improve. . . .
Coaching shouldn't be viewed as something only struggling teachers get. Over time, everyone in the organization should have the opportunity to be coached. That includes teachers, principals, and central office staff."
Jason MacDonald shares his 3 tips for establishing a coaching role with the school leadership team and how to address teacher-coach confidentiality.
Teacher-Coach confidentiality is absolutely paramount in an instructional coaching role. Without relationships that are built on trust, the coach cannot be successful in making a difference in the lives of teachers and kids. . . . And so, when confronted with an awkward question about a teacher, try to discuss a school's successes and shortcomings as a whole; it will help you to maintain a healthy relationship with both principals and teachers."
Bonus Resources for New ICs 🎉
Embarking on the journey of instructional coaching can be both exciting and nerve-racking, and may even have you asking yourself: "now what do I do?" Check out our Coaching Roundup topic from February to learn from fellow coaches on how they transitioned into their role and some tips they’ve learned along the way. 😀