Instructional Coaching: Part 2
A Model to Build Instructional Coaching Coherence
by Howard Pitler, Ed.D.
The coaching cycle
To be most effective, coaching should be undertaken as a long-term process. A commonly used duration for a coaching cycle is one grading period. During each coaching cycle, the coach and coachee should begin by agreeing on a specific goal or goals to be accomplished. There should be a clear connection between the agreed-upon goal(s) and the school improvement plan and district strategic plan. Figure 2 is an example of a Coachee/Coach Goal Planning Template:
The initial planning process should identify not only the agreed-upon teacher learning goal for the coaching cycle but how to progress to the goal will be monitored. It is suggested that the coach and coachee work together to develop a rubric for the various components of the goal
Observation Planning Meeting
- The coach meets with the coachee to discuss the lesson to be observed.
- What is the learning intention?
- What activities will support the learning intention?
- differentiation to meet students need
- technology to enhance learning
- anticipated concept struggles
- informal/formal assessments of learning
- Teacher ‘stretch goal.”
The coach observes the lesson (or views a teacher-created video of the lesson) and takes notes based on the planning meeting.
Planning for the Reflective Meeting
- Share data
- Ask the teacher to reflect on the section focus of the lesson – using the data gathered from the tool
- Ask reflective questions
- Repeat and verify what you heard
- Set a goal that focuses on the change
- Offer a strategy to support the change
- Schedule the follow-up action
- Reflective Meeting Action Plan
Reflective Meeting Plan
- If the teacher understands the goal, create an action plan with him/her that includes:
- Action dates
- Who will be responsible for what
- How will you know if your plan is effective?
- If a teacher does not understand, you offer:
- To share research or professional article.
- To model.
- To co-teach.
- To co-plan
- To provide coverage while the teacher watches a master teacher
After the action plan is mutually developed between coach and coachee, a schedule of follow-up visits is developed to work the plan. An example of a follow-up schedules is below (Figure 3):
Everyone can benefit from having a coach. Professional sports teams have multiple coaches to help outstanding players reflect on their craft with the goal of becoming better. A good instructional coach can provide the same benefit for teachers. Just as a group of football coaches work under the head coach to move the team toward an agreed-upon goal, district instructional coaches will be most effective as a group if they have agreed-upon processes and procedures that move the district toward their goals. Coaching is specific to each individual coachee, but having a common set of procedures and protocols for all coaches will help the district move forward.
CUREE (2005) National Framework for Mentoring and Coaching, available here.