Teacher Development, Barnett Jr. High Sch., Arlington Independent Sch. Dist. Tx
CONTENT AND INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING
The word “coach” refers to the observer on the sidelines who provides explicit instruction, ongoing, detailed feedback regarding performance, and “in-the-moment” support to guide a player’s development. Our job-embedded coaching provides teachers and leaders with strategies to improve the quality of learning for all students as well as:
- Provide focused support to help educators reach the goals they have set for students through the enactment of research-based best practices in teaching and leading.
- Assist teachers and leaders contextualize district goals and practices they are learning in the district or school professional development, with vertical and horizontal application in their own classrooms.
- Using an inquiry approach to uncover the strengths, goals, and questions of student learning that educators bring to their work, bring their own content expertise to bear on the questions, and then decide what kinds of guidance, information, or scaffolding will help them to achieve their goals.
- Address specific issues of content area curriculum and instruction (including common core shifts) or focus on general instructional practices.
Our content and instructional coaching involve conversations about student learning data, goal-setting, and practices and may involve side-by-side support during the process of teaching or leading, and modeling instructional practices “live” in the classroom. We work in the context of each district’s teacher evaluation rubric and instructional framework, taking a growth-focused approach.
COACHING THE COACHES
Staying relevant in today changing educational landscape is essential. It is imperative that coaches receive professional development designed to support their challenging and important role in improving teaching and learning, and being as supportive to teachers as possible in order to shift classroom practice in alignment with districts’ visions of powerful instruction and higher academic standards. We support in-service, practicing coaches, people aspiring to become coaches and formal or informal teacher leaders who may wish to integrate coaching practices into their work with their colleagues while continuing to teach students.
Our coaching professional development utilizes
- Video or live observations of lessons of classroom instruction and coaching in action.
- We provide opportunities for participants to practice engaging in authentic coaching conversations to help increase their repertoire of skills in working with adult learners in supporting coaching knowledge and skill.
- We support coaches in developing their own subject-matter and instructional knowledge as well as their ability to collaborate with each other and with teachers as inquiry-based cohorts.
- Implement instructional practice shifts, in particular, those required by the Common Core State Standards.
- Deepen subject-matter content knowledge and develop effective classroom practices.
- Align district frameworks, content standards, grade-level expectations and instructional practices.
- Enhance the facilitation and coaching skills of teacher leaders, curriculum specialists, and those working directly with teachers to improve instructional practice.
- Use new teacher evaluation systems as a means for observing and analyzing instruction, giving feedback, and supporting the professional growth of teachers.
- Observe classroom instruction to identify leverage points for coaching work.
- Consider a range of coaching practices in relation to an identified purpose.
- Craft coaching schedules for maximum effect.
- Design powerful professional development experiences focused on student learning.
- Help develop a common vision and language around good instruction.
- Develop the principal-coach relationship and the skills needed for effective collaboration.