Obviously, if coaches have a superficial knowledge of the information they share with teachers, they will not know what to emphasize when they discuss, model or observe during professional learning with teachers. (b) Help —How should students ask for help? If they don’t like the coach, they’ll even resist helpful teaching practices.Jim Collins’ study of great organizations in Good to Great offers additional insight into the desirable attributes of an effective coach. First, coaches should engage in various professional learning activities designed to improve their coaching practices. First, instructional coaches must be excellent teachers, particularly because they will likely provide model lessons in other teachers’ classrooms. Click here to let us know what you thought about this article. Office of Assessment and Evaluation . What I mean is that, although they impact students in positive ways, they are a bit more separated from the consistent daily involvement that classroom teachers have with students. It’s no longer enough to say something is working. This seems obvious, but the most frequent concern raised by the more than 300 instructional coaches we worked with in 2005 was that they are asked to complete so many non-instructional tasks they had little time left to work with teachers. Involving coaches in the process of writing their evaluation guidelines accomplishes at least three goals. Evaluating Coaches Evaluation is a major mechanism for continuous improvement of any coaching program. Trust is an essential component of an open coaching relationship. Second, it increases coaches’ buy-in to the guidelines and process of being evaluated since they created them. Jim Knight is a research associate and the director of Instructional Coaching Institutes at the Kansas University Center for Research on Learning, 1122 West Campus Road, Suite 508, Lawrence, KS 66045. After the learning process is completed, coaches can do the final observation and see if the goal was met at the area was improved. If leaders ask coaches to hold the dual role of administrator and coach, they put their coaches in a difficult situation. Without their own professional development, instructional coaches run the risk of being ineffective, wasting time and money or even misinforming teachers. E-mail: jknight@ku.edu. If a coach is too passive about change, chances are that little will happen in the school. Indeed, the most critical factor related to the success or failure of a coaching program may be the skills and attributes of the instructional coach. Indeed, the most critical factor related to the success or failure of a coaching program may be the skills and attributes of the instructional coach. First, it enables school districts to develop a rubric for evaluating coaches that is especially designed for coaches. The coaches develop a deep understanding of scientifically proven practices they can share with teachers to help them improve in any or all of the four areas. Simply put, if teachers like a coach, they usually will try out what the coach suggests. Then, the Passport coaches participate in a week-long summer institute where they deepen their knowledge of the teaching practices they will share with teachers. Then, the Passport coaches participate in a week-long summer institute where they deepen their knowledge of the teaching practices they will share with teachers. No matter how much a coach knows, and no matter how effective a coach is, the principal’s voice is ultimately the one most important to teachers. Paying coaches to copy and bind standards documents or shop for math lab furniture or serve as a substitute teacher is a poor way to spend money and perhaps an even poorer way to improve teaching practices in schools. The Instructional Coaching Assessment (Reddy, Glover, Kurz, & Elliott, 2017) is an online, multirater assessment system that provides feedback reports to support the evaluation and development of instructional coaching talent. In this way, the coach and principal fully understand all the tools they have at their command to help students. Proven research-based interventions.If instructional coaches are going to make a difference in the way teachers teach, they need to have scientifically proven practices to share. Coaching Documentation Resources 4 5 A performance evaluation is not the same as coaching. Fourth, the coach and principal discuss teaching practices they would like to share with each other. Hiring coaches but not ensuring they have proven practices is a bit like trying to paint a beautiful painting without any art supplies. Second, the coach and principal solve problems together. If an instructional coach and teacher agree to address content knowledge, the coach collaborates with teachers to develop critical questions, course and unit content maps and concept diagrams using scientifically proven “content enhancement routines” developed by Keith Lenz, Jan Bulgren and other researchers at the Kansas University Center for Research on Learning. Teachers often have a great deal of evidence that tells them whether they are having an impact on their students. Ensuring principals and coaches work together.The instructional coach can be and should be the right-hand person of the principal when it comes to instructional leadership in schools, but the principal must remain the instructional leader. The coaches develop a deep understanding of scientifically proven practices they can share with teachers to help them improve in any or all of the four areas. In this way, the coach and principal fully understand all the tools they have at their command to help students.Hiring the right instructional coaches. Second, professional development for coaches should deepen their knowledge about the teaching practices they are sharing with teachers. Principals who do not understand the importance of protecting the coaching relationship may act in ways that make it difficult for a coach to be successful. School leaders who use IC’s as assistant principals or school informants are only setting up a bad dynamic. Additionally, the center’s instructional coaches improve their professional skills in areas such as communication, relationship building, change management and leadership. In this way, the coach and principal fully understand all the tools they have at their command to help students.Hiring the right instructional coaches. Similarly, if an instructional coach and teacher need to work on classroom management tactics, the coach can use the classroom expectations planning sheets from Randy Sprick’s “CHAMPs: A proactive and positive approach to Classroom Management” as a tool for collaboratively developing a classroom management plan with the teacher. (d) Movement — What kind of movement, if any, is permitted? Consequently, if coaches and others are careless with their comments or suggestions about teachers’ practices in the classroom, they run the risk of offending teachers, damaging relationships, or at the very least not being heard. At the same time, if a coach is too self-centered or aggressive, there is a good chance the coach will push teachers away. Additionally, leaders can make it easier for coaches to succeed by protecting the coaching relationship and by preparing coaches and principals to work together effectively. At the same time, if a coach is too self-centered or aggressive, there is a good chance the coach will push teachers away. Involving coaches in the process of writing their evaluation guidelines accomplishes at least three goals. If a coach is too passive about change, chances are that little will happen in the school. © 2019 AASA, The School Superintendents Association. For that reason, coaches must understand fully what their principals’ vision is for school improvement, and principals need to understand fully the interventions that their coaches have to offer teachers. Simply put, if teachers like a coach, they usually will try out what the coach suggests. SEL has always been important, but it is now more important than ever. Instructional coaches and the leaders of the Pathways to Success project in Topeka, Kan., have done just this. Effective coaches embody what Collins describes as a “compelling combination of personal humility and professional will.” They are affirmative, humble and deeply respectful of classroom teachers, but they are unwilling to rest unless they achieve significant improvements in teaching and learning in their schools.Evaluating Coaches Evaluation is a major mechanism for continuous improvement of any coaching program. A former K-5 public school principal turned author, presenter, and independent consultant, DeWitt provides insights and advice for education leaders. When planned carefully and when the success factors are addressed, instructional coaching can begin to deliver on the promise of making a real difference in schools.Jim Knight is a research associate and the director of Instructional Coaching Institutes at the Kansas University Center for Research on Learning, 1122 West Campus Road, Suite 508, Lawrence, KS 66045. To respond to the needs expressed by principals around instructional leadership, Knox County Schools widened the scope of principal coaching and evaluation to include school leadership team meetings, weekly professional learning community (PLC) meetings, and classroom lessons. Coaching is a non-evaluative, learning relationship between a professional developer and a teacher, both of whom share the expressed goal of learning together, thereby improving instruction and student achievement. Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math. Second, it increases coaches’ buy-in to the guidelines and process of being evaluated since they created them. Finally, the effectiveness and continual improvement of any coaching program hinges on hiring the right people and evaluating them professionally.Instructional coaching holds much potential for improving the way teachers teach and the way students learn, but that potential will only be realized if leaders plan their coaching program with care. Second, professional development for coaches should deepen their knowledge about the teaching practices they are sharing with teachers. They need to be ambitious for change in their schools and willing to do, as Collins emphasizes, “whatever it takes” to improve teaching practices. description of the Instructional Coach. The domains and components of an instructional coach’s responsibilities are as follows: Planning and Preparation • Demonstrates knowledge of current trends in specialty area and professional development • Demonstrates knowledge of the school’s/ district initiatives, and levels of … Instructional coaches help fill that gap, and play an instrumental role in helping schools, both low and high achieving, reach their absolute highest capacity for helping students. Third, the coach reports on what she or he has done since the previous week’s meeting. Whether it’s naysayers who don’t believe in the position, district leaders who make knee-jerk reactions, or the reality that we all have to prove our impact, collective qualitative and quantitative evidence is a must. However, evaluating the coaching relationship is relevant at any point in the process, to ensure it remains on track and continues to be beneficial > Evaluation involves reflection on the coaching relationship (How do we reflect on the coaching relationship? Coaches often employ collaborative conversations (sometimes referred to as conferences), model lessons, observations, and mutual problem solving to assist teachers in implementing and mastering new teaching practices. A few months later as coaches are trying to enroll teachers (meaning, getting teachers to work with them), the state ELA test scores come in and the scores are down. Consequently, if coaches and others are careless with their comments or suggestions about teachers’ practices in the classroom, they run the risk of offending teachers, damaging relationships, or at the very least not being heard. In Pflugerville, middle and elementary principals, along with the directors of special education, language arts, mathematics and technology, attended sessions with their lead teachers and coaches to ensure that both administrators and coaches developed a shared understanding of each coach’s goals, responsibilities and methods. Another way to ensure principals are on the same page as their coaches has been adopted by principals working with instructional coaches from the center’s Pathways to Success GEARUP project in Topeka, Kan. They also need to be flexible since their job requires them to change their plans almost daily to meet the changing needs of teachers. Evaluating instructional coaches can offer unique challenges because no one in a district, including the principal, may ever have been a coach before and there may be no guidelines for evaluating coaches.One way to address this challenge is to involve coaches in the process of creating guidelines, standards and tools to be used for their evaluation. Specifically, project leaders and coaches have collaborated to spell out in detail the knowledge coaches need to have about the various scientifically proven teaching practices they are sharing with teachers. First and foremost, this approach prevents coaches from empowering teachers with the skills necessary to help students improve in ELA (notice how I didn’t say testing!). Fourth, the coach and principal discuss teaching practices they would like to share with each other. Usually people are more guarded when they talk with their bosses than when they talk with their peers. Third, the dialogue coaches have while creating the guidelines is an excellent form of professional development.Coaching FixesSchool district leaders can increase the likelihood that their instructional coaching program will succeed if they ensure their coaches have sufficient time to work on instruction with teachers and their coaches know how to coach and what to share with teachers. One way to know what has been lost is through testing, but is it reasonable, Thu., January 21, 2021, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. All the factors described here will not yield success if the wrong people are hired as coaches. E-mail: jknight@ku.edu. Also, a principal who is unaware of the tools that an instructional coach can offer will be unable to suggest them to teachers who might benefit from learning them.District administrators in Pflugerville, Texas, a district with three high schools, four middle and 15 elementary schools, address this issue by providing coaching professional development for administrators. Third, the dialogue coaches have while creating the guidelines is an excellent form of professional development.Coaching FixesSchool district leaders can increase the likelihood that their instructional coaching program will succeed if they ensure their coaches have sufficient time to work on instruction with teachers and their coaches know how to coach and what to share with teachers. All the factors described here will not yield success if the wrong people are hired as coaches. When I work with teachers, particularly because they will likely provide model lessons in other teachers ’.! 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