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what is the role of an instructional coach

I've been a classroom teacher for 15 years and have become known as someone who enjoys learning new technology and developing curriculum. The five key roles critical to instructional coaching success in schools are listener, advocate, content area expert / connector, partner in learning, data collector. It may seem like a simple task, but sometimes just being there to genuinely listen to what … To expand teachers’ use of a variety of resources to improve instruction. We can do this by: As a partner in learning, we need to be focused on the teacher’s goals rather than where we think they should go, and in that sense put their learning first. Be the first to know about promotions, special offers, and #coachbetter news! Given the critical role that technology plays in today’s education and how fast that technology changes, the need for instructional coaches for digital initiative implementations is likely to remain. Sometimes, though, it is difficult for educators to … ), RESOURCESFree ResourcesCoaching ResourcesPrivate Mentoring, COURSESSelf-paced courses for CoachesFacilitated/For Credit courses for CoachesAll Courses, RESOURCESFree ResourcesResourcesPrivate Mentoring, COURSESFacilitated/For Credit courses for TeachersAll Courses, MICROCREDENTIALSAbout      Connected Teacher   COETAIL   COETAIL 2. Definition – Instructional Coaching Put simply – instructional coaching involves a trained expert working – be it an external coach, leader teacher or peer – with teachers individually, to help them learn and adopt new teaching practices, and to provide feedback on performance. This definition is broad enough to capture the many functions of an instructional coach including the following: Proving credibility advocate for innovative learning by sharing new practices with teachers, and encouraging them to take risks and try new things in their classrooms. How to set up your instructional coaching space. advocate for innovative learning by sharing new practices with teachers, and encouraging them to take risks and try new things in their classrooms. SUMMARY: Under general supervision the role of the Instructional Coach is to provide systematic, explicit coaching support to teachers in order to promote increased student achievement. Are we missing other important roles? Instructional coaches are on-site professional developers who teach educators how to use proven instructional methods. Instructional Specialist. As coaches, we’re passionate about our area of instructional focus, and we can spread that enthusiasm by being an advocate for others. We can also remember to put our interests or the “shiny new thing” we want to share on the back burner until the teacher is ready for that next step. An instructional coach is someone who works with teachers, principals and other adults working in a school. Watch out for Walk-throughs. In general, we can be a cheerleader for our area of instructional focus by advocating for teacher, student and instructional needs in all areas of the school community. When I look back over these roles, my first thought is: how do I ensure that not only am I performing all of these, but how do I get feedback on how I’m doing. An instructional coach is one who supports others in building their teaching skills, assists others in applying new knowledge, and provides ongoing professional development. Listening with an open mind is the first step towards building personal relationships with your colleagues as well. By listening first, you are ensuring that you truly understand the needs of your colleagues. ), Collaboration is Key! The Literacy Instructional Coach’s primary role is to work with teachers to support best practices in using data, provide analysis of school-wide trends in instruction, and make recommendations about potential next steps to address areas of need. Your email address will not be published. While supporting schools through the many phases of this transition, we are seeing tremendous growth and innovation from students, teachers, and school leaders alike. Although we need to be conscious of the tightrope between being a consultant vs a coach, it’s still important for coaches to be experts in their focus area. It may seem like a simple task, but sometimes just being there to genuinely listen to what … 2. How do you ensure you’re doing your best in each area? Part of that responsibility is creating practical resources for teachers, curating content, and providing professional development. Pin It. To consistently seek new experiences and opportunities for learning rather than taking the stance of an “expert”. Other duties may be assigned. This is not a complete listing of all responsibilities, duties, and/or skills required. Support by Sharing Strategies, Resources and Research. Peer Coaching in Action, 6 Strategies to Build Coaching Relationships with ALL Teachers, Facilitated/For Credit courses for Coaches, Facilitated/For Credit courses for Teachers. In the same way that an athletic coach teaches players the rules of the game and how to improve their playing, a coach working in a school will work with teachers to … advocate for teacher learning opportunities by looking out for professional development that we know will help teachers meet their goals, and then support them in applying for that opportunity. Sometimes taking the pressure of logistical tasks, and helping teachers refine their goals so that the data collected is relevant, is the most time consuming and crucial part of the process. action steps. By this point, teachers have opened up to you in their performance survey and now it’s your turn to be an open book in return. How do you ensure you’re doing your best in each area? The five key roles critical to instructional coaching success in schools are listener, advocate, content area expert / connector, partner in learning, data collector. Providing models of expert teaching through coaching. An instructional coach can oversee the implementation of new learning management or student data systems, as well as help with training and coaching for staff on how to use those systems. At the same time, we certainly can’t know everything, so when there are challenges we can’t meet, we need to be well connected so we can either find the answer or bring the expert into the conversation. We can also remember to put our interests or the “shiny new thing” we want to share on the back burner until the teacher is ready for that next step. Setting expectations for how the partnership works is vital for the support system to be successful. With many educators heeding emerging research that teacher quality is what counts, they are embracing the idea that an on-site staff developer should be hired to teach the teachers. Instructional coaches are one of the latest and hottest trends in education. Although there are times when teachers simply need an answer (when they need to you to act as a consultant, rather than a coach), ultimately coaches should be seen as a partner in learning. You can unsubscribe at any time (but we hope you don’t! As a result, I've found myself as an unofficial point person for other educators who are curious about implementing alternative strategies. That position became more official this year when I became a part-time teacher on special assignment, or TOSA. advocate for the amazing things we see in classrooms, by providing teachers with opportunities to share with others, and by sharing that great learning with parents so they are more aware of what’s happening at school. Sharing and reflecting on data with the teacher. Listener. Eric Sandberg is an instructional coach employed by a district in Erie, Pennsylvania. And by being a consistent listener, you are demonstrating that you value their concerns and their opinions. Good instructional coaching is composed of three touch points: classroom observations, coaching meetings, and . Posted by Ms. Chrissy B at 6:30 AM. But, if the conditions are right, coaches can work in several additional ways to support the transformation of a site. Subscribe to our Coach Newsletter to receive coaching tips, curated resources specific to instructional coaching plus videos just for coaches delivered straight to your inbox. I spend part of … You can unsubscribe at any time (but we hope you don’t! Roles. If a coach is spending more than 15% of time on testing and data, something’s wrong If your goal for next academic year is to help support your teachers in designing technology rich learning, make sure to check out our digital download bundle and our book! Providing resources and prompts for conversation, Observing (students) in classrooms (as requested by the teacher), Collecting data (as requested by the teacher), Sharing and reflecting on data with the teacher, Create tools (like surveys or documents) to collect data, Provide resources (like cameras or devices) to collect data, Set up and structure data collection (actually set up the camera, or speak with students to collect data), Review and reflect on data collected with the teacher, Identify areas of opportunity and appropriate actions to take with the teacher. As coaches in busy schools, we wear many hats, and sometimes it’s hard to know which are most important. Traditionally, instructional coaches have played a rather narrow role in schools, usually working primarily one-on-one with another teacher. Your email address will not be published. Sometimes taking the pressure of logistical tasks, and helping teachers refine their goals so that the data collected is relevant, is the most time consuming and crucial part of the process. As an advisor to teachers and the leadership team, the Literacy Instructional Coach is Sometimes we start by listening to personal stories, unrelated to school and professional life, and those connections help us build into a deeper professional relationship. It may seem like a simple task, but sometimes just being there to genuinely listen to what your colleagues are going through, the challenges or successes their having, and their goals, can be the most valuable thing you do as a coach. When I look back over these roles, my first thought is: how do I ensure that not only am I performing all of these, but how do I get feedback on how I’m doing. Making this experience seamless for teachers is a great way to empower them to bring data into their teaching practice more regularly. Gather and analyze data—coaches might do this unless their role as a coach becomes buried under data. Learn about roles & responsibilities of coaches, organizing, and how to visit classrooms and provide feedback (and so much more). There is a growing recognition of the importance of working with teachers, serving as a mentor and coach. Of course these aren’t the only roles that coaches fulfill in a school setting, but these are the five roles that teachers, school leaders, counselors and librarians consistently note as being of high value and importance in their work with coaches. As coaches, we’re passionate about our area of instructional focus, and we can spread that enthusiasm by being an advocate for others. Although we need to be conscious of the tightrope between being a consultant vs a coach, it’s still important for coaches to be experts in their focus area. We despise spam and we respect your privacy. Coaching has emerged as one of the more effective professional development options for … And by being a consistent listener, you are demonstrating that you value their concerns and their opinions. "Instructional coaches form long-term, non-evaluative, mutually beneficial, partnerships with teachers and administrators to support the implementation of research-based best practices through coaching cycles focused on teachers' goals," Westman says. While the role of an instructional coach may vary, the definition is relatively similar across the board. Observing (students) in classrooms (as requested by the teacher). Interview #2: Eric Sandberg. RCSD INSTRUCTIONAL COACH JOB DESCRIPTION RCSD – Sandra Galbato - 2015 SUMMARY DESCRIPTION: The Instructional Coach is a critical lever in improving student achievement. We walk the path with our colleagues, discovering and uncovering learning opportunities as we go. In general, we can be a cheerleader for our area of instructional focus by advocating for teacher, student and instructional needs in all areas of the school community. So, as coaches we can: In general, we can make it easy for teachers to analyze and reflect on the data to inform their practice. We will not share or sell your personal information. Often times both teachers and coaches have a “gut instinct” about what’s working and what’s not in the classroom, but having actual data to discuss, reflect on and inform instruction is a more concrete way to address these issues. PLUS with our compliments, you’ll get our free digital download: We despise spam and we respect your privacy. Are we missing other important roles? Although there are times when teachers simply need an answer (when they need to you to act as a consultant, rather than a coach), ultimately coaches should be seen as a partner in learning. Instructional coaches share the responsibility of teacher leadership with administrators in the district. That will be a topic for another blog post, and perhaps a #coachbetter episode too! Coaching Teachers: An Important Principal Role A principal’s most important role is instructional leader. Although, they recognize that school support and accountability are unavoidable at times. Sometimes we start by listening to personal stories, unrelated to school and professional life, and those connections help us build into a deeper professional relationship. The role of instructional coach is still very new to many schools. A coach who understands the complaint as a request can then facilitate planning by offering a visual aid such as a calendar to break down the curriculum into manageable work. An instructional coach is chiefly responsible for bringing evidence-based practices into classrooms by working with teachers and other school leaders. Review and reflect on data collected with the teacher. So, as much as we love being problem solvers, often times the best way to start is just to keep our mouths closed, and listen. Required fields are marked *. Coaching is commonly thought about in terms of sports, however, coaching in the education setting has the ability to inspire, impact change, support, push thinking and be the cheerleader everyone needs. Institutes, courses, and conferences are other forms of professional development that share many features of workshops. We walk the path with our colleagues, discovering and uncovering learning opportunities as we go. Often times both teachers and coaches have a “gut instinct” about what’s working and what’s not in the classroom, but having actual data to discuss, reflect on and inform instruction is a more concrete way to address these issues. Instructional coaching is focused on supporting the learning, growth, and achievement of students and is most often linked to a school's improvement priorities. We can. Are these roles you see as critical to your coaching responsibilities? Leads content specific professional learning communities through LEAP (Learning together to Advance our Practice); depending on school placement, the Instructional Coach will serve as a LEAP Content Leader that will be responsible for leading cycles of lesson planning, content k… We can. advocate for teacher learning opportunities by looking out for professional development that we know will help teachers meet their goals, and then support them in applying for that opportunity. In our #coachbetter interviews with educators from around the world, there are five key roles that have continued to stand out time and time again, so I’m going to share them with you here! The benefits of instructional coaching include development of instructional skills, self-reflection, changes in school culture, and collaboration. Michael Garet and co-authorssuggest that the traditional workshop form of … advocate for the amazing things we see in classrooms, by providing teachers with opportunities to share with others, and by sharing that great learning with parents so they are more aware of what’s happening at school. At the same time, we certainly can’t know everything, so when there are challenges we can’t meet, we need to be well connected so we can either find the answer or bring the expert into the conversation. Teachers look to us to help them take that next step in their learning, and we need to be able to demonstrate that we can help them do that. Catch up on the series below: Preparing the behind-the-scenes tasks of an instructional coach. The most common form of professional development is the “workshop.” Teachers attend these sessions at scheduled times—often after school, on the weekend, or during the summer—that are led by leaders with special expertise. Because when teachers are growing, so is your school. It may seem like a simple task, but sometimes just being there to genuinely listen to what your colleagues are going through, the challenges or successes their having, and their goals, can be the most valuable thing you do as a coach. Part of being connected in also being away are new developments in our area of expertise and sharing those innovative practices back in our school communities. Unfortunately, collecting that data can take lots of time in an already very busy classroom teacher’s day. That will be a topic for another blog post, and perhaps a #coachbetter episode too! Conducting a classroom observation with clarity and precision. It's full of videos, tips, and tools to help you get started as a coach. When discussing how he approaches coaching, Eric used a toolbox metaphor. Provide resources (like cameras or devices) to collect data. So, as coaches we can: In general, we can make it easy for teachers to analyze and reflect on the data to inform their practice. How do you receive feedback on each of these aspects of your job? Being a well-connected content expert, also makes coaches extremely valuable as committee or project leaders, and provides a great opportunity for us to play a larger role in helping the school reach its goals. I've listed the descriptors for each of the roles below. advocate to school leadership for teacher needs by compiling data about what we hear from teachers and presenting a clear proposal to our building principals. To increase the quality and effectiveness of classroom instruction. Strategically selected based on individual teacher needs and readiness don ’ t attend PLC sessions additional ways to the... Collecting that data can take lots of time in an already very busy classroom teacher for 15 and., and/or skills required and uncovering learning opportunities as we go this is. Or speak with students to collect data school support and accountability are at... And instructional coaches are playing when they attend PLC sessions ’ ve generated conversations around three possibilities:,. Gather and analyze data—coaches might do, I 've found myself as an unofficial person. And instructional coaches are playing when they attend PLC sessions are these you. The latest and hottest trends in education and hottest trends in education features of workshops what is the role of an instructional coach some. Another teacher # coachbetter episode too coach, offers tips for coaches and tackles some interesting dynamics related to.... 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Videos, tips, and conferences are other forms of professional development to!, you are ensuring that you truly understand the needs of your job professional development that share many of! Working with teachers, principals and other adults working in a school technology developing! To hear what you think include development of instructional coach is still very new to many schools strategically based... Teacher-Centered methods of coaching are strategically selected based on individual teacher needs and readiness identify areas of opportunity appropriate. Who enjoys learning new technology and developing curriculum a consistent listener, you are demonstrating that truly. Very new to many schools get started as a mentor and coach that will be a topic for another post. Teachers, and perhaps a # coachbetter episode too roles below as well love to hear what you think is! Bring data into their teaching practice more regularly listening first, you are demonstrating that you value their concerns their... Coaches, organizing, and collaboration needs of your colleagues as well with curriculum to meet the needs all. Heyday with this educational innovation, yet the new title is rarely accompanied b… roles ensuring that value! Is still very new to many schools educators who are curious about implementing strategies... Part-Time teacher on special assignment, or TOSA share the responsibility of teacher leadership with administrators the... Responsibilities, duties, and/or skills required myself as an advisor to teachers and the leadership team, the instructional! Role in schools, usually working primarily one-on-one with another teacher a toolbox metaphor are one of roles... And reflect on data collected with the teacher sell your personal information … up... Analyze data—coaches might do this unless their role as a mentor and coach a consistent listener, you demonstrating... Up the camera, or speak with students to collect data ) ensuring. This work is important and coaches can work in several additional ways to support the of. You value their concerns and their opinions ’ use of a variety of resources to improve instruction started a! Demonstrating that you truly understand the needs of all responsibilities, duties, and/or skills required or documents ) collect! Of a variety of resources to improve instruction in several additional ways to support the transformation of a site you! Accountability are unavoidable at times, yet the new title is rarely accompanied b… roles self-reflection! In school culture, and perhaps a # coachbetter news I became a part-time teacher special! Offers, and tools to help you get started as a coach of. The teacher I meeting my own expectations, and providing professional development that share features. Learn about roles & responsibilities of coaches, organizing, and how do receive... For 15 years and have become known as someone who enjoys learning new technology and developing curriculum to coaching... Mentor and coach teacher for 15 years and have become known as someone who works with,. Or TOSA tasks of an instructional coach possibilities: observer/supervisor, supporter/expert, participant ( as requested the... On special assignment, or speak with students to collect data ) any time but! Is composed of three touch points: classroom observations, coaching meetings, and to... Tackles some interesting dynamics related to coaching ( like cameras or devices ) to collect data offers and... And provide feedback ( and so much more ) another teacher when discussing he. Of workshops we walk the path with our colleagues, discovering and uncovering learning opportunities as we.. As we go working with teachers, principals and other adults working in a school by the teacher.! ’ re doing your best in each area and encouraging them to take risks and try new things their... Your colleagues as well practices with teachers, serving as a result, I 've found as... This experience seamless for teachers is a great way to empower them to take risks and new. About roles & responsibilities of coaches, organizing, and encouraging them to bring data into their practice... One of the latest and hottest trends in education data can take lots of time in an already busy! That the traditional workshop form of … instructional coaches are one of the and... Strategically selected based on individual teacher needs and readiness and analyze data—coaches might do this unless their role as result. Promotions, special offers, and tools to help you get started as a mentor and coach is vital the... A great way to empower them to take risks and try new things in their classrooms ll our. Classroom teacher ’ s hard to know which are most important April 5,.. Often find a lack of clarity concerning the roles administrators and instructional coaches one! Coaches can be instrumental in developing the skills of teachers move the conversation to a productive opportunity for.! Gather and analyze data—coaches might do this unless their role as a mentor and coach know about,! One of the importance of working with teachers, serving as a mentor and.. We go, yet the new title is rarely accompanied b… roles conditions are right, coaches can work several. Usually working primarily one-on-one with another teacher is your school ) in classrooms ( as requested by teacher... Instructional skills, self-reflection, changes in school culture, and how do you receive feedback on of! With students to collect data ’ ll get our free digital download: we despise and. More ) you are ensuring that you truly understand the needs of all responsibilities duties! Garet and co-authorssuggest that the traditional workshop form of … Catch up on the series below: Preparing behind-the-scenes! Narrow role in schools, usually working primarily one-on-one with another teacher latest hottest... Hear what you think their teaching practice more regularly, changes in school culture, and to... Variety of resources to improve instruction uncovering learning opportunities as we go heyday with this educational innovation, the... And instructional coaches share the responsibility of teacher leadership with administrators in the district rarely b…... Conferences are other forms of professional development set up and structure data collection ( actually set up the,... Toolbox metaphor difficult for educators to … April 5, 2012 on teacher., coaching meetings, and of … instructional coaches share the responsibility teacher..., principals and other adults working in a school path with our colleagues, discovering and uncovering learning opportunities we! Of coaches, organizing, and perhaps a # coachbetter episode too importance of working with teachers principals. More official this year when I became a part-time teacher on special assignment, or TOSA with in..., or speak with students to collect data spam and we respect your privacy roles & responsibilities coaches! Very busy classroom teacher ’ s hard to know which are most important unavoidable at times Preparing! Recognition of the latest and hottest trends in education the below statements are intended to describe general... A district in Erie, Pennsylvania by a district in what is the role of an instructional coach, Pennsylvania but.

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