Literacy Coaching: The Essentials
Check out what Katherine Casey says about effective coaching
Hi, I'm Jennifer!
The book is titled, "Literacy Coaching: The Essentials" by Katherine Casey. To say it's been beneficial would be an understatement. I have begun to imagine myself more as a leader in my school and potential literacy coach while reading this text. Woah! That's big.
Follow along to hear all of the great things I've read about and taken to heart. I bet you'll enjoy this so much you'll want the book for yourself! (And if you do, there's a link at the bottom for purchasing.)
Who is Katherine Casey?
Interested in learning more about Katherine Casey and the consulting work she does? Take a look at her site: http://www.katherinecaseyconsultant.com
now about the book...
What is a Literacy Coach?
Katherine Casey begins her book with a wonderfully honest start. She explains that the transition between a classroom teacher and literacy coach was tough and there were times she was overwhelmed with self-doubt and she heard others thinking the same. From the start, she defines the role of a literacy coach as a quite flexible one. “Literacy coaching involves creating and sustaining relationships and, like any relationship, it is dynamic” (p. 5). Depending on the principal, school, teachers and most importantly, the students, the role can look different ways. However different our situations may look, being a literacy coach should embody the following:
- helping design and facilitate professional development sessions tailored to address issues facing teachers and students;
- working alongside teachers in classrooms, demonstrating instructional strategies and guiding teachers as they try on the strategies;
- evaluating students’ literacy needs and collaborating with teachers to design instruction to meet those needs;
- providing teachers with ongoing opportunities to learn from and with each other.
Katherine reminds the reader many times that when working with teachers, it's crucial that communication stay open and the teacher remembers you are there for support, not evaluation. Trust is the foundation of the professional relationship. This role should be to SHOW teachers, not simply talk about effective teaching. Begin by asking for a time to come in and model a few things for a teacher who wants more support.
Literacy Coaches as Learners
- Strive to improve student achievement by supporting teaching and learning
- Learn and teach effective decision making
- Learn and teach literacy content knowledge
- Learn and teach pedagogical content knowledge
- Learn how to be effective teachers of adults
- Strive to build teaching and leadership capacity
- Embrace resistance
- Effective communicators
- Communicate beliefs and provide rationale
- Inspire and lead
Getting Started :: Teacher Strengths and Needs
- Gather Information
- Test Scores
- Soft Data
- Leverage Point
- Co-planning lessons (PLC - Professional Learning Communities) - teachers gather to think thoughtfully through lessons regarding a subject. This does not mean each teacher plans a few lessons and comes together to share with the rest of the grade-level.
- Professional Development Sign ups - Allow teachers a voice in which professional development session they want to be apart of.
- Professional Development Follow Up - It's been found in numerous research studies that it's important to plan for the teachers to gather after a professional development session and debrief about what was discussed and what will the next few steps in implementing the new ideas.
- Professional Inquiry Groups - This is a group where teachers focus on specific problems of practice and together they build solutions. In turn, this strategy will also build a stronger sense of community between the teachers and over time, the group will become self-sustaining.
The Promises of Coaching
Imagine this feeing but attach it to a relationship with a teacher. These are the same feelings coaches feel as they observe the successes of the teachers they have worked alongside of all year.
"The work of teaching and learning, the work of literacy coaching, is among the most challenging work we can do, making the results all the more satisfying" (p. 193).
Literacy Coaching - The Essentials by user300592696
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