Literacy Coaching:

Challenges and opportunities

Dr. Carolyn Hunt

  • Illinois State University
  • Teaching and Learning Instructional Assistant Professor
  • Worked at inner-city middle school and a suburban primary school as reading specialist and literacy coach
  • Performs research involving literacy coaching and professional development
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Literacy coach vs. Reading specialist

  • Blurred line between the two
  • Can serve as both
  • Coaches work with teachers to implement the reading and writing programs of their district
  • Reading specialists work directly with students to improve a student's skills
  • Coaches converse in complex negotiations with teachers such as where professional learning occurs and who is involved in the classroom
  • Coaches model lesson for teachers and help them decide which areas need more concentration

Importance of professional development for literacy coaches

  • For teachers: express the idea of how coaches are there to assist them in becoming better (act as mentor)
  • For principles: important for principles to define coaches' roles and express those roles to everyone in the school
  • For policy makers: provide days for professional development where literacy coaches lead meetings
  • For coaches: must know literacy practices, adult learning, and how to navigate issues regarding teachers in the classroom
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Journal of Literacy Research Vol. 45