Your Friendly Neighbourhood Coach:

What Could My Instructional Coach be to Me?

What is the goal of Instructional Coaching?

As educators, we see our students bursting with questions and ideas for learning. As learners ourselves, we are always looking for how best to facilitate that learning. Instructional Coaching exists because there is no one-size-fits-all learning model for teachers. What we do know is that there is a very weak link between large-group professional learning and changes in thinking and practice. We've all attended some form of PD, where we may even have been rather excited about what was being presented, but sadly that new learning just never made its way to our daily practice. Conversely, there is evidence of a very strong link between changes in professional thinking and practice and student learning and achievement (Katz, 2016). This is where a coaching framework comes in.... having someone to try out teaching strategies with you (right there in your own classroom!) is a proven recipe for learning, reflection and growth.

Changes in thinking and practice must stem from our own individual interests. Each of us make decisions about what we want to learn based on what we are seeing in our classrooms or perhaps, in ourselves. For example, we may want to increase our knowledge about talk moves because we are noticing that it is the same 5 students doing all the answering. We begin to realize that we have a challenge of practice - we have little to no evidence about what the other 25 students know and understand. Although initially skeptical, we put 5 beginner talk moves into practice. We notice that more students are purposefully engaged in academic talk. This change in practice has changed our thinking and we now want to learn more.

This is one example about the type of work that ICs do with classroom teachers. However, there are many other possibilities. The instructional focus of sessions really depends on you and your students. There is a general framework - Co-plan, Co-teach, Debrief, Repeat - to support ongoing dialogue between teacher and coach. What's important to remember is that little changes can make a big difference. Through honest, respectful dialogue, both teacher and coach can walk away knowing more and wanting more.

Change happens when learning happens.

Contact Me!