The Art of School Coaching

Become the coach your teachers need & your students deserve.

School Coaching?

The answer is YES! Coaching and feedback are invaluable tools administrators and teachers can use to further their growth and impact on student achievement. We can no longer rely on the end of the year evaluative process to inform teachers of their practice and opportunities for growth. If we are truly going to grow in our practice in order to better serve our students, we must provide and embrace consistent coaching opportunities within our schools.

Types of Coaching


  • The coach knows the correct instructions
  • The coach can communicate those instructions in ways the client will understand
  • The client is interested and wants to receive the instructions
  • The client has enough experience to translate the instructions into performance
  • The coach and client are looking for an immediate, short-term solution to a pressing problem


  • The coach and client share a high level of trust
  • The coach and client have enough expertise to solve the problem
  • Both parties agree, explicitly or implicitly, to brainstorm ways to solve the problem
  • The two agree on the problem to be solved and the conditions for a satisfactory solution


  • The coaching process is based on the client's needs
  • The client allows himself to be coached
  • The coach and the client trust each other completely
  • The coach has enough background knowledge, coaching skills, and confidence in those skills to address the client's goals
  • The coach focuses on the client's desired outcomes

So, how do you coach someone?

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The Process

1.) Agree on a desired result

2.) Understand the current reality (click here for guiding questions)

3.) Explore the assumptions leading to that reality

4.) Generate alternative actions (click here for guiding questions)

5.) Monitor progress

6.) Move toward self sufficiency

Tips and Reminders for Successful Coaching

Coaching is a non-sequential, non-linear process.

Coaching groups will require repeated conversations.

A coach will draw on all areas of life when working with clients.

Curiosity and the ability to listen, question, focus, and achieve results are essential.

Coaches must have a high tolerance for ambiguity.

Coaches must be compassionate and respect their clients.

Additional Resources

Goofy - Teachers Are People

About Us!

This virtual poster was made to accompany a professional development fair held in the Supervision of Teaching and Learning class as a part of Columbia University Teachers College's Summer Principals Academy New Orleans 2014 cohort. Information was gathered using chapter 5 of Powerful Designs for Professional Learning.