Thursday, January 5, 2012

Instructional Coaching as a Verb

In the latest edition of Educational Leadership, the magazine seeks to find creative solutions to the funding problems that we are facing in schools today. One article about instructional coaching held particular significance to me. It explored the disappearance of instructional coaches in response to program cuts, and it also discussed how to move forward when coaches are absent.

Specifically, the article proposed a paradigm shift. Instead of defining the word "coach" as a noun, define it as a verb. You do not need a specific person to have an environment that supports job embedded professional development. Instead, consider all the ways that many members of your staff can "coach" each other while still being effective classroom teachers.

Some ways to turn coaching into a verb this year or next year:
  • Have teachers observe each other and provide structured feedback.
  • Ask teachers to contribute to a professional development blog. Feature new writers and ideas each week so no single person is overburdened.
  • Run an edcamp or other "unconference" style form of learning session at your school so everyone can share their expertise

While I firmly believe that instructional coaches are an effective, authentic vehicle for providing "just in time" learning to teachers, their absence certainly does not prohibit a school from moving forward.

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1 comment:

  1. Even a math tutor could benefit from exercises like this. Thanks for sharing new and exciting ways to grow as an educator.



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