Teachers who became instructional coaches - how did you do it?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heyhey, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2018

    Hey all,

    I have been teaching for 5 years and I am interested in becoming an instructional coach for my core subject area. I am curious, how did you all go about it? What experience did you have that led you to being hired? I am concerned that I won't stand out because I only have the teaching experience and not much else, unfortunately. I have self-designed my curriculum every year and I have achieved excellent data results, but I don't have any direct experience for this position. Does anybody have any advice? Thanks!
     
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  3. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Where I work teaching experience is probably the most important thing. Teachers with 10-15 years experience typically get these jobs if they are innovators, work collaboratively with a team and are viewed as an informal leader.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Job postings for this type of position in my board always specify that wide experience across a variety of grade levels is essential.
     
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  5. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Experience and education. For example, if you want to be the district's literacy coach, more likely than not you'll have to have BOTH experience AND a Master's degree in Literacy. A math coach would probably need a background teaching math and a MA/MS in math, etc. At least this would make sense though I'm sure there are some districts who do goofy things.
    This is part of the reason why I'm working on mine so if I do ever want to get into that position I'll be more than qualified once I get more teaching experience under my belt. I'd like to get 10 years of varied experiences including in the different grades and as a reading specialist to make me stronger.

    1. Get experience
    2. Beef up your education (if needed)
    3. Network! You want to show them that you are somebody who could handle the position.
    :)
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I coach teachers in other districts through a shared curriculum center where I was trained.
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I must admit, I don’t understand the difference, for example, between a literacy coach and a reading specialist. Can someone educate me on the differences?

    Also, is there such a thing as a math coach and a math specialist? How does one get into that? What are the perks?

    Thank you for your time.
     
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  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    The differences truly depend on the district.

    In my district, the literacy coach may have the same roles/responsibilities as a reading specialist in another district.
     
  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I was a literacy coach for three years. I had the minimum years of teaching experience (6) and I just started post-graduate work in literacy. I finished up while I was working as a coach. I'd also sat on divisional committees and led division-wide professional development while I was teaching, so I had experience in those areas, too.
     
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  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sometimes it’s experience vs certification. Please don’t go into coaching for the ‘perks’ unless you mean the power of collaboration, professional discourse, impacting others’ and your own pedagogy, learning together.
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    This was LITERALLY the second chapter of reading in my text book! :toofunny:
    It's sort of how districts define the roles, but mainly it has to do with direct contact. Reading specialists are teachers who serve students with struggling literacy needs (think reading teacher or reading AIS) whereas coaches are more about working with teachers through modeling instruction, providing PD, etc., to help students. It's not to say that one can't necessarily do the other, but in certain districts the roles are clearly defined. @futuremathsprof

    [​IMG]

    And yes there are math coaches, reading coaches, science coaches (in fact I just saw an ad for one that required you have a STRONG background and experiences teaching in science) and specialists (they usually have the degree and experience)... it really depends on the district's needs and goals. I think if the school knows that its teachers are weaker in teaching science or the test scores or low, they might say "Oh we need a science coach to help out.'' The ultimate goal is about student success but some have more direct contact with students than others. A lot of coaches were once teachers who have left the classroom to take it on. My friend was a school's ELA coach for one year (it was an admin position) and he really didn't like it. He liked the experience, but hated a) being away from the kids and b) having to work with the teachers. He often had to deal with a lot of apathy, attitude, and negativity from the teachers who didn't know what they were doing and/or didn't want to change. He stayed a year and then left to go back into the classroom and is now an ELA / Social Studies teacher.

    A lot of my classmates, who don't have any teaching experience beyond student teaching, didn't know there was a difference (or that these people even existed.) We had them in my AZ schools but they were pretty much useless and didn't help AT ALL.
    :(
     
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  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Very true, ideally I think it should require both. A Literacy Coach, for example, SHOULD have a Degree in Literacy as well as quite extensive experience teaching literacy at the various grade levels... but that's just me. I think that person would be more credible (at least) in a position like that. Unless they were a terrible person or teacher who couldn't really work well with others. We all know that happens.
     
  13. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    In Canada I don't see qualifications as the key factor. Coaches work with teachers. Specialists work with kids. Typically, specialists require a few additional courses. Coaches might have a few additional courses. But the key is really who they are as a teacher. Some teachers have formal courses, others do most of their learning through reading, etc. What Districts seem to be looking for is people who know their stuff (however they learned it) and have actively applied it for the duration in their classroom.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    I meant intrinsically rewarding, not necessarily the monetary aspect. I’m always looking to advance in my career and think participating in group collaboration about how to teach math would be exciting.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I’m more of a peer coach. Not listed on your chart. I have a masters degree, more than 20years experience teaching, and attended a regional coaching academy. I don’t get paid for this- it’s a service role I gratefully accept.
     
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  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I went for an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and volunteered for several positions as a coach and team lead.
     
  17. heyhey

    heyhey Rookie

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    Would that be the same program that AP's and P's would complete to be qualified for those positions?
     
  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Not necessarily. My school (Wright State) has a track for teachers who want the degree but not the certification. There's also a Teacher Leader endorsement.

    That being said, I am back at the same school finishing the additional coursework for the principal license.
     

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