What would your ideal instructional coach look like?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teaching4God, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 16, 2011

    What would your ideal instructional coach be like? What would be their focus and their actions? What would their speech sound like? Would you see them daily? Just curious.
     
  2.  
  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    5,860
    Likes Received:
    734

    Jul 16, 2011

    We have "mentor" teachers at my school that act as instructional coaches. Each mentor is assigned 4-5 teachers and they try to see a lesson at least once a week (these are classroom teachers who get released for a few hours a week to do their mentor duties). I really liked my mentor this past year. Unfortunately, she had to move when her husband got laid off so she won't be back.

    Her observations were very informal. She would just pop in (unnanounced) whenever and sit and watch. Then, she would write me a little note, send an e-mail, or stay and talk with me if she was there until the end of that group. She was SO positive. In her notes/emails she would write a bunch of things that she thought I was doing really well and then maybe one "idea for improvement." I found her "ideas for improvement" to actually be really useful ideas, and not really critisicm. For example, when she saw I was working on a step-by-step process for multiple addition/subtraction with one of my math groups, she helped me make an anchor chart so they would have something they could always look at...rather than saying something like "this lesson would be better if you had more visual aides." She always made me feel really good about my teaching- in fact I think our mentors were such a morale booster for the whole building. It's nice to actually be noticed for those little extra things you do for the students or the things you do really well. Since she came in so often and it was so informal, she didn't make me nervous at all. My P likes to pop in to see lessons too, but she only came in my room a few times and she made me nervous even though we have a good relationship. With my mentor, I felt like she was really helping me and not evaluating or judging me in any way. I could also go to her for any help I needed with instructional strategies. We have a really large esl population, and that was something that was new for me. I asked her a lot of questions about strategies for these types of students, and she not only gave me some great ideas, but also followed up and made sure I really understood how to implement them.

    At the beginning of the year, she also made sure that I knew that anything we discussed was between us. So it's not like I had to worry about her going to the P and saying "_______ really needs to work on _________" or gossiping about what was going on in my classroom if I happened to have a bad day or something.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,104

    Jul 16, 2011

    I'll tell you what we don't need.... A 74 year old Woman who doesn't understand a workshop philosophy, makes proclamations about what she thinks we should do even though we're already doing it and prefaces every statement with 'I don't know what you do here but...'
     
  5. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,256
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 16, 2011

    I want an instructional coach who is a people person and can individualize people's needs. For example, if there is a teacher who is struggling and wants help, I want to see that coach help them on a daily basis if need be. If there is a teacher who seems to have a grasp on things then less frequent visits would be appropriate. Maybe once a week or once every 2 weeks.

    Also, TRUST has to be there. Someone who doesn't have a reading background, for example, and is a coach isn't going to have much trust in me. I had a Reading coach whom I had more education and experience than she did. 90% of the crap she told me I already knew! Trainings were SO boring because I already knew the crap! She also told us stuff to do that is not beneficial to the kids and would go back on things she told us. Definitely don't want someone like that.
     
  6. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 16, 2011

    Soooo...What would you guys consider to be an appropriate amount of training? I know that it is likely that there will always be veterans in the building that have been around longer than an instructional coach. Also I am open to hearing more.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    745

    Jul 16, 2011

    I would prefer an instructional coach that has taught ten or more years in at least three grade levels, and had 95% or more of their students passing or exceeding state standards.
     
  8. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jul 16, 2011

    It's a hard job. Much more " behind the scenes" than most people realize. PM me if you want any more details.
     
  9. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2011

    I agree with the experience in different grade levels. I think a good coach would have a wide experience with all types of students, regular, gifted, and special ed. I don't necessarily think the amount of years would mean this person would be a better coach. There are some pretty good teachers out there who spend a lot of time researching and improving their teaching and can learn so much more in a few years while there are some that in 10 years did the same thing and didn't learn much. I would prefer someone with a strong track record of successfully keeping up and implementing a wide range of teaching strategies.

    For me 95% of students passing or exceeding wouldn't mean much to me because it depends on the type of students. I had 100% last year but that's because I was teaching gifted. I would look more at the track record of gains.
     
  10. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2011

    A good instructional coach would take the time to get to know my strengths and weaknesses so that I don't get PD's on what I already know. He/she would do constant informal observations and would be willing to model at any time. A good coach would research resources based on what's needed. I think also a coach needs to be open minded about allowing teachers to try new things and give teachers a sense of autonomy. A coach should be more of a guide to help a teacher grow and not a dictator.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. SpecialPreskoo,
  2. nklauste,
  3. Backroads,
  4. Sarah91,
  5. TeacherNY
Total: 387 (members: 7, guests: 360, robots: 20)
test