Archive of 2010 March

Instructional Coaching Thumbnail

Instructional Coaching

Posted on March 03, 2010

Recently, interest in using coaches to facilitate professional learning has exploded as schools across the country have hired literally hundreds of literacy coaches, reading coaches, cognitive coaches, and inclusion coaches. The Reading Excellence Act of 1998 and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 both allotted unprecedented federal dollars for professional development, and across the country many states are spending those funds to hire coaches. In the Boston Public Schools, for example, each

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How to Play on a Winning Team: The Coaching Process for Staff Who Work With Students with Significant Disabilities

Posted on March 03, 2010

Most of us had the experience at one time or another of loyally following a team that is having a losing season. Pundits will analyze the causes of the continued poor performance, but we usually assume that once the season is over, someone will be taking a hard look at the coaching process, perhaps even considering replacing the head coach. Recently, I attended a conference where I chatted with a nationally recognized autism expert and consultant. She reminded me of one of those fans of the p

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What Teachers Need

Posted on March 03, 2010

Research into why teachers leave the profession is helping lawmakers craft better policies to hold onto them. Todd Allen, a young, enthusiastic special education teacher, was living his lifelong dream of working in an urban school. In his first three years, he was optimistic about his career. He felt he was making a difference in the lives of his students. But after his fourth year of teaching, things changed. Allen became disillusioned by the ever-mounting federal and state administrative

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The Many Facets of Exemplary Coaching

Posted on March 03, 2010

One morning 25 years ago, Kyle (pseudonym), one of my first grade students, cried after his reading group. I tried consoling him to no avail. “I can’t read! I’m stupid!” Sobbing, he laid his head on the table. My heart dropped; tears filled my eyes. As a novice teacher, I was unprepared to teach children like Kyle for whom reading did not come easily. I needed a coach! Joyce and Showers (1995; 2002) report that professional development without follow up results in few changes to instr

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Instructional Coaching: Professional Development Strategies That Improve Instruction

Posted on March 03, 2010

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University works with urban school systems across the country that are engaged in comprehensive school reform, especially in communities serving disadvantaged children. In our work, we support and encourage the use of instructional coaching, a promising new professional development practice in which teacher leaders serve as coaches to facilitate and guide content-focused professional learning for a school’s teachers. Coaching aligns

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Peer Coaching: Changing Classroom Practice and Enhancing Student Achievement

Posted on March 03, 2010

Why Peer Coaching? Over the last fifteen years, a growing number of educators have come to the conclusion that the workshop and conference format that make up most staff development is ineffective. Teachers say that traditional professional development doesn’t offer the sustained opportunities for collaboration, feedback, and reflection they need to change their classroom practice. At the same time, a different methodology for professional learning has emerged. Richard (2003) notes tha

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Peer Coaching for Improvement of Teaching and Learning

Posted on March 03, 2010

Introduction This past fall, the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future published a report called: “What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future.” This report focused on teachers and the quality of teaching as the core of student performance. New curriculum, standards, resources/materials, assessments, methodologies, technology, and reforms will not and do not have much impact unless teachers have appropriate access, knowledge, skills and continuous learning opport

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UCN South: Coaching Lessons Learned From Educators in Southern Utah Thumbnail

UCN South: Coaching Lessons Learned From Educators in Southern Utah

Posted on March 03, 2010

Coaching provides assistance and encouragement to teachers as they strive to improve their instruction and student learning—a noble endeavor. So, when the district special education directors in Utah requested that we create more opportunities for teachers to learn coaching skills, the UPDC responded by organizing a series of professional learning opportunities—one for the south, and the other in the north. The southern end of the state led out with the first coaching session in October, 200

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Abilities Supporting Beginning Teachers with Heart and Mind: A Decade of Lessons Learned from the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project

Posted on March 03, 2010

Nothing is more important for student learning than the quality of the classroom teacher. A teacher induction program that focuses on new teacher support and classroom practice while sustaining the idealism and passion of beginning teachers offers hope for our students and our schools. Beginning teachers enter our nation’s classrooms filled with passion, idealism, and the commitment to make a difference for their students. Too often, however, they find themselves embarking on a journey isol

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Hard Conversations: Getting Into Necessary Trouble Thumbnail

Hard Conversations: Getting Into Necessary Trouble

Posted on March 03, 2010

I was giving a workshop on hard conversations to a group of new teacher coaches last week and I overheard the comment, “I can’t believe she’s telling coaches to have these types of conversations.” Why would someone need to study this topic? Isn’t a hard conversation the superintendent’s job or the principal’s job? Yes, I believe it is their job to speak up when they see something they feel doesn’t align with the vision of their district or when they witness something they don

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