Instructional coaching in EL schools increases the achievement and engagement of every student by bringing out the best performance of every teacher. Coaches use both student-centered and teacher-centered methods to help teachers improve the decisions they make about their instruction.
Instructional coaching in EL schools is focused on evidence of student achievement and engagement connected to the instructional choices of
the teacher. Coaching involves an ongoing cycle of goal-setting, learning, observation and data collection, and reflection. However, the beginning point in this cycle is not the same for every teacher. Some coaching relationships may enter the cycle at the learning stage, while others might enter through data collection or reflection.
- Goal Setting: All instructional coaching involves setting goals. In fact, the very definition of coaching is built on the presence of clear, focused goals related to teacher practice and student achievement. While not necessarily the first step in every coaching relationship, formal coaching cycles should be guided by goals articulated by the teacher and informed by larger school improvement priorities.
- Learning: Instructional coaching must be viewed, first and foremost, as a form of learning. The power of coaching comes through the intentional focus on clearly identified goals specific to each teacher and connected to the school’s larger professional development/EL work plan goals. Teachers learn through school-based professional development, institutes, and practices such as looking at student work, reading and discussing educational texts, observing best practices (e.g. model teaching, peer observation, use of video), co-teaching, and collaborative planning of curriculum, instruction and assessment.
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