Classroom coaching currently rides on the crest of educational practices that are attracting a great deal of attention. Knowing that the most effective professional development is job embedded, ongoing, and inquiry-based, many believe skilled coaches can truly make a difference in the quality of teaching that occurs in schools. Coaching pushes schools to focus on student learning by providing forums for teachers to work one on one with a coach, as well as work collaboratively with each other through facilitated meetings to analyze data, design lessons, critique lessons, read and discuss professional literature, and assist each other in areas of need. Effective coaching honors and respects the strengths of teachers and builds on those strengths to improve practice school-wide. Cathleen Kral, K-12 Literacy Coordinator in the Boston Public Schools recently spoke with a group of educators in Pennsylvania and emphasized the importance of this, "In Boston Public Schools (BPS), we do not operate from the deficit model. We do not approach teachers with the attitude that coaches are going to fix what is wrong.” Kathleen explained that the Collaborative Coaching and Learning model currently practiced in BPS, focuses on inquiry and guides teachers to determine an area of need and then to investigate ways to bridge the gaps in student learning and achievement.
As coaching continues to grow in implementation across the country, we invite you to share your thoughts and experiences related to instructional coaching and what you believe effective coaching looks like.