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Special Education teacher, aspiring instructional leader

Educational coaching in my

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Educational coaching in my district is only reserved for mentor teachers. I would truly appreciate collaborating with another teacher or administrator to build my capacity as a teacher. I often find that students also benefit from a teacher taking time to talk to them and help them reflect on their learning. I will definitely read all I can on educational coaching so I can implement it in my classes!

Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching

How instructional coaching works well...

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Implemented well, instructional coaching is a very effective way to help improve instructional practices that influence student learning. It must be build on mutual respect, trust, and shared vision in a collaborative, non-evaluative environment. It is a professional development system that focuses on helping teachers improve their skill set and have a voice in their own professional growth. Through feedback and reflection, changes in practice will transform the culture of a school.

Coaching colleagues

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As a technology integration coach, I would love to see this coaching model spread to more than just admin. If I was trained in educational coaching it would greatly help me in my endeavor to help teachers integrate technology meaningfully and take ownership of their lessons. Thank you for this article!

Co-founder of SmarterCookie

Reflective coaching and video

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Thank you for your post! When I was teaching elementary school, I appreciated when administrators would lead me through the reflective process via questioning so that I came to my own conclusions about how I could improve my practice. It meant we were on the same team working toward the same goals instead of an us vs. them mentality (teachers vs. administration) that so often clouds the evaluation process.

I also often used video to reflect on my practice. As teachers, we can't see ourselves in action, but as video becomes more ubiquitous, it's easy to watch ourselves at a later time. I felt that when I could watch the same video of my instruction as my administrators, it became a more productive conversation with specific data points.

I wonder if you have used video coaching with your teachers as well? And if so, how did it enhance your coaching, or what challenges did you encounter?

Life Coach, Career Coach, and Educator at Root Down Coaching, Vermont

Thank you for this article!

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Thank you for this article! It is so wonderful to see coaching entering the schools at all levels. Within my classroom, I integrate the same principles you discussed as a way to focus on the student's needs and to harness their inner wisdom so that they create a solution that meets them where they are at. Coaching techniques such as reflecting back is an excellent way for the student to feel heard and for them to also hear what they are actually saying - that in itself can be incredibly powerful. I also ask dynamic open ended questions that get the student thinking about what they want and need as well as how they want to feel. So often, as teachers we can lean in to being the "solver" or "the teller of information" when really the learning can be unleashed just through reflective listening, questions, and time for marinating on the topic. Coaching is about the student, the whole person including their values, interests, passions, needs, etc...When we can tap into these through reflection and questions, we empower our students to learn at a much deeper level.

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