Coaching in Schools

When I coach teachers, my collaborative work with them is confidential. This is essential to build trust in a coaching partnership. I collaborate with individual teachers or co-teaching teams.

Coaching sessions last a minimum of 40 minutes and are focused on providing students a balanced approach to literacy. Topics for coaching sessions are not limited to but may include:

  • ways to teach short, focused lessons on skills, strategies and book selections in reading
  • ways to teach the craft and process of writing
  • ways to read aloud to students to build their reading strategies
  • ways to conference with students
  • ways to manage time

It is the teacher or co-teaching team who leads the way during coaching sessions.

There are times when I move from coaching into mentoring. This occurs when a teacher or a co-teaching team is not able to plan effectively because they need specific information about teaching literacy. As a mentor, I act as a clearinghouse for resources and experiences teachers may find useful to achieve their goals.

Every coaching session ends with an action plan the teachers are motivated to implement.

Depending on a school district’s needs, there are a variety of ways to schedule coaching sessions. Coaching takes place across a minimum of six sessions.

The following examples explain two possible ways to schedule coaching. A coaching schedule can be customized to the needs of a school.

1. I coach all sessions away from the classroom. Teachers discuss what they would like to work on, develop a plan and try it out in the classroom. They return during the next session to analyze what occurred.

2. I coach and visit the classroom in two three-day cycles. During the first cycle, the first coaching session is scheduled for planning a classroom visit where the teacher observes a lesson I model. The second session I model the lesson. In the third session, the teacher and I debrief what occurred. In the second cycle the teacher teaches a lesson we both plan before and debrief after. More cycles may be added.