Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Coaching Tip of the Month
December 2016 PDF Print E-mail

One of PIIC’s 4 quadrants is to support reflective and non-evaluative practice as we work with our colleagues. We help our teaching colleagues recognize which instructional practices are effective and which need to be strengthened. We facilitate conversations that help them distinguish which practices are vulnerable and which ones promote increased student engagement. We strive to help teachers meet the needs of their diverse populations and try to ensure that all students are in classrooms with highly effective teachers. And coaches do all of the above in non-evaluative ways as they help teachers reflect in, on, and about practice through the feedback process.

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November 2016 PDF Print E-mail

In the recent report, Coaching for Impact: Six pillars to create coaching roles that achieve their potential to improve teaching and learning, instructional coaching is described as a vehicle to help all teachers plan more effectively, collaborate with colleagues about their practices, identify the strengths and areas of practice that need more support, and analyze student performance. This is and has always been PIIC’s message about the power of instructional coaching.

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October 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Coaching is untidy, somewhat cluttered, and oftentimes complicated. That’s the good news. Want to know why? Because when coaches challenge the status quo, questions are asked and conversations explode. That’s what happens with effective coaching interactions. What is not so useful is when conversations are limited to the moment with no opportunity to explore the “what ifs.”

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September 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Thomas Guskey’s quote in the June 2016 issue of JSD rings so true… “One constant finding in the research literature is that notable improvements in education almost never take place in the absence of professional development” (Guskey, pg. 11).  This finding reiterates the coaches’ ongoing mantra about the importance of building teacher capacity and refining skills. Supporting this notion is what Stephanie Hirsh has repeatedly said, “…by making learning the focus, those who are responsible for professional learning can concentrate their efforts on ensuring that learning for educators leads to learning for students.” This is not rocket science; we know that cultivating the teachers’ skill sets influences their students’ outcomes.

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June 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Right about now, coaches are assessing what they have achieved this year with their teaching colleagues and projecting their expectations for next year. Along with this reflection is the realization that what they anticipated doing may not be exactly what they actually did. That balance is often elusive… we make the blueprints for our work in the schedules we design and try to adhere to our own recommendations for the work we want to accomplish but we all know that life intervenes and in Robert Burns’ words…the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry… (“To a Mouse,” 1785).

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