Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Coaching Tip of the Month
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).

May 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Coaches are on the side of helping teachers implement effective instructional practices every day. They are not “drop-in” professional developers who are unaware of school climate and culture nor are they once and done “experts” who talk at teachers rather than work with their teaching colleagues. They are skilled practitioners who understand how adults learn and recognize the importance of collaboration and new learning. But, the coaching relationship is not automatic, robotic, or involuntary. It is actually built on a specific skill.

April 2016 PDF Print E-mail

In the February 18, 2016 Hechinger Report Opinion “How Finland broke every rule- and created a top school system” by William Doyle, he states that control, competition, stress, standardized testing, screen-based schools and loosened teacher qualifications should be replaced with warmth, collaboration, and highly professionalized, teacher-led encouragement and assessment. What a novel thought to personalize teacher professional learning!

March 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Coaching is messy! But, then, so is anything in the construction trades!

So what are we constructing? We are constructionists, helping our teaching colleagues construct meaningful learning experiences for their students and helping them implement effective instructional practices. And while nothing is perfect, we help teachers understand that making mistakes can be messy and more importantly, that creates our learning.

February 2016 PDF Print E-mail

In the January 28, 2016 issue of ASCD EXPRESS, Kathy Schrock discusses using technology to provide academic support and individualized instruction for all students. She recognizes that the plethora of technology can overwhelm teachers and their students and provides a few ways to integrate technology. She reminds teachers that designing formative and summative assessments with higher order thinking skills is one way that instruction will drive the conversation, not the technology. Even with this suggestion, however, I fear that the wealth of technology can incapacitate a teacher as s/he tries to implement various technology without the benefit of working side-by-side with an experienced colleague to collectively problem-solve and collaborate about what works in classrooms.