Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Coaching Tip of the Month
January 2014 PDF Print E-mail

January is the time when most of us reflect on the past and share the myriad hopes for self-improvement. Some estimates claim that 40% of us make New Year’s resolutions but how many of us really keep them? How many of us make a laundry list of goals that we want to accomplish but don’t really think about the reality or likelihood of accomplishing those tasks? Sometimes, the desire to make changes overrides the practicality of achieving some of those goals.

December 2013 PDF Print E-mail

In our newest outreach to the coaching community,, I wrote about coaches being in the position to disrupt the status quo. That doesn’t mean that coaches burst into classrooms or bombard teachers with the “perfect” lesson plan, a flawless instructional delivery, or the perfect remedy to increase student engagement. What it means is that instructional coaches are positioned to encourage ongoing conversations about teaching and learning in ways that are reflective, deliberate, and challenging. It means that coaches and teachers work together and “walk the talk” about innovation, collaboration, and critical thinking. They need to work together to focus on authentic issues and problem-solve to gather the collective wisdom of the group to resolve these issues.

November 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Ah, Thanksgiving… so much for which to be thankful, especially looking forward to a few days off for the Thanksgiving holiday!  We all need time to rest up after the marathon eating of Turkey and all the trimmings!

In many of my conversations with coaches, one thing is taking the lead about instructional coaching. How do coaches work with teachers to implement effective instructional practices in non-evaluative ways? How do coaches work with teachers to share a variety of instructional techniques if they can’t get to classrooms to see how the teachers practice?

October 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Sure, coaches work with colleagues in confidential, non-evaluative ways. But, what does that really mean? How do I approach teachers with whom I have not worked previously and automatically expect them to welcome me with open arms, especially if I haven’t taken time to share any thinking about instructional coaching and how coaches support teaching and learning?

September 2013 PDF Print E-mail

As the new year begins, memories of the summer fade away and are replaced with thoughts about common core, educator effectiveness, keystone exams, differentiated instruction, and a host of other initiatives that give teachers, students, parents, school administrators, coaches and mentors lots to think about but little time to do anything but think about it. We know that the rationale behind sharing yet another one or two new endeavors for the school year is to promote the overall success of students and to triangulate the data among student achievement, teacher performance and the school/district “standings.” Yet, having a standardized plan delineating what to do about successfully implementing those undertakings still elude many of us.