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

Every month we PIIC the brains of one of our mentors and ask them to write about topics related to instructional coaching and mentoring.  See what they have to say...

Click here to see a complete list of Mentor Blogs



Spring into Action: Three Tips to Keep Coaching Alive When Teachers are Dead Tired PDF Print E-mail

By IU PIIC Mentor Terri Lewis

Well, PSSA is here and we know what that often means for coaches! Schedules are up-ended, test administration and test security are top priorities, and teachers don’t want anything to do with you!

Yes, you will get through the few weeks of testing, but then what? After a busy and productive year, when PSSA is finished, many in the education world believe that school is over and it’s time to relax. This is when teachers and students need you most, coaches! Everyone is tired and in need of some inspiration. Consider these tips to keep teachers engaged and active learners through the official end of the school year!


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Establishing an Instructional Coaching Program: How to Thrive Rather than Survive PDF Print E-mail

by IU PIIC Mentors Jen Herncane and Diane Hubona

PIIC nourishes collaboration and communication in every aspect, so when we were asked to co-author this blog, we brainstormed, “What are three purposeful steps to foster success in coaching programs in schools?” We both agreed, without much debate, to thrive in coaching there are three key goals:

1. Establish a clear coaching focus.

2. Focus on student learning.

3. Develop collaborative professional learning opportunities for coaches as well as teachers.


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Falling in Love with Instructional Coaching PDF Print E-mail
By IU PIIC Mentor Heather Moschetta

Ah, February. The month when love is in the air. You may appreciate or despise or even be indifferent towards Valentine’s Day, but there is no denying that our society makes February synonymous with the four-letter “L” word.

Classical mythology blames love on Cupid, the winged child armed with bow and arrows, who mischievously casts his arrows to make people fall in love. In the world of the instructional coach, though, there is no Cupid to make teachers fall in love with instructional coaching. That job falls on coaches and their mentors, who often find themselves in a marketing role, selling teachers and administrators on the benefits that instructional coaching can have on teaching and learning.


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Bringing Empathy to Self-Coaching PDF Print E-mail

By IU PIIC Mentors Carol Adams and Jamie Pitcavage

 “I didn’t ask the right questions.”  “I tried too hard to get to a solution to the problem.”  “We don’t have enough time to do a BDA.”  “I don’t think that Teacher A really cares about her students and doesn’t seem open to trying anything new. I can’t get through to her.”

What do we do when self-judgments stream into our consciousness before, during and after the coaching conversation?


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The Season of Giving PDF Print E-mail

By IU PIIC Mentors Alicia Hull and Andy Gavalis

Since this is the season of giving, we will explore two important aspects of mentoring/coaching that give educators the opportunity to build on their practice.  These two aspects of mentoring or coaching are listening and reflecting.  Both are rare, valuable gifts.  Independently, each of these will improve practice and result in improved student learning.  However, both together will improve practice exponentially.  So, how do listening and reflection help coaches and teachers?   


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