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Transcript of INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING
resent them; they resent going to
in-services where someone is going
to tell them what to do but not help
them follow up. Teachers want
someone that's going to be there,
that's going to help them for the
duration, not a fly-by-night program
that's here today and gone tomorrow.
-Lynn Barnes, Instructional Coach
This attitude teachers project then leads educational leaders to blame teachers for “resisting change”.
WHAT WE HAVE FOUND
A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction
By: Jim Knight
Many school leaders are finding that traditional methods of training and professional development simply are not working.
Research shows (Bush, 1984) that traditional trainings result in no better than 10% implementation rate. In addition, during hundreds of interviews, teacher’s stories reinforce what research suggests. Teachers criticize trainings that lack follow-up and that fail to recognize their expertise. In fact, the traditional style of talking or lecturing to a large group of teachers is leaving educators frustrated, disappointed, even insulted and feeling that they are worse off than before the training.
Perhaps it is less that teachers resist change but rather resist poorly designed trainings. Think about this; teachers engage in professional development every day – they just don’t always do it with professional developers. Teachers learn from each other all the time, they share lesson plans, activities they love and ideas about individual children.
Educators and teachers then get caught up in a vicious cycle of blame verses resistance.
When teachers receive an appropriate amount of support from professional developers or coaches, more than 90% of them embrace and implement change that then results in students experience and outcomes.
Impact of One-Shot Professional Development
Instructional Coaching & Implementation
Traditional Training (Bush, 1984)
Other Obstacles That Prevent Traditional Training From Being Successful Are........................
Often times leadership may decide that more is better vs the common thought that less is actually more. In thinking this way, many new practices are offered without a realistic implementation plan or any support moving forward.
"Two women are talking about the food in their retirement home. One turns to the other and says, "The food here is terrible." The other nods in agreement, fronws, and says, "Oh yes, and the portions are so small."
- Woody Allen
Like the ladies in the joke, teachers are offered training that is poorly delivered and/or them followed-up with.
INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING OR IC!!!
Instructional Coaches find themselves doing many things:
Meeting with teachers
Modeling in the classroom
Training Support and follow-up
New practice implementation support
FINDING THE RIGHT STARTING POINT...
Instructional Coaches can increase their chances of having a positive impact on teachers if they focus on the teachers most pressing concerns. To successfully accomplish this there is something called;
THE BIG FOUR...
Coaches can help as a guide to ensure teachers set clear expectations.
Teachers need to have a deep understanding of what they are teaching.
Advanced organizers, model the thinking involved in what is being learned, asking a variety of high level questions, and ensure meaningful activities and materials.
An assessment tool to measure children's progress, in this case, the Classroom Assessment for Student Learning or CLASS...
BUILDING AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION:
Partnership Mind-set...Instructional Coaches must adopt a partnership approach with teachers. The actual definition of a partnership is;
"a deep belief that we are no more important than those with whom we work, and that we should do everything we can to respect that equality."
This approach is built around 7 core principles...
HOW DO WE GET TEACHERS ON BOARD...
It will fail if we go in as experts. If we do not honor who teachers are as people and what they need. That's why I think instructional coaching is unique. We have to go in and listen, and tailor our conversations individually, and offer particular tools that we have expertise in. We have to value where they're coming from, what they're doing, what their goals and desires are as well.
- Sue Woodruff, a leader of instructional coaches
HOWEVER. . .
NON OF THIS CAN HAPPEN WITHOUT CHANGE
According to researcher, Prochaska, there are six phases of change:
Further research finds that though one need not follow the phases in a linear order, one must move through all phases to successfully make long term, sustainable change.
HOW DOES THIS LOOK IN THE CLASSROOM:
In this stage it's common for the teacher to blame the students behavior or the principal and/or parents' lack of support or maybe the large class size, so in other words, anything other than themselves for the problems in the classroom.
In this stage the teacher starts to think about and consider the causes, resources, and possible methods they could use to improve their classroom management skills.
The teacher will take time to plan what they have to do to implement the change they are planning to implement. IC can really help in this stage
HOW DOES THIS LOOK...CONTINUED:
Though the IC is present and supporting through all phase, he/she is highly present during this phase in particular offering follow-up, support and regular collaboration to ensure meaningful improvements.
In this stage the teacher is trying out new practices in the classroom.
This stage the teacher has completely integrated a new teaching practice. In this stage the teacher no longer needs the support of an IC. The amount of support will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
ENROLLMENT: GETTING TEACHERS ON BOARD
"How do I get people to work with me?"
Five Instructional Coaching methods:
One-on-one interviews will a) help IC's gather information, b) educate participants about the philosophy, methods and opportunities offered by working with a coach and c) IC's can explain their partnership approach, that they are here to listen not evaluate.
A small-group approach will create a more group feel and it will also alleviate the defenses that might come with singling out a specific teacher or the "you need coaching" misconception. A small-group meeting can be informal and take place during an already scheduled team meeting. The IC will simply a) explain the opportunities coaching can offer b) clarify the partnership of the coaching relationship c) explain in detail what instructional coaching is and d) make initial contact with anyone interested right then and there.
(Interview Questions You Might Consider Using Handout...)
Large Group Presentation:
A large group presentation would typically be held at the beginning of a school year before classes begin or at the end of the year to enroll teachers for the following year. Large group presentations are a good idea when IC want to ensure that everyone hears and understands the same message. Large groups are not recommended for all programs specifically for big programs. We run into the same problems as we discussed the occur with the traditional trainings. Teachers often feel overwhelmed and like this is one more thing. As all things, the method you use is on a case-by-case, program-by-program basis.
(Are You Interested Handout)
ENROLLMENT STILL CONTINUED...
One-to-One Informal Meetings:
An instructional coach with high relationship building skills can casually collaborate with a teacher in the school or at a training and enroll them that way.
A principal or leadership referral can be powerful or detrimental to the coaching relationship. It all depends how it is delivered. If a teacher is required to work with an IC (or else!), the IC will be seen as a punishment. However, if leadership focuses on the teaching practice that must change, an IC can be suggested as an option to improve the practice.
An Example: "John, when I observed your class I noticed that 10 out of your 24 students were off task during your lesson. You need to implement ways to keep kids on task and ensure they are all learning. Our IC Veronica is great at behavior management. You might want to talk with her, but if you don't that's okay too. What matters is that all children are learning. I'll check back in a couple weeks.
TO SUM IT UP!!
There is great interest in improving instruction in schools, instructional coaching is one approach.
Traditional trainings usually fail in sustainability to impact change.
Research shows that instructional coaching has achieved 85% implementation.
Instructional coaching has a specific set of actions.
Instructional coaches recognize that change is a process. Change is more achievable when IC's can meet teachers where they are and consider the 6 stages of change.
Though there are several approaches to getting teachers on board with coaching. The most effective of them all is one-to-one meetings and small group. Large group and leadership referral can be effective depending on the type of program and depending on the deliverance.
The Big Four: behavior, content knowledge, direct instruction and assessment can help teachers and IC make decisions on where to begin with coaching.