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Coaching and Teacher Roles

Coaching and Teacher Roles

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will learn about the roles and responsibilities of coaches and teachers in the coaching partnership.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, I'm going to be talking about the idea of coaching and teaching roles. As we learn about this topic, we will towards one main learning objective. And we'll answer the following question to guide our learning in this video lesson, what are the roles and responsibilities of coaches and teachers in the coaching partnership?

We'll start by taking a look at where and when coaching can occur. Let's look at the institutional context. Essentially, we can add coaching as an element to any instructional setting, from preschool through the university level.

One of the many benefits of instructional coaching is for coaches and teachers to develop strong professional relationships during these coaching opportunities. One reason for this is that most of the time, coaching takes place face to face. Coaching can offer development opportunities at any time in a teacher's career, from those teachers just beginning their teaching career to veteran teachers who use these opportunities to stay on top of their teaching game, and their instructional strategies.

We can always learn to do it better. Coaching typically takes place within the school itself, mostly in the classroom setting. However, technology provides the opportunity for virtual coaching. Virtual coaches can observe the classroom via Skype, with teachers using Bluetooth headsets. This allows the coach to give feedback or ask questions during instruction. Real time suggestions during instruction can be really beneficial for the teacher, so that they can make improvements on the spot. The coach and teacher can conclude with a post-observation conference afterward, and all of this can be done with online technology.

In instructional coaching situations, the coach has many different roles. Let's talk about some of these roles in more detail. The coach provides support in the classroom. This can be assisting with planning for instruction, observing, and modeling lessons. And also of course, giving feedback and debriefing after all of this, so the teacher is able to learn from the whole process and make changes.

The instructional coach also serves as an instructional specialist. When needed, the coach can make suggestions for or help develop things like instructional strategies, formative and summative assessments, and strategies that will assist in differentiating and adapting instruction for all kinds of individual learners.

The coach provides curriculum support for the teacher. Not only does the coach help individual teachers in their own teaching environment, but oftentimes the coach will help the entire staff of teachers implement a curriculum in the school. The coach can help ensure that elements are aligned, and how teachers use training that they've received in the classroom setting.

Sometimes the transfer of learning the strategies and using the strategies can be really challenging, and the coach is there to assist with this process. The coach analyzes student achievement data, and after analyzing data and working with the principal, the coach can help plan instruction based on these findings.

The role of the teacher in instructional coaching situations is also diverse. Teacher should welcome opportunities for coaching. Teachers who engage in more opportunities for coaching practice new instructional strategies in a more effective way. Teachers must also learn to reflect and be an active part of the feedback discussions with the instructional coach. They must be aware that the coach is knowledgeable and there to help them, so accepting the feedback and asking questions is important.

The teacher must also implement these new instructional strategies so that they can demonstrate what they've learned, and ask guidance from the coach. One idea to remember is that coaching is non-evaluative. This is a really important ideas, as it helps promote effective communication, a critical element of the coaching process.

Effective communication occurs in environments that are non-threatening. When being evaluated, sometimes as teachers we can feel threatened. So it's important to remember that we need a risk free environment where trust and quality are evident.

Focusing on descriptive feedback rather than interpretations of what was seen can help encourage new understanding by the teacher. The coach can use questions to guide understanding, if needed. It's important to note that focusing on instructional weaknesses when working with teachers to fix challenges is not effective, according to research.

So let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the following question, what are the roles and responsibilities of coaches and teachers in the coaching partnership? Today, we talked about the role of coach and teacher in this partnership. .

A coach must provide curriculum and instruction support, become an instructional specialist, and analyze student data. A teacher must be willing to implement these strategies that are learned, and then engage in the opportunity for coaching as well as reflection.

Coaching can occur any time in a teacher's career, and in any instructional setting. Generally, it's face to face. But there's more opportunities to coach virtually every day, and these are great opportunities for teachers that need that flexibility.

Now that you're more familiar with these ideas and the roles of teacher and coach in this relationship, let's reflect. Which of the roles of the teacher that we discussed will you need to improve upon to better your use of instructional coaching opportunities? Which of the roles of teacher do you feel you are currently a very strong in?

Thanks for joining me today and discussing the lesson, Coaching and Teaching Roles. I hope you found value in this video lesson, and the ideas that we talked about. Then you're able to apply these ideas to your own classroom and coaching relationship. For more information on how to apply what you've learned in this video, please see the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications in the course material, including a brief description of each resource.

Notes on “Coaching and Teaching Roles”


(00:00- 00:22) Introduction/Objectives

(00:23- 01:44) Where/When Can Coaching Occur in Teaching?

(01:45- 03:02) Role of Coach

(03:03- 03:41) Role of Teacher

(03:42- 04:26) Recap  

(04:27- 05:11) Summary

(05:12- 06:00) Application

Additional Resources

How Does Coaching Affect Classroom Practice?

This document was developed by the National Reading Technical Assistance Center. Through the lens of a case study, this report illustrates the importance of instructional coaching in relation to student achievement.

Coaching Teachers: What You Need to Know

This is a practical article from Education Week on instructional coaching and its most important aspects.