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Implementing Coaching Models and Techniques

Implementing Coaching Models and Techniques

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will explore a case study of a teacher who is going to be coached in science instruction. After learning about the teacher, you will consider what coaching model and techniques might be most effective.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, we'll be covering the lesson, Implementing Coaching Models and Techniques. As we learn about this topic, we will work toward several learning objectives. And we'll use the following two questions to guide our learning in this video lesson. What is an example scenario of a teacher being coached in science instruction? And, what coaching models and techniques are used? Why?

In this lesson, we'll consider an example scenario for coaching. After we explore this case study, I will address some important questions to use while walking through the process of coaching. Here's our case study. Becky is a seventh grade science teacher who's getting ready to begin her second year of teaching. This year at Becky's school, they're beginning to train teachers on the use of flipped learning model to promote inquiry and engagement in the student-led learning environment.

Prior to beginning school, teachers attended a professional development workshop on flipped learning. This school year, instructional coaching support is given to these science teachers. Becky's instructional coach has been working with her for two months. While Becky has been more successful creating and choosing material for students to watch before class as homework-- like videos, documentaries, teacher-made tutorials-- she's struggling with bringing a student-led element into her classroom activities.

While conducting an observation of Becky teaching a lesson, after students had completed a homework assignment on watching a movie and taking notes on the human digestive system and its parts and functions, the coach noticed that Becky was still resorting to giving students a worksheet to fill out together as they worked in groups. She then brought the students back together and presented a PowerPoint presentation on the digestive system.

The students summarized the PowerPoint presentation individually and turned it in. While this did extend learning from the homework activity, and it did give some methods for assessing, it was not a student-led lesson. And students lacked engagement and interest.

One of Becky's goals for this year is to promote inquiry and engage students with student-led learning opportunities. As a coach in this scenario, it would be extremely important to use the following questions to help guide the coaching. These four questions are important. So please take a moment to pause and write them down, or take a screenshot for future reference.

We'll now go through each of these questions for this case study. Let's start with question number one. What coaching model might be best for the teacher? Consider mentoring, peer coaching, cognitive coaching, or subject-specific coaching? Why do you think that the model you chose would be the best fit.

In this case study, science teachers in this school chose to engage in peer coaching. Teachers served as coaches for each other, and it can be used to connect formal professional development, like that that they received on the flipped learning in the beginning of the school year and classroom instruction. It's non-threatening and not evaluative, which permits relationship building within the faculty. Teachers can be open with questions and it promotes their desire to learn as a teacher. As the teachers all train together, this was a good model for the group.

Let's look at the second question. What coaching techniques might be helpful? Consider accountable talk, critical friends groups. Why do you think the technique you chose would be the best fit?

The teachers in this science department choose to take part in a critical friends group. The advantages to this were that there was a professional learning community with the following characteristics-- a focus on student learning, a culture of collaboration, and a results oriented emphasis. Because the goals were to implement training and seek ideas to engage students and create student-led activities, this was an extremely helpful format. Adding the fact that the protocol could be used as a guide for this group of teachers, it made for an effective choice.

Let's look at the third question. Suppose you're going to observe the teacher's science lesson. How would you prepare? What kinds of things would you hope to see? What observation tool what would you use?

First and foremost, the coach asked for and looked at the homework assignment that the teacher had assigned the students for this lesson. Since this was a flipped learning lesson, the students were asked to complete a homework assignment on watching a movie and taking notes on the human digestive system and its parts and function.

The coach also asked to observe the lesson plan for the class activity. For this lesson, in particular, the coach chose to use a pre-observation form to gather some feedback about the goals and learning targets of the lesson. While the coach had been observing this teacher for several months, it still proved to be a helpful tool for reflecting on the teacher's goals and intentions.

The coach also used a lesson observation form to document answers to questions that were relevant to this lesson during the observation, such as, what was the student's interest level in this lesson? Was this a student-led lesson? What elements where observed that indicated this? A lesson observation checklist or form can help the coach stay on track during the observation. The coach of course was looking for specific instructional strategies that led to greater student engagement and achievement-- activities that were student-led and teacher-facilitated.

The last question is how might you provide feedback to the teacher? In this situation, the coach has an established relationship with this teacher, as they were peer coaches for each other. The coach and teacher met post-observation for a conference, where the coach provided the teacher with a verbal recap of observations and suggestions for improvement. The coach later followed up with the teacher by giving more detailed formal written feedback that included both documentation of the observation and also documentation of the conference itself and what was discussed. As the teachers have long-term goals for coaching each other, it was helpful to have efficient and extensive reflection material.

So let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the following questions. What is an example scenario of a teacher being coached in a science instruction? And, what coaching models and techniques are used? Why? Today, we walked through a case study of a seventh grade teacher with a goal of increasing student engagement and achievement by creating student-led lessons using the flipped learning model.

We used a set of four questions to guide our coaching, and we applied these questions to this case study. As a reminder, these questions are important to take note of for future reference. Now that you are more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect. In this scenario, would you choose the same techniques or do something different? Why? What might the challenges be for you to give and receive feedback if you were one of these individuals in this scenario?

Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson, Implementing Coaching Models and Techniques. I hope you found value in this video lesson and are able to apply these ideas and resources to your own teaching and coaching. As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.

Notes on “Implementing Coaching Models and Techniques”


(00:00- 00:39) Introduction/Objectives

(00:40- 02:21) Case Study for Coaching

(02:22- 02:37) Questions to Consider as Coach

(02:38- 04:16) Application of Questions 1-2 to Case Study

(04:17- 06:27) Application of Questions 3-4 to Case Study

(06:28- 07:04) Recap

(07:05- 07:53) Reflection 

Additional Resources

The Power of Educational Coaching

This Edutopia article reviews the purpose and importance of coaching to improve instructional practice.

Critical Friends: Building a Culture of Collaboration

This Teaching Channel article reviews how and why to give feedback as a critical friend. In addition, the article includes a useful video that illustrates a critical friends feedback conversation in process.