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Introduction to Instructional Coaching

Introduction to Instructional Coaching

Author: Ashley Sweatt

In this lesson, you will learn about what instructional coaching is and how it is useful.

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Source: Image of coaching board, Public Domain, Image of class, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Hi, my name is Ashley. And today's lesson is titled Introduction to Instructional Coaching. In today's lesson, we would define instructional coaching. We will look at the benefits of instructional coaching and determine how it can be useful. Lastly, we'll look at the components of instructional coaching according to University of Kansas Professor Jim Knight.

Instructional coaching is a form of professional development that focuses on improving teachers knowledge and skills. Instructional coaches can specially be hired by a school system to observe teachers, model lessons, present information, and provide feedback. In other cases, colleagues provide the coaching. This form of coaching is called peer coaching, when colleagues become instructional coaches for each other.

How is instructional coaching useful? Instructional coaching encourages reflection on instruction in collaboration with teachers. Teachers have the opportunity to develop professionally within the walls of their own school building rather attending an outside workshop or conference. And since coaching occurs in the classroom with instruction, teachers are immediately able to apply what they have learned. Coaching also encourages a positive school environment. When teachers take part in the coaching process, they become more collaborative and open to sharing their ideas for improvements, which results in better communication between teachers and it creates an environment of people wanting to help one another. Instructional coaching promotes the use of data analysis practices.

Data analysis is a focus during the coaching process. The end result of coaching is to increase student achievement. And, in order to do this, student data must be analyzed to allow coaches to help teachers develop strategies and techniques to enhance instruction. The coaching process allows teachers and coaches to be accountable. It is the coach's job to provide ongoing feedback of the teachers instructions consistently. And it's the teacher's job to welcome feedback and collaboration to grow professionally. This relationship must be ongoing to be effective.

Lastly, instructional coaching fosters a supportive and nurturing environment for everyone involved, coaches, teachers, and principals. It provides opportunities to be involved with leading changes in education involving pedagogical and content knowledge. In addition, coaching also helps to avoid issues with teacher isolation.

What are the components of instructional coaching? According to Jim Knight, a professor at the University of Kansas, there are several components of coaching. First is identifying challenges. The coach and teacher identify challenges that occur in the classroom, whether they be challenges with instruction, managing the classroom, or assessment practices. Next is modeling the coach may model lessons for teachers to demonstrate best instructional practices for the classroom. This may assist in areas identified as challenges. The reading coach at my school model how to introduce word study to students. At that time, I was not very familiar with the process. But after her demonstration, I learned techniques of how to introduce new words to students and facilitate learning by helping them see the patterns but not giving it away.

Observing is another component of instructional coaching. The coach will observe the teachers use of strategies to address the challenges. This also can get the coach insight on the challenge the teacher is having. Feedback is a major component of coaching. After the observation, the coach provides feedback to the teacher, detailing what was observed. The last component of coaching is reflection. The coach encourages the teacher to reflect by asking questions and discussing what was observed.

Let's recap what we have discussed in today's lesson. We defined instructional coaching as a form of professional development that can be a person who has been specially hired by the school district or in some cases colleagues provide coaching for each other. Instructional coaching is useful because it promotes the use of data analysis and fosters a supportive and nurturing environment. It also encourages reflection on instruction and collaboration. The components of instructional coaching are identifying challenges, modeling, observing, feedback, and reflection.

As we bring the lesson to a close, go back and review the information of this lesson. Look at all the benefits of why teachers should engage in instructional coaching. For more information on how to apply what you've learned in this video, please view the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource.

Notes on "Introduction to Instructional Coaching"


(00:00 - 00:10) Introduction

(00:11 - 00:32) What Will You Learn Today?

(00:33 - 01:00) What is Instructional Coaching?

(01:01 - 02:45) How is Instructional Coaching Useful?

(02:46 - 04:11) What are the Components of Instructional Coaching?

(04:12 - 04:51) What Did You Learn Today?

(04:52 - 05:18) Reflection


Additional Resources

Instructional Coaching: Professional Development Strategies That Improve Instruction

This guide provides useful planning and implementation strategies for instructional coaching within your organization. All strategies are research based.

Instructional Coaching

This Teaching Channel video illustrates the value of instructional coaching for both the coach and the teacher.