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Introduction to Peer Coaching

Introduction to Peer Coaching

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will learn what peer coaching is, along with the goals of peer coaching.

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Source: Image light, Public Domain, http://tinyurl.com/p4pfjr7; Image of 2 face silhouettes, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/face-silhouette-contour-man-woman-67430/; Image of collaboration, Public Domain, http://tinyurl.com/m9e7smk

Video Transcription

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in today's video lesson, I'm going to be exploring the topic of Introduction to Peer Coaching. As we learn about this topic, we will work towards several learning objectives. And together, we'll answer the following questions to guide our learning in this video lesson. First, what is peer coaching? And second, what are the benefits of peer coaching?

So let's start with this question. What is peer coaching? Research supports that conferences and workshops alone don't always result in instructional changes. As teachers, we need more sustained development. That is, more than just off-site learning. Peer coaching provides just this-- a collaborative type of learning that's embedded in the teacher's day-to-day teaching.

Peer coaching is a mutual process that occurs between two teachers. One teacher coaches the other teacher. This relationship is dependent on many different types of interactions and communications. The two teachers participate in reflection on their instruction, develop new teaching skills, and improve those that they have been using. The two teachers share teaching ideas with each other and observe and provide feedback together. They address the specific classroom challenges by problem-solving together.

Peer coaching is a form of professional development. This type of coaching addresses skills and knowledge and is specific to each individual teacher's needs. Despite the title coach, this relationship, peer coaching, is often a two-way collaboration where two colleagues coach each other. One is not deemed more knowledgeable than the other. Instead, peer coaching focuses on improvement and refinement of teaching and learning.

The goal is not to evaluate each other. Coaching has the best results if it's authentic. When teachers are able to form these relationships on their own through discussion and maybe professional learning communities, they're more successful than if teachers are paired up by administration. Often, when they don't have a choice and they're paired up by administration, this results in a poor match and goals, maybe a poor match in teaching and learning styles and feedback styles.

Peer coaching is most effective when it's an extended process, going on as long as both are mutually agreeable. The peer coaches continue to set new goals and address those through the coaching process together. This coaching should go on as long as the coaching is needed and useful by these two teachers. There are many benefits to peer coaching.

Four main goals are highlighted for this type of coaching. These goals include to increase student learning, to promote collaboration among colleagues for the purpose of sharing instructional strategies that have been successful, to encourage reflection on teaching practice, and lastly, to significantly reduce teacher isolation.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the following two questions. What is peer coaching? And what are the benefits of peer coaching? In this video lesson, we discussed peer coaching, the mutual process that occurs between two teachers where one teacher coaches the other. Peer coaching is a form of professional development. And this type of coaching addresses skills and knowledge that's specific to the teacher's individual needs in this relationship.

We explored the idea that peer coaching should be authentic and not evaluative. It should also be focused on improvement and refinement of teaching and learning. Finally, we discussed the four main goals for the peer coaching relationship-- increasing student learning, promoting collaboration among peers for the purpose of sharing successful strategies, encouraging reflection on teaching practice, and reducing teacher isolation.

Now that you're more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect. Can you think of individuals that you connect with enough to form a successful peer coaching team? What qualities does this individual have that you connect with?

Thanks for joining me today and discussing the lesson, Introduction to Peer Coaching. I hope you've found value in these ideas and are able to apply them to your own teaching and coaching relationships. 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 of the course material, including a brief description of each resource.

Notes on “Introduction to Peer Coaching”


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

(00:23- 01:27) What is Peer Coaching?

(01:28- 02:30) What Does Peer Coaching Look Like?

(02:31- 02:54) Benefits to Peer Coaching

(02:55- 03:47) Recap

(03:48- 04:28) Reflection

Additional Resources

A Definition of Peer Coaching

Pam Robbins provides a clear overview of peer coaching. Included in this chapter is a useful infographic that illustrates the different uses of peer coaching in schools.

Peer Coaching: Changing Classroom Practice and Enhancing Student Achievement 

This article examines the importance of peer coaching. In addition, this article analyzes the impact of peer coaching on student achievement and teacher practice.