As part of our instructional coaching training, coaches and administrators have been able to participate in Coaching Labs following a model developed by Diane Sweeney. A coaching lab allows viewers to witness a coach and teacher in action. They watch them plan together, co-teach in a classroom, then discuss their results and next steps. Afterwards, participants share their observations, discuss how this influenced student learning, ask questions of the coach, and plan their next steps as coaches. One of the most valuable parts of the coaching labs were the conversations--thinking deeper about the whys and hows of the art of teaching.
In December, DNH hosted a coaching lab at the Junior High for ten coaches and administrators from other districts. Math instructional coach Diane Eilderts and 6th grade math teacher Jill Hoffman planned, co-taught, then debriefed a 6th grade math lesson. Parts of their conversations are shown in the video below.
While coaching labs are a good tool to improve, the video highlights the most important piece of the puzzle--the conversations. Reflecting about teaching practices, asking for feedback, discussing observations are all ways to improve classroom actions and ultimately student learning.
As coaches, we are available for co-teaching, but maybe that’s not what you need. We could be someone to brainstorm lesson ideas or another pair of eyes to track students. We can offer ways to differentiate for different learning styles or offer ways to tier assignments to support different abilities. We are here to support what you and your students’ needs. Conversations can be powerful.