When sharing about my new job, this is the question I am most commonly asked. Many people, including myself, at first, have never heard of an instructional coach and have no idea what he or she might do. My husband still teases, “Where’s your whistle and clipboard, Coach?” While I am in no way an expert, I would like to share what I have learned so far and mention some of our team’s first steps.
Part of the Dike-New Hartford’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) plan was to create four new instructional coaching positions. Current staff members were hired as instructional coaches in the areas of technology (Joanna Seymour), literacy (Amanda Bonjour), mathematics (Diane Eilderts), and mentoring/collaboration (Amy Seitz). The coaching team was no longer assigned to a classroom or a particular group of students. Instead, we are free to work at all levels, preschool through grade 12, to support teachers and improve student learning.
Trainings this spring and summer provided us tools to help support our teachers and improve student learning. To support our staff, we will:
We instructional coaches will NOT:
Starting coaching this fall, it has been exciting to observe many grade levels, and witness strengths of different teachers and students. We coaches have a goal to make it to all classrooms during the next few weeks. We are eager to visit with students we haven’t met yet and find ways to be supportive of staff needs.