For teachers–new, mid-career, and veteran–at the beginning of the school year.
Athletes—including the very best—use coaches regularly to improve their performance. Surgeons bring coaches into the operating room to observe them as they work and make suggestions for perfecting their technique. Social service agencies employ coaches to help caseworkers develop communication skills, especially with difficult clientele. In schools, coaches serve a variety of purposes.
Sometimes we are called literacy coaches. In that case, we work with teachers to develop instructional strategies vis-a-vis reading and writing in all the disciplines. Sometimes we are called curriculum coaches, and then the focus is on the district’s learning goals and standardized assessments of those goals. We might be called technology coaches—where the emphasis is on the obvious. Or, we are called instructional coaches—and then it’s all about what happens in the classroom. The truth is, most of us do some of all of this. The name doesn’t matter. We know what we do, and what…
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