Today I started the Coursera MOOC Coaching Teachers: Promoting Changes that Stick by Orin Gutlerner from Match Education. This week's assignments are to watch a couple of videos, do some reading and answer a quiz. The theme of this week's work is that instructional coaching can be a big driver of teacher improvement. Good coaching can make teachers feel good, but effective coaching changes their behaviours.
Here are some of my take aways from Week 1:
- Effective coaching produces lasting changes in teachers behaviours that promote more learning in the classroom
- Effective coaching is highly intensive, individualized, sustained and has high teacher buy-in
- Teacher change can be written as an equation (see diagram below).
In the diagram clarity of visions means the shared vision of the instructional coach and the teacher should have a shared idea of what a highly functioning classroom looks like - in particular what the students should be saying, doing and thinking. This involves students being on-task, paying attention, working hard and feeling that the teacher notices their behaviour. Students know the objective of the lesson and this objective is rigorous but achievable within the lesson. Students also know they get feedback during the lesson so that they can master the goal. It's important that the coach and the teachers being coached agree on this shared vision is a necessary pre-requisite to an effective teacher-coach relationship, without which feedback cannot take place.
The quality of feedback refers to what happens in a coaching session. Fixed mindset -v- growth mindset refers to how much teachers believe they can improve with practice and effort. Even with a shared vision and with great feedback, a teacher with a fixed mindset will make only slow improvements.
Artwork by a student at ASB