A coach who wishes to remain anonymous emailed this question: I just took a position as an instructional coach at a large urban high school. I've never been a coach before and am new to this district. I'm excited about the work but am struggling with one aspect: many teachers have invited me to go out with them and socialize. They go out in big groups on the weekend and are good friends. I have heard that some of the outings get a little wild (and there's a lot of drinking). I'm uncomfortable with this. I don't think this is ...


I've received many emails related to coaching towards the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I'm going to address some by responding to Leah's email in which she raises the challenge of coaching towards CCSS in a context of change and distrust. Please continue to email me with other coaching questions, related to CCSS or anything else! Hello Elena, I presently serve as a literacy coach in New York City. I am working at a school that has new leadership and a veteran staff. The staff has been left without direction for so long that they have developed poor habits regarding ...


Anyone ever felt like their coachees aren't making the kind of growth you want to see? Read this email from a coach in San Diego, CA. I've been a math coach for 2 years. This year I work in a high school (I've never taught or coached in high school) and I'm stumped. I'm seeing very little growth in the teachers I work with. One has made a few changes in her instruction. Another is still trying to get management down. And several haven't made any growth at all. Week after week I observe their classes and I see the ...


A coach in Seattle writes the following: This is my first year as a literacy coach in a large elementary school. I'm being asked to do all kinds of jobs that have nothing to do with coaching including doing lunch supervision, putting up bulletin boards, translating and testing coordination! The hours I have for coaching keep being whittled down--unless I just work more hours and I'm already working over 60 hours a week. I don't know how long I can do this for. Stretched too Thin Dear Stretched, I read your email in an exhausted moment last night and drifted ...


Here's an email I received a few weeks ago from a coach who wishes to be anonymous: I'm a high school literacy coach in a large urban district. I work across a dozen sites that are considered our worst schools. The situation is dismal: inexperienced leadership, no trust amongst teachers and administrators, brand new curriculum, predominantly first year teachers, large scale systems that aren't working, no funding, and then there's poverty, gangs, and so on. I've been working in this district for many years and am increasingly feeling hopeless, frustrated, and enraged by what I see. I'm also a black ...


Jenny from Midland, Mich., writes: I have been in the middle school classroom for 20 years and have now accepted a new position as an instructional coach this year. I have three middle schools and maybe 100 teachers plus administrators to work with. Some teachers already know me, but others do not. What would you suggest as far as the best ways to encourage teachers to use me as a resource? Hi Jenny! Welcome to the wonderful world of instructional coaching. I staggered over this phrase a dozen times: "...100 teachers plus administrators to work with." My first thoughts: Wow! ...


Dear Coaches, For years I've been craving conversations with coaches and thinking about how there must be other lonely coaches somewhere. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when after my first post on this blog I received over 100 emails in 24 hours. They've continued to pour in from coaches all over this country and the world. There was lots of excitement for the idea of this blog and many thoughtful questions including: What do we do about the "resistant" teachers? How do we coach towards Common Core? How do we coach when there's no curriculum? How do ...


I'm going to come straight out and confess: I'm on a mission to see effective coaching programs in all schools. I dream of seeing coaches supporting teachers, principals, and superintendents, of coaches working with educators at all levels of an organization. This mission is driven by my belief that coaching might just be the secret to transforming our schools, good coaching, that is--coaching that attends to an educator's behavior, beliefs and being; coaching delivered by coaches who have a ton of support, rigorous professional development, and who practice a research-based model of coaching; coaching that is focused, intentional, and of ...


The opinions expressed in The Art of Coaching Teachers are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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