Coaching Teachers: Promoting Changes that Stick

开始时间: 待定 持续时间: Unknown

所在平台: Coursera

课程类别: 教育

大学或机构: Match Teacher Residency

授课老师: Orin Gutlerner



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Teachers face a blizzard of decisions. Scholars estimate that teachers have over 1000 unique exchanges with students every day, most of which are unplanned and require quick decision making. And then there are the myriad daily decision points related to curriculum planning, assessing student work, and interactions with parents and colleagues. Amidst this frenzy, it’s easy for “bad” habits to set in, and hard to break them once they do.

The question then becomes:

How in such a fast-paced environment can coaches and instructional leaders help teachers execute changes in their practice that actually stick? 

Effective teacher-coaches are not just knowledgeable about instruction; they’re also highly strategic in their approach to changing teachers’ behaviors. That starts with preparing teachers to receive critical feedback, and then continues with a careful selection of goals and scaffolds to ensure that feedback is implemented with fidelity.

Oftentimes, teacher coaching suffers from a lack of direction, a lack of support, or both. The coach might tell the teacher to “Do X,” but then fail to articulate clear, measurable steps for implementation.  Most commonly, coaches can be overly suggestive, telling the teacher “You might do X, Y, and Z, and maybe even A, B, and C, too.” With an already very full plate, this approach leaves the teacher uncertain of what to focus on first, undercutting the likelihood of meaningful change.

Even teacher coaching that’s described as “good” can sometimes fall short of resulting in meaningful change. The coach might see and say the right things, and the teacher might be very appreciative of the feedback. But unless the coaching drives true changes in behavior, the “good” in this case could actually end up being the enemy of effective.

Match Education trains and employs dozens of coaches who provide intensive support for teachers in Boston and New Orleans. Course participants will be introduced to Match’s Five key principles of effective coaching, which strike the right balance between providing clear direction for teachers, while giving them the support they need to achieve their goals:

1)     Permission-based Coaching

Teachers first need to permit themselves to receive coaching in order for meaningful change to occur. A skillful coach needs to know how to ask for and create buy-in for this level of permission. In this session of the course, we focus on concrete strategies that help teachers receive and process critical feedback, while maintaining a “growth mindset” about their practice.

2)     Shared Vocabulary and Vision

A teacher coaching relationship must begin with a shared vocabulary for talking about instruction, and a common vision for what excellent teaching looks like. In this session of the course, we introduce a simple observation rubric and several video exercises that a coach could use with a teacher to communicate the parameters of what s/he will be looking for when s/he conducts classroom observations.

3)     Selecting and Setting Measurable Goals

Novice teachers, in particular, often describe the feedback they receive from expert coaches as akin to “drinking from a fire hose” – there’s so much to work on that it becomes difficult to identify and prioritize next steps for their practice. In this session of the course, we focus on how to analyze classroom instruction and select a single, measurable goal that addresses a particularly high leverage aspect of a teacher’s practice.

4)     Delivering Directive Feedback

We believe that teachers need to leave a coaching feedback session with absolute clarity about the steps they should take to achieve their goals. However, the clarity of those steps could easily be obscured by a coach who struggles to deliver candid feedback or to help the teacher articulate concrete, actionable solutions. In this session, we introduce and practice a protocol for debriefing a classroom observation that ensures that teachers have the direction they need to successfully implement a coach’s feedback.

5)     Create Opportunities for Practice

Great coaches don’t just leave it to chance that a teacher is ready to implement feedback after merely discussing what to do. They first try to create opportunities for the teacher to rehearse or apply the action steps in the presence of the coach before the teacher attempts to do it in the classroom. In this session, we explore different exercises for practicing action steps within a coaching feedback session. 

Course Learning Outcomes

o   To describe and analyze strategies that help a teacher develop a growth mindset about accepting and acting on critical feedback.

o   To describe and analyze tools (e.g. observation rubrics) that help teachers and coaches develop a shared vocabulary and vision about excellent classroom practice.

o   To derive clear and measurable improvement goals for teachers based on observations of their practice.

o   To describe and analyze protocols for delivering directive, actionable feedback to teachers.

o   To describe and analyze exercises that generate meaningful opportunities to practice implementing feedback. 


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Learn and practice strategies for coaching teachers to make meaningful, long-lasting improvements in their instruction.




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