Instructional Coaching

Instructional Coaching

Instructional coaching is vital to school transformation, in part because teachers have the greatest influence on student achievement (Nye, Konstantopoulos, & Hedges, 2004)1. AIR collaborates with its clients to plan, launch, and implement a coherent instructional coaching program designed to provide effective coaching support to teachers to improve practice and lead to positive impact on student achievement. Throughout the coaching initiative, AIR supports the school’s or district’s instructional coaching program by providing targeted support to coaches to increase coaching skills, build capacity, and sustain coaching work.

Our instructional coaching essential elements are based on substantial research and have consistently proven successful for our clients.

Culture of Development

A climate grounded in relational-trust, solutions-oriented and focused on continuous improvement spearheaded by leaders and shared among staff is a key lever in building a culture of development.

AIR’s model for instructional coaching focuses on establishing a broadly shared definition of excellent teaching, grounded in professional teaching standards which provide the anchor for coaching conversations and a vision for improved student outcomes. We will work with district and school leaders to align all professional development experiences and evaluation, creating a coherent instructional vision for teachers for supporting and improving teacher practice.

Structures for Coaching

Working from a solid basis of research and best practices, an AIR coaching expert will support districts and schools in determining the coaching structures that best fit their needs and capacities. We will help to clarify roles, responsibilities, and expectations of all stakeholders at every level of the initiative. At program launch, AIR will set up the online Coaching Tracking Tool, which is used to monitor coaching data and to train coaches and school leaders in the use of data to focus progress toward success metrics. An AIR coaching expert will provide coaching support through frequent on-site visits and trainings throughout the implementation.

Focus on Teaching and Learning

AIR focuses on improving teacher practice to promote positive student achievement. Throughout implementation of the instructional coaching program, AIR will train coaches and school leaders in the use of various data to support coaches’ and teachers’ decisions about their shared work, including observation notes, student work, assessment, and perception data. AIR will conduct and support coaching training to lead substantive coaching conversations with teachers relative to pedagogy, beliefs, and assumptions regarding teaching and learning and to identify next steps and action plans for instruction that will be collaboratively developed. Each school will have an AIR staff member who will supervise instructional coaches and monitor coaching effectiveness through the online coaching database and a Teacher Coaching Survey that will be conducted three times each year throughout the program implementation.

Levers of Sustainability

Our model for instructional coaching focuses on capacity building and sustainability. We provide technical and professional assistance to districts and schools as they establish structures, systems, and practices that will enable them to identify and train coaches, use relevant data to determine coaching activities and assignments, allocate resources (e.g., staff, time, budget) for coaching throughout the individual teacher’s career, and determine ongoing development through goal-setting, formative support, and summative evaluation.

We support the school leadership team in developing norms for collecting, examining, and analyzing coaching indicators and metrics and for using the resulting data to inform program adjustments within the district and school.

1. Nye, B., Konstantopoulos, S., & Hedges, L. V. (2004). How large are teacher effects? Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis, 26(3), 237–257. Retrieved July 5, 2011, from "How Large Are Teacher Effects?"