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How Do Instructional Coaches Help Teachers & Their Students?

how do instructional coaches help teachers

What is an instructional coach?

An instructional coach is a professional who supports classroom teachers to improve their practices and strategies.

Coaches help teachers identify any areas that might need improvement. They also provide feedback and guidance and collaborate to develop and implement effective teaching methods.

The goal of an instructional coach is to increase student learning and achievement, by supporting and educating teachers.

Instructional coaches also find opportunities for teachers to participate in professional development and help them integrate technology and other resources into their instruction.

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An instructional coach serves as a mentor and resource for teachers. Coaches can help create a culture of continuous improvement in schools.

Instructional coaches work with teachers at all grade levels and in various subject areas.

The role of an instructional coach typically includes the following responsibilities:

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  • collaborating with teachers to analyze student data and adjust instruction accordingly
  • supporting teachers in the use of technology and other instructional resources
  • helping teachers to set and achieve personal and professional goals

What skills are needed to be effective as an instructional coach?

An instructional coach typically requires:

  • strong knowledge of teaching and learning
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • ability to observe and analyze classroom practices
  • ability to provide constructive feedback
  • ability to collaborate and build relationships with teachers
  • ability to facilitate professional development and training
  • strong organizational and time management skills
  • knowledge of adult learning principles and effective professional development strategies
  • ability to support and guide teachers in using educational technology
  • understanding of school policies and curriculum standards

What degrees do instructional coaches usually hold?

Some schools and districts may have their own specific requirements, but in general, a master’s degree, along with teaching experience and expertise in teaching and learning, is sufficient to become an instructional coach.

A doctorate in education allows for career opportunities and advancement for instructional coaches.

When an educator or coach completes a traditional or online doctorate in education program, they demonstrate a deep commitment to the field; while improving their opportunities and chances for career advancement.

Coaches who transition into leadership roles, (such as principal, special education director, or director of curriculum & instruction), continue to work with teachers on effective teaching strategies and practices that lead to the best student outcomes.

Summary of Instructional Coaching

Coaching is an observation and feedback cycle, in which coaches model research-based practices and work with teachers to incorporate these practices into their classrooms.

In contrast to traditional professional development, coaching is meant to be individualized, time-intensive, sustained over the course of a semester or year, context-specific, and focused on particular skills.

This post is sponsored by Rockhurst University. Sponsors allow us to provide you with our free online library of research-based learning and behavior strategies for children.

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