Skip to content
SA Together Again: We’re back in classrooms and taking learning to new levels!
Blog

Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

3 Tips to Successfully Coach Teachers in 2015

Are you a principal looking for a New Year’s resolution that will improve teaching and learning in your school? Make 2015 the year of real-time coaching! Read about the benefits of providing immediate feedback to teachers here, and use the tips below to get started! 

1. Prepare Teachers: Real-time coaching is not a familiar experience for most teachers. Even new teachers — who should expect (and crave!) guidance — may be uncomfortable with a principal or coach interrupting their lessons. It is important to prepare teachers for real-time coaching before they experience it. I prepare teachers by reviewing the common types of real-time coaching they will experience in their classroom (see chart below). Sometimes, I lead teachbacks (practice lessons) during staff or individual meetings. During teachbacks, teachers deliver a five-minute segment of their lesson. As they practice, I coach them in the moment – not only to give them feedback, but also to familiarize them with the process and “feel” of real-time coaching. That way, there are no surprises once the scholars arrive!

2. Focus on Execution: Real-time coaching should focus on execution skills, such as clarity, questioning, pacing, and giving directions. Coaching in the moment cannot fix problems rooted in lesson planning; these problems should be addressed in planning meetings. Leaders need to sort their observations accordingly. If leaders try to real-time coach around planning skills, teachers will find the process frustrating, because improvement will not be authentic or lasting. Conversely, if leaders successfully align real-time coaching to execution skills, teachers will see fast improvement in their practice and value the process.

3. Minimize Leader Voice: Real-time coaching can be a ton of fun for leaders — especially those who miss their days in the classroom. This enthusiasm is great, but it can cause leaders to talk too much. Leaders should always look to maximize teacher practice time (the same way that teachers look to maximize scholar work time!). Leaders should not model, and co-lead lessons throughout the day. Modeling and co-teaching should only occur for teachers who need high levels of support. Leaders should rely mostly on strategic and targeted whisper-ins, which accelerate teacher growth by maximizing teacher practice — rather than leader airtime.

MaloneChart

Written by Andrew Malone January 29, 2015

Blog

Related posts

Protecting the planet, one world-class school at a time

November 12, 2021 Success Academy

Over the past two weeks, all eyes were on world leaders as they convened in Glasgow for the 2021 Climate Change Conference; the health of our planet has never been more critical. At Success Academy, our standard for excellence includes an investment in sustainability and an environmentally responsible approach to our operations and physical spaces.   ... Read more

Thank you to the veterans in our community!

November 10, 2021 Success Academy

The call to military service is not answered lightly, and those who sign up to serve our nation are often some of the most mission-driven people among us. It should come as no surprise, then, that so many veterans continue to serve their communities in some form after their military careers.  We’re lucky to have... Read more

“Happy Children Learn Better” – An SA parent reflects on the return to campus

October 7, 2021 Success Academy

Success Academy reopened its doors to scholars across the city in August, safely ushering students back into the classroom after an unprecedented 2020-21 school year. To keep our scholars safe — and learning — it’s more important than ever that we work together with families and guardians to ensure everyone in our community is on... Read more

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2022-2023 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.