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Coaching Approaches

Ignite Potential

The most impactful teacher coaching comes when passion and strategy meet. But which coaching strategies will translate into meaningful growth in student learning? We’ve reflected on our coaching experiences with thousands of educators across the country to outline the most useful, research-based approaches and practices for coaching sessions focused on instructional growth.

About the Tool

What are coaching approaches?

A coaching approach is the structure of the coaching session that best meets the needs of the teacher being coached. We’ve highlighted four of the most useful approaches in the toolkit, along with easy adaptations for virtual learning settings.

We’ve identified four key approaches that also easily adapt to a virtual setting:

  1. Co-Planning: collaborating side-by-side with a teacher to identify key lesson content and to develop the specific instructional skills that they can practice immediately.
  2. Modeling: experienced teachers or coaches demonstrate or narrate effective instructional strategies followed by a debrief and opportunity to practice.
  3. Observation & Debrief: observing and debriefing the way a teacher implements a mutually-defined instructional focus area; the coach and coachee celebrate effective practices and unpack the challenges of the focus area.
  4. Artifact Analysis: examining evidence (e.g. student work, video of instruction, classroom transcript) together to build a shared understanding of student or teacher growth.

Who is this tool for?

Teacher leaders, mentor teachers, instructional leaders and instructional coaches who coach teachers.

What will I gain from this?

These coaching approaches will help you to:

  • Boost student learning by strategically building teacher content and pedagogical knowledge
  • Tailor your coaching to the unique needs of the teachers you coach
  • Adapt your coaching to virtual spaces

Get Started

Use the toolkit, Coaching Approaches for Building Knowledge, to take your support for excellent and equitable teaching to the next level. 

Within, we unpack four common approaches with considerations for sequencing and specific practices. Each section also includes audio narration about the purpose of each approach when to use it.

Download the Tool
excerpt from coaching approaches tool
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