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Published from 2005 to 2013, this newsletter explores the challenges and rewards that teacher leaders, coaches, mentors, instructional specialists, lead teachers, and master teachers face.

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Step through a new teacher's first year. This article outlines the developmental benchmarks of that difficult first year of teaching, beginning with anticipation and working through more challenging phases such as survival and disillusionment. Moir makes connections between the phases and events that occur throughout the school year. Quotes from teacher journals illustrate what teachers are thinking as they progress through the stages. This article is reprinted from the newsletter of the New Teacher Center, University of California at Santa Cruz.

Learn about a useful tool to measure and guide your standards implementation work. The Innovation Configuration Maps (ICs) are written guidelines that describe specific behaviors attached to desired outcomes. In NSDC's case, the ICs were developed to help educators in a variety of roles understand what NSDC's standards look like in action. In this article, Killion gives an overview of the purpose and use of ICs and describes, with examples, how these tools can be used to assist coaches in their work in schools.

Teachers who go through the process of becoming National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are recognized as well-prepared, accomplished classroom teachers. But are they ready to become leaders of other teachers? Schools and districts are seeking ways to best make use of these skilled teachers. At the same time, NBCTs are often ready to take on school leadership roles. Read about the challenges teachers face when they take on leadership roles, written by Bill Ferriter, NBCT, school leader, and regular columnist and blogger for NSDC.

As resource providers, coaches help teachers locate resources, materials, equipment, and examples of best practice, as well as information on delivery of instruction, assessment of student learning, and management of the classroom. Being a resource provider is often the first step when a coach is trying to get a foot in the door of teachers' classrooms. Working in this role helps coaches develop trust and credibility.

School-based coaching is still new for many schools. How can leaders get teachers to embrace a coaching program? In this article, Jim Knight outlines the benefits of one-to-one conversations between teachers and coaches. Learn how interviews can be conducted, read sample questions, and explore important elements in establishing effective teacher-coach relationships.

Step through a new teacher's first year. This article outlines the developmental benchmarks of that difficult first year of teaching, beginning with anticipation and working through more challenging phases such as survival and disillusionment. Moir makes connections between the phases and events that occur throughout the school year. Quotes from teacher journals illustrate what teachers are thinking as they progress through the stages. This article is reprinted from the newsletter of the New Teacher Center, University of California at Santa Cruz.

Read this article to explore the differences between supervision and coaching. Toll, who has worked extensively with literacy coaches, has created detailed definitions of the terms supervisor and coach to help clarify specific roles and duties.

Toll also shares tips for coaches and supervisors to assist them in keeping their roles separate in order to best support teachers. Examples illustrate how conversations between coach and teacher differ from conversations between supervisor and teacher.

This month, read how coaches serve as leaders in their schools. The Leadership standard states: Staff development that improves the learning of all students requires skillful school and district leaders who guide continuous instructional improvement.

Killion provides many examples of coaches as both formal and informal leaders. She also describes how a coach can use a success-based approach to change in order to empower teachers rather than demoralize them.

It isn't enough for coaches to deeply believe in the teachers they support -- their words have to show that belief.Read about the importance of conversations between coaches and teachers. Kee shares strategies for language use that demonstrate a coach's confidence -- and motivate teachers to improve.

The collegial visit provides a structured opportunity for teachers to learn from each other. Read about the benefits of classroom visits and learn how to plan such a visit in order to create a meaningful learning opportunity for teachers.Important aspects of a worthwhile collegial visit include determining the precise purpose and focus, selecting an appropriate teacher to observe, and creating next steps for the observer. The article also covers the role of the visit facilitator, who is often an administrator.
By Kelly Lock

NSDC profile -- Betsy Rogers: Speaking up for those at risk - "I've been given an opportunity to be a voice. I never even dreamed that I would do this. As a classroom teacher, I just focused on those kids. I never tried to influence my colleagues. That's a role I just ignored. But, really, all teachers have to be voices for children."Betsy Rogers teaches at Brighton Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala. As the former National Teacher of the Year, she occupies a podium -- and she's decided she has to speak up.

Meet the classroom supporter -- in this role, the school-based coach joins the teacher in the classroom and offers a range of support options.The coach may demonstrate a lesson when the teacher is learning a new instructional practice. Coach and teacher have an option to co-teach when the teacher is ready to try a new practice. Finally, the coach may observe and offer feedback as the teacher conducts the lesson on her or his own.

When does a school-based coach resemble a tight-rope walker? As catalysts for change, coaches have a delicate balance to maintain -- on one hand, they challenge the status quo and on the other, they want teachers to be confident and competent in their work.Coaches promote continuous improvement throughout schools. To do this, they ask teachers to carefully examine what works and what doesn't. They regularly test basic assumptions and bring in new ways of doing things.

Teachers Teaching Teachers, March 2006, Vol. 1, No. 6

How fitting that most coaches spend the majority of their time in the role of the instructional specialist, since it is in this role that student learning is most directly influenced.As instructional specialists, coaches focus on instructional strategies, share information about differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students, and demonstrate or observe classroom lessons. Coaches need a solid understanding of research-based practices and standards-based planning in order to match strategies and desired student learning outcomes.

School-based coaches tackle a range of challenging tasks when they play the role of the curriculum specialist. They assist teachers in understanding and aligning the curriculum, they help to identify and interpret standards, they explore what to assess.Such a range of tasks is daunting, and becomes more so when you consider that coaches often have to be curriculum specialists across disciplines and grade levels.

In 1997, Bill Jackson joined a study group and watched a TIMSS videotape of math classrooms. Inspired by what he saw in Japanese classrooms, Jackson began to change his own teaching style. Soon after, the study group learned about lesson study, the professional development process that Japanese teachers use to improve classroom lessons.

The school-based coach often serves as a mentor to new teachers. In this role, coaches call upon their knowledge of instructional strategies, classroom management, and the culture of a specific school. They must also understand the stages of teacher development and adjust support to meet novice teachers' needs.Learn more about the challenges and skills associated with the mentor role and read about the strategies one mentor uses in a scenario illustrating the mentor at work.

Instructional coaches have a relatively new role in assisting teachers to analyze student achievement, perception, demographic, and process data. Such a role includes many steps, from identifying what data to examine and how to display data meaningfully to helping teachers make instructional decisions based on the data. Facilitation skills are key as coaches create a supportive environment for open data analysis and discussion.Read more about this coaching role, the skills required, and the challenges involved. A brief scenario shows the data coach at work in an elementary school.

The school-based coach is a new position in many school systems. While the title and job description vary across districts and states, the job is always complex.In this article, Killion and Harrison identify 9 different roles of the school-based coach.