Accentuate the positive

By Jody Flowers
December 2019
Vol. 40, No. 6
For many of us, the role of a coach is ubiquitous throughout our childhood into our adolescent years. From the time we participated in youth soccer, Little League, dance classes, or music lessons, coaches were there to guide us. Coaches build relationships, encourage us, demonstrate techniques, provide motivation — all to heighten our efforts and expand our skills. Many times, it is these special people who inspire us to teach. Yet when educators enter the classroom, this kind of guidance and support often vanishes. Or worse, the term coach takes on a pejorative connotation because only struggling teachers are assigned a coach. But when done right, coaching improves teaching and students’ achievement by leading teachers to focus on the skills that address social, behavioral, and

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Jody Flowers

Jody A. Flowers ( is MTP-S district coach in Waco (Texas) Independent School District.


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Hamre, B.K., Justice, L.M., Pianta, R.C., Kilday, C., Sweeney, B., Downer, J.T., & Leach, A. (2010). Implementation fidelity of MyTeachingPartner literacy and language activities: Association with preschoolers’ language and literacy growth. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 329-347.

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Mashburn, A.J., Pianta, R.C., Hamre, B.K., Downer, J.T., Barbarin, O.A., Bryant, D., … & Howes, C. (2008). Measures of classroom quality in prekindergarten and children’s development of academic, language, and social skills. Child Development, 79(3), 732-749.

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