How ‘tugboat coaching’ propels one district forward

By Joellen Killion, Jeanne Spiller and Brenda Kaylor
Categories: Coaching, Facilitation, Fundamentals, Implementation
April 2022
The instructional coaches in Kildeer Countryside School District 96 (KCSD 96), outside Chicago, are like tugboats, a key part of a maritime navigation system. Just as tugboats nudge and guide barges and ships that need steering assistance to navigate tricky waters, the coaches nudge and guide educators to navigate toward school and student learning goals. Just as tugboats read and respond to currents, weather, and load, the coaches read and respond to students’ and schools’ needs and progress. And as tugboats coordinate with other tugboats to reach the same destination, the coaches collaborate with one another within and across schools and with other parts of the guidance system (district and school improvement plans, student data systems, curriculum, human resources, professional learning, and leadership), to maintain

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Joellen killion
+ posts

Joellen Killion is a senior advisor to Learning Forward and a sought-after speaker and facilitator who is an expert in linking professional learning and student learning. She has extensive experience in planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of high-quality, standards-based professional learning at the school, system, and state/provincial levels. She is the author of many books including Assessing Impact, Coaching Matters, Taking the Lead, and The Feedback Process. Her latest evaluation articles for The Learning Professional are “7 reasons to evaluate professional learning” and “Is your professional learning working? 8 steps to find out.”


Image for aesthetic effect only - Jeanne Spiller
+ posts

Jeanne Spiller is assistant superintendent of Kildeer Countryside School District 96 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Brenda Kaylor
+ posts

Brenda Kaylor is senior consultant with Just ASK Publications and Professional Development.

Categories: Coaching, Facilitation, Fundamentals, Implementation

The Learning Professional

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