Role: Catalyst for change
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.
Read the seventh article in an eight-part series examining the multiple roles of the school-based staff developer.
By Joellen Killion , Cynthia Harrison
NSDC profile: Linda Hostetler -- Math coach adds listening skills to her repertoire
Since becoming a math coach two years ago, things have changed in Linda Hostetler's school in Walhalla, South Carolina. Now, when teachers stop her in the hall with questions, they don't want solutions. "[T]hey're looking for a conversation about their math classes. "Hostetler admits she wasn't certain what she would be doing when she started out as an elementary math coach. She is one of four in her district. The coaches work to improve the instructional practices of teachers in the context of each teacher's own classroom.
Learn more about the challenges and support Hostetler has experienced in her journey to become a math coach.
By Joan Richardson
Focus on the NSDC standards: Teacher meetings do not make a community
Teachers gather all the time. But does that mean they are a learning community? The NSDC Learning Communities standard states: Staff development that improves the learning of all students organizes adults into learning communities whose goals are aligned with those of the school and district.Each month, Joellen Killion explores one NSDC standard from the perspective of the teacher leader. This month, read her column to explore the specific attributes of a learning community that impacts student achievement.
By Joellen Killion
NSDC tool: Listen fully
As many school-based leaders have learned, coaching requires listening skills. Not only do you need to be able to ask thoughtful questions, you also need to listen deeply to what teachers say.The exercise outlined in the tool helps people slow down and really listen. Participants will also have the experience of being listened to.