Coaching and mentoring in a virtual world: What to keep and what to change

Presenters: Elvira Pichardo-Delacour, Leighann Fields, Sharron Helmke, and Stacey Jones

Is it the new normal or the now normal or just new and now? As educators across the world have adjusted to current teaching and learning environments, instructional coaches and mentors have been essential in helping to ensure continuously smooth transitions. From online office hours to virtual collaboration and feedback sessions, just-in-time tips and strategies, and ongoing emotional support, the job of the coach and mentor continues to evolve and grow.



Join us for this important webinar as instructional coaches and mentors share how their practice has amplified and changed and what they are looking forward to keeping and changing going forward.


Elvira Pichardo-Delacour is a 6th – 8th grade instructional specialist at Churchville Middle School in Elmhurst, IL. Pichardo has a Master’s degree in bilingual education grades 1-6 from Hunter College -The City University of New York, and is working on her masters in educational leadership.  She serves on the School Leadership Team and the School Improvement Team. She has worked in both urban and suburban school districts and in elementary and middle schools. She has worked predominantly with emergent bilingual students, focusing on instructional strategies, curriculum development, and language acquisition.

Leighann Fields is a 6th-grade math teacher and mentor teacher at Central Middle in Eunice, Louisiana. Fields has a Master’s degree in Special Education for grades 1 – 12.  She serves on the Instructional Leadership Team and is the chairperson for her school-based School Building Level Committee and Well-Being Leadership Team. She was selected as Central Middle’s 2020-21 Teacher of the Year.

Sharron Helmke is a senior consultant for Learning Forward and the former coordinator of instructional coaching at Clear Creek ISD in League City, Texas. She designed the district’s comprehensive program of instructional coaching across all campuses, and supported instructional leaders in understanding conditions necessary to change the instructional culture of their campuses and effectively utilizing instructional coaching and teacher leadership to build guiding coalitions and sustain change. She previously served as a K-12 ELA program coordinator at Klein ISD, an ELA and social studies instructional coach at Katy ISD, and a high school English teacher. She is a lead designer of Learning Forward’s Mentor Teacher Academy and Content-Based Coaching Program, and is a lead facilitator of Learning Forward’s Coaches Academy.

Stacey Jones is currently an academic coach and literacy instructor for the Cobb County School District. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and went on to become a middle school teacher and department chair. She has worked as a literacy consultant for the Consortium on Reading Excellence in Education, serving both urban and rural school districts across the United States.  Jones has facilitated numerous trainings within districts and at the state level. While working for the Cobb County School District since 2007, she has worked in various capacities that support and lead teachers K-12. Her positions have included high school administrator, lead teacher, intervention instructor, and high school academic coach.


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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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