Coaching experienced educators: Critical support in changing contexts

Presenters: Chris Bryan, Julie Donohue-Kpolugbo, Misty Miller, & Violet Christensen
Thursday, April 22, 3 - 4 p.m. ET

Instructional coaching, especially for experienced educators, can offer support to adjust and adapt instruction and engage all students. Educators have greater or lesser levels of consciousness about their ability. Experienced educators are often consciously skilled, deliberate in their actions, or possibly unconsciously skilled, so experienced that most of their actions are habitual and they may not recognize what they do or why. The major changes during the past year shifted all educators to a position of consciously unskilled—knowing that you don’t know, but unsure what to do.

The webinar is intended to highlight instructional coaches working with experienced educators. Panelists will share strategies, tools, and resources to support experienced teachers to strengthen their practice and discuss the value of self-examination and a commitment to collective responsibility.


Chris Bryan, Senior Consultant, Learning Forward, Professional Development Director, One to One Women Coaching Women

Chris Bryan is a senior consultant with Learning Forward. She is also the professional development director for the organization One to One Women Coaching Women. Bryan draws on deep instructional experience to serve her clients and learning partners—from classroom teacher, learning specialist, mentor, and staff developer, to instructional coach and coach of coaches. Currently, she coaches school executives, school-based coaches, and other leaders of organizations. Bryan assists with the design and delivery of teacher leadership programs, including the Learning Forward Coaches Academy where she is a co-developer of training modules. She co-designed and co-taught a School Leadership Institute as part of a School Leadership Academy in partnership with the school district and Learning Forward. She is past president of Learning Forward Colorado and has served on the Affiliate Leadership Committee. Bryan has been a featured author in Learning Forward Publications, including The Learning Professional and is a co-author of the book Coaching Matters.

Julie Donohue-Kpolugbo, District Literacy Consultant and Instructional Coach Coordinator, Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council

Julie Donohue-Kpolugbo currently serves as the district literacy consultant and instructional coach coordinator for the Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council, although small in population, serves a geographic area similar in size to New Zealand with multiple fly-in only communities. This unique context is a major factor in designing coaching practice that generates impact on student achievement.  Ongoing development, implementation, and support of the Beaufort Delta Divisional Education Council coaching program is currently one of Donohue-Kpolugbo’s main areas of focus. Over the last 20 years, Donohue-Kpolugbo has worked in a variety of locations in North America, South America and Africa serving in varying capacities including classroom teacher, instructional leader, program support teacher, coach, and literacy consultant. Most recently, Donohue-Kpolugbo graduated as a member of the Learning Forward Academy Class of 2019.

Misty Miller, K-5 Instructional Coach (Student Performance Strategist), Fargo School District

Misty Miller serves as the student performance strategist at Centennial Elementary in the Fargo Public School district, providing support for teachers through instructional coaching and professional development. She has been involved in elementary education for the past sixteen years as a teacher, instructional coach, consultant, and a mentor for new teachers. Her teaching and coaching experience spans grades K-8 and includes all subjects. Miller serves on school and district leadership teams and has a passion for breaking down complex ideas and organizing information in more accessible ways.

Violet Christensen, Learning Coach, St. Vrain Valley School District (CO)

Violet Christensen currently serves as an instructional learning coach with St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, CO. She has over 13 years of experience teaching, coaching, and consulting. She serves coaches, school leaders, educators, and others throughout St. Vrain. Christensen is part of the Office of Professional Development, creating dynamic blended professional development to meet the learning needs of educators. She is also co-host of C3: Connecting Coaches’ Cognition Podcast (@C3Coaches) which is centered around supporting instructional coaches and educators. Christensen also co-created the Inter-District Coaching Collaborative, to connect instructional coaches to help them reflect, refine, and elevate their practices.

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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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