Learning from coaches: Supporting educators in a virtual world

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The role of coaches at the district and school levels is multifaceted and complex. Among their many roles, coaches support and facilitate educator learning teams; model and co-teach lessons; provide feedback and reflection opportunities for teachers; research curricular materials to support instruction, and collaborate with the leadership team on strategic efforts.

Now that we are working and leading in a virtual environment, join us for an exploration of how coaches are traversing the challenges of distance professional learning, and remaining connected to the teachers they support.

Participants will:

  • Learn strategies and gain tools for supporting teachers in a virtual environment;
  • Address growth and development strategies for coaches; and
  • Share questions and advice among a community of learners.

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.”


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Instructional Coach at Gwinnett County Public Schools | + posts
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Instructional Coach at Gwinnett County Public Schools | + posts
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Instructional Coach at Bismarck Public Schools | + posts

Melissa Cournia is an instructional coach and reading intervention teacher at Bismarck High School. As an instructional coach, she provides one-on-one coaching, supports professional learning communities, and designs and facilitates professional learning. In addition, she serves on school, district, and state leadership teams. Cournia assisted in the development of her district’s secondary literacy cohort and North Dakota’s literacy plan. She has facilitated the work of school improvement committees and district problem-solving teams. She is Nationally Board Certified and has a master's degree in middle-level education; her teaching experience ranges across math and literacy grades 6-12. Further professional experience includes teaching, coaching, and professional development positions at the Red River Valley Writing Project and the International Music Camp.

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Instructional Coach at Long Beach Unified School District | + posts

Michelle Torres is currently a K-5 district math coach in the office of curriculum, instruction, and professional development in Long Beach Unified School District, the fourth largest in California. As an instructional coach, she trains teachers and administrators by providing professional development in high quality classroom practices as well as the elements of pedagogy desired across all LBUSD classrooms. Torres strategically partners with high-need school sites and builds effective instructional teams that embody a culture of collective efficacy, with a focus on closing the achievement gap.

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