Getting Started with Student-Centered Coaching

What is Student-Centered Coaching?

Student-Centered Coaching is an evidence-based instructional coaching model that shifts the focus from ‘fixing’ teachers to collaborating with them to design instruction that targets student outcomes. Taking a data-driven approach increases the learning and efficacy of teachers, coaches, and most importantly our students.

How Does Student-Centered Coaching Compare with Other Coaching Models?

There are many approaches to instructional coaching. The following figure compares Student-Centered Coaching with other approaches based on a variety of factors. While you may have seen a similar figure in our previous publications, we’ve updated it with the hope of showing how Student-Centered Coaching gets us closer to student learning while also impacting instructional practice.

Student-Centered, Teacher-Centered, and Relationship-Driven Coaching

student learning wheel

What are the core practices for Student-Centered Coaching?

The core practices for Student-Centered Coaching are built on a foundation of formative assessment and backward design. They serve as the drivers for ensuring that coaching impacts teaching and student learning.

What are the stages of implementation of Student-Centered Coaching?

The stages of implementation of Student-Centered Coaching include prelaunch, launch, and implement, monitor, & adjust. Throughout implementation, benchmarks are used to assess whether targets have been met in each stage. The duration of each stage is based on the needs of the district or organization.

DISTRICT – Builds stakeholders’ knowledge of the purpose and practices for Student-Centered Coaching. Hires a well qualified coaching team. 

PRINCIPAL – Studies the purpose and practices for Student-Centered Coaching in order to lead the effort with clarity of purpose.

COACH – Studies the purpose and practices for Student-Centered Coaching. Builds trusting and respectful relationships with teachers.

DISTRICT – Provides professional learning to the coaching team. Works with school leaders to implement Student-Centered Coaching. 

PRINCIPAL – Aligns coaching with the school improvement plan. Introduces coaching to the faculty, clarifying what coaching is and isn’t, and addressing questions or concerns among teachers. 

COACH – Partners with the principal to launch coaching cycles. Develops systems for collecting evidence of impact.

DISTRICT – Collects district-level data to monitor the impact of the coaching program. Continues to provide professional learning to the coaching team and principals.

PRINCIPAL – Meets with the coach on a weekly basis. Continues to monitor the impact of coaching in relation to the school improvement plan.

COACH – Continues to implement coaching cycles and collect evidence of impact. Collaborates with the principal to maintain focus and continue to develop coaching skills.