How Can We Avoid Coaching That Feels Evaluative?

A recent article by Charlotte Danielson in Education Week has taken the Twittersphere by storm. In it she writes, “I’m deeply troubled by the transformation of teaching from a complex profession requiring nuanced judgment to the performance of certain behaviors that can be ticked off on a checklist. In fact, I (and many others in … Read more

Getting to 60% (3 of 3)

This post was updated and revised in December 2019 – please go here to read: https://dianesweeney.com/coaching-cycles-getting-to-60-percent/ Getting to 60% (PART III OF III) In this blog series, we have addressed the importance of coaching cycles as a method to increase our impact on student and teacher learning. We also surfaced common barriers to getting traction … Read more

Getting to 60% (2 of 3)

This post was updated and revised in December 2019 – please go here to read: https://dianesweeney.com/coaching-cycles-getting-to-60-percent/ Coaching cycles are our best chance for creating authentic partnerships that increase student outcomes. In a coaching cycle, the teacher and coach are both in the mix, reflecting on their decision-making, problem solving, and figuring out how to adjust … Read more

Getting to 60% (1 of 3)

This post was updated and revised in December 2019 – please go here to read: https://dianesweeney.com/coaching-cycles-getting-to-60-percent/ During a recent session with a partner district, I asked a K-12 team of coaches and principals to jot down the percentage of time that they would like to see dedicated to coaching cycles. I have to admit that … Read more

Four Strategies for Co-Teaching

CO-TEACHING is an untapped strategy that provides coachable moments throughout a lesson. It is a dynamic process in which the teacher and coach work together to move student learning forward. In a classroom where co-teaching is occurring, it’s hard to tell who the teacher is and who the coach is, because both are engaged and … Read more

A Journey to Define Myself as a Coach by Lara Ostrander

As a third year instructional coach, I was elated to hear that the Madison Metropolitan School District would hire Diane Sweeney, to support us in establishing and refining existing coaching practices. Up until this year, school-based coaches worked in varying capacities at schools across the district. A coach’s role was often tied to several ‘busy’ … Read more

Hitting the Ground Running with Student-Centered Coaching

I am often asked how to get started with student-centered coaching. How might a district prepare coaches, teachers, and principals to make the most out this critical investment in student and teacher learning? What should we be aware of? What are some common pitfalls? While no two districts are alike, and you may need to … Read more

Not All Pressure is Positive Pressure

It is tempting for instructional coaches to sort teachers into two groups, those who have a ‘growth mindset’ and those who don’t. We celebrate teachers who are quick to implement. Teachers who are open and reflective. And we ponder those who aren’t. We wonder, ‘Where is the transfer? Why isn’t there any evidence of growth? … Read more