Instructional Coaching

Juneau School District is in its second year of our Instructional Coaching program. We understand teaching is a complex process. When a coach works alongside teachers, supporting them, providing feedback, and modeling new techniques and strategies, there is a much greater likelihood that new learning will be utilized in the classroom with our students. Common duties include working with small groups of teachers, working with individual teachers, planning, providing feedback, reviewing data and on the job professional development.

What Is An Instructional Coach?

An instructional coach is someone whose chief profession is to bring evidence-based practices into classrooms by working with teachers and school leaders. We focus the instructional coaching process with the goals of increasing student engagement, improving student achievement, and assisting our teachers learn new strategies and skills.

Coaching is an established professional practice.

Many professions ensure that their practitioners benefit from the wise counsel and assistance of experienced colleagues - in other words, coaches. Some professions require coaching as an essential part of mastering the requisite skills. In medicine, internships and residencies provide coaching for doctors new to the profession. In the legal profession, senior partners mentor junior associates. In professional sports, top, experienced athletes have coaches to continually improve their game. 

The New Yorker recently wrote an article titled, "Personal Best:  Top athletes and singers have coaches.  Should you?".  

Coaching is one-on-one professional learning.

Instructional coaching involves two people - a teacher and a coach. Coaches work with individual teachers, and with small groups of teachers providing time for reflective feedback and discussion, all focused with the end goal in mind - increasing student learning. Together, they focus on strategies for engaging students and improving their learning. Coaches are often responsible for providing professional learning opportunities for all teachers in a school or district.

Coaching is high-quality professional learning.

Instructional coaching reflects the growing consensus about what constitutes high-quality professional learning for teachers. It is job-embedded, and addresses issues teachers face daily in their classrooms. We know a one-shot workshop does not sustain in the classroom without high quality coaching and feedback as teachers work to implement a strategy within their classrooms. Coaching is aligned to the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning.

Instructional Coaching and Student Outcomes: Findings from a Three Year Pilot Study 

Academic Coaching Produces More Effective Teachers

Coaching Teachers

Coaches Are More Effective Than Mentors

Instructional Coaches Fill Key Roles in Staff Professional Development

The Lasting Impact of Instructional Coaching

Please read more about the Juneau School District coaching program.

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JSD Instructional Coaching.pdf2.3 MB