A Coaching Model Created by Sarah Douglas
(Teacher Coach, CANADA)
The “Reflective Teacher” coaching model is an Instructional Coaching model. Instructional Coaches work one-on-one with teachers to help improve instructional methods to better the teaching and learning experiences in classrooms. Instructional Coaching shares the same principles as other coaching niches in that it offers opportunities for self-development, self-awareness, goal setting and creating action.
In this model, the client is a teacher who is motivated to learn, grow and is interested in a change in performance. Trust needs to be established between coach and teacher. Activities such as helping grade papers or spending time in the classroom help to build a relationship between teacher and coach. The coach is there as a partner and not a supervisor; the coaching sessions remain confidential so the teacher can be as honest and candid as needed in order to move the teacher forward in their practice. Once this preliminary relationship has been established the coach and teacher formalize their relationship by moving through the following steps:
1.) Pre-observation interview
During this session, the coach facilitates a conversation in which the teacher describes their current reality in the classroom. The coach is actively listening and is focused on clarifying the goals of the teacher by asking meaningful questions, which may include:
What do you want to achieve?
What is happening?
How is it a problem?
Tell me more about that.
What have you tried? What were the results?
The coach and the teacher then determine a goal for the teacher with specific success criteria. Together they outline what action steps are needed to achieve that goal. Forms such as self-audit checklists and goal-setting worksheets may be useful during this step (see also Power Tool – “Burning Brightly vs. Burning Out”). This session concludes by scheduling a set date and time for the coach to come and observe the teacher in action.
This step involves the coach observing the teacher in action in the classroom. After the lesson, the teacher takes the opportunity to reflect on the lesson before meeting with the coach. This reflection may involve the use of a self-reflection form, journal writing or examining students’ work samples.
3.) Post-Observation Interview
During this coaching session the coach begins by asking the teacher how they felt about the lesson in relation to their set goal. The coach would offer feedback in the context of acknowledging the client for what they have identified and demonstrated in their teaching. The conversation would then move towards evaluating the progress that the teacher has made towards their set goal – and celebration may be necessary. This session would conclude after specific “take-aways” have been shared and action points have been established.
The “Reflective Teacher” Instructional Coaching model encourages teachers to improve their practice by combining good instruction with goal setting, practice, feedback, observations and discussions of teaching. The coach is there to support, empower, listen, and provide accountability. The focus of this Instructional Coaching model is to provide a time and space for healthy, respectful conversations in which both the coach and teacher leave feeling more able and committed to making a positive difference in children’s lives.