Critical Friends to Support ERWC Fidelity Kathleen D. Rowlands ERWC i3 Coaches

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Coaching for the ERWC

Critical Friendsto Support ERWC FidelityKathleen D. RowlandsERWC i3 Coaches

This presentation is for the Instructional coaches to use with the ERWC teachers to encourage them to develop peer coaching relationships.1Broad Definition of Critical Friends WorkA process thorough which professional educators work together:to reflect on current practices; to expand, refine, and build new skills; to share ideas and teach one another; to conduct classroom research; to solve workplace problemsHow to Plan and Implement a Peer Coaching Program Pam Robbins, 1991, ASCD p. 1

Many different coaching models.Great deal of overlap among them.Differentiated by the PURPOSE for the coaching and the AUDIENCE (who is being coached)2Coaching PurposesTo improve the instructional practices of teachers in order to increase student learning (163);To develop teacher potential; andTo support teachers.Professional Development: What WorksSally J. Zepeda 2008

The coaching we have in mind serves all three purposes.3Types of CoachingCollegial coachingInstructional coachingLiteracy coachingMentor coachingPeer coaching

Professional Development: What Works--Sally J. Zepeda 2008

To be effective, I think we need to use two kinds of coaching.4Critical FriendsDo work that is analogous to that of peer coaching.Taking Coaching to ScaleNumber of Districts: ?Number of Schools: ?Number of Teachers: ?This slide needs the data6Two ERWC Coaching ModelsCritical Friends For colleagues in a building to use together for support, to improve instruction, and to address grant issues.Instructional CoachingFor the Advisory Board member or the ERWC Professional Developer to use with individual teachers or a school.Depending on school schedules, the instructional coaches probably wont be able to visit every classroom on the list more than 2-3 times/semester. Peer coaching provides a site-based support structure for the ERWC teachers to rely on as needed.7Both ERWC ModelsSolid professional development models.CLEAR separation of coaching and evaluation.Focus on fidelity of implementation and student learning.

Bridging the Gaps

What ERWC teachers know and can doand what we need them to know and be able to dowith FIDELITY!.CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE COACHING (Both Models)4 Cs of Effective CoachingCollaborationCommunicationConsistencyClarity of VisionCOLLABORATION = coaching is a highly collaborative position. A COACH WHO KNOWS A GREAT DEAL BUT CANNOT DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS. BUILD TRUST. AND WORK WITH THE NON KNOWLEDGE RELATED ISSUES OF TEACHING WILL FAIL.The coach or critical friend is viewed as a resourceCoaching relationship = collegial and supportive not evaluativeShould not be seen as the expert because in doing so teachers become critical and evaluative of everything you do. Dont be afraid to say I DONT KNOW LETS FIND OUT

COMMUNICATION= GOOD deal of the work done by a coach is verbal, the work is done in conversation with teachers, principals, teacher aides, parents; no one wants to feel judged, labeled, and put down. The way you communicate with teachers will convey to them that you carry an air of superiority. Sometimes statements that you make can be misunderstood and misinterpreted. You minimize the chance of being misinterpreted by engaging in simple strategies as first listening, pay attention, make sense of what the teacher by providing feedback or restating what is said so the person knows that they were heard and understood. Silence wait a moment before you respond give yourself a chance to think. Ask the teacher what do you think? Which demonstrates the value of the teacher-


CLARITY= BE CLEAR ON YOUR GOALS FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND INSTRUCTIONAL CHANGE. 11Key Coaching ComponentsCollaboration, NOT evaluationTrustFriendly, supportive, and interactive learning environment.

Teacher-centeredNo faultStrengths based12Tasks of the CoachHelp with setting goalsEncouraging actionActing as a sounding boardGiving feedbackPromptingQuestioning

Effective Conferencing(separating the person from the practice)Common languageSpecific focusHard evidence-objective dataInteractionPredictability Reciprocity

Interactions both pre- and post conferencesHelps build and maintain trust when coach collects and discusses only what he or she is asked to collect and discuss.14Critical friends workis differentYou will have a PPT that you can use (or not) as you work with the ERWC teachers to help them appreciate the benefits of developing peer coaching relationships.15Critical Friends CoachingHelps ensure the transfer of newly learned skills from an in-service learning opportunity into practice.In-class training by a supportive partner who helps a teacher correctly apply skills learned in a workshop (Joyce and Showers 1982, p. 5).

Critical FriendsTHINKING PARTNERS: we are thinking through and learning together as a team.Less formal than instructional coachingTeachers should select their own partners.There is a rule: peer coaches can get a divorce.

Some Characteristics of the RelationshipCritical Friends partnerships are voluntary.Information shared within the relationship is strictly confidential.Each participant is responsible to complete any work that both have deemed beneficial.Critical Friends Coaching ModelInviting teacher steers the coaching process:Observation focus;Form of data collection;Agreed upon guidelines for coachs and mentees behavior;Discussion parameters;Date and time of observation.Focus on the PracticalEffective coaching partnerships focus on the practical, not the abstract. (Its About the Questions p. 76)

Data Collection FocusOne of most difficult aspects of peer coaching , after conquering feelings of discomfort about teaching publically, is deciding on a focus for the observation (29).Inviting teacher might start with a safe focussomething he or she is confident about and does well.Brainstorm menu of optionsDetermining data collection methodEssential that inviting teacher and coach talk about data collection instrument in detail so that data collected matches desired focus.Data collection must be manageable for the coach and relevant to the inviting teacher.How To Be a Critical Friend As you watch:What is the relationship between the partners?What are your key take-aways?

3:07Workshop from Georgia TechSympathetic listening is key! Clarifying and probing questions follow.

22useful ToolsWhat tools are available to us?23Coaching ToolsObservation and modelingPre-observation conference, extended classroom observation, post-observation conferenceDiscussions about teaching and learningtheirs and their students learning.Questions to help them develop a habit of reflective practice. Protocols: specific routines for observation, looking at student work, etc.

A Useful Model

Post-ConferenceCollaborative: characterized by a mutual discussion of the teaching observed. Critical Friend asks teacher to reflect on what happened as expected or planned and what happened differently. Inviting teacher analyzes what teaching or student behaviors contributed to outcomes. The teacher determines what changes to make when teaching the lesson again.

Post-ConferenceMirroring: Here are the data you asked me to collect. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Post ConferenceCritical Friend asks the inviting teacher questions to promote reflection about the lesson.Questions; what happened as expected?What happened differently from expectations?How would the inviting teacher teach this lesson next time?

Good Questions

Handout of suggested questions to help teachers think through the issue. What additions would be useful?29Its about the QuestionsA coaching relationship isnt about providing a quick fix or a recipe for success. Rather the most powerful relationships focus on reflecting, exploring, analyzing, and digging deeper into good practice (Ronald R. Bearwald, p. 74).