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Lucy West Education Consultant. email: http:// cell: 917-494-1606. phone: 212-766-2120. Content Coaching. Power point available from: Lucy West (under construction). Content- Coaching: Big Picture/Small Picture.

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Lucy WestEducation Consultant

email: lucy@lucywestpd.com

cell: 917-494-1606

phone: 212-766-2120

content coaching

Content Coaching

Power point available from:

Lucy West (under construction)

content coaching big picture small picture
Content- Coaching:Big Picture/Small Picture
  • What is the purpose of coaching?
  • What is the role of the coach?
  • What is content coaching?
  • What is the landscape of coaching?
establishing our own learning goals
Establishing our own learning goals
  • Enemies of learning
  • Self-management of learning
  • Goals for this seminar
  • The purpose of coaching is to cultivate a learning culture among adults that results in classroom environments that foster robust and enthusiastic learners.
  • To connect individual practitioners with colleagues for systemic, sustainable growth.
  • To professionalize teaching.
  • To develop the professional judgment and skill set of individual practitioners as evidenced in student learning.
  • Improved instruction has been identified as the number one key variable for improving student learning.
  • Coaching focuses on instruction that generates evidence of student learning.
what is the purpose of content focused coaching
What is the Purpose of Content-Focused Coaching?
  • To cultivate the specific skill set of practitioners to empower every student to understand important and relevant content and engage in academic habits of reasoning and discourse associated with the academic domain.
what are the issues in coaching
What are the issues in coaching?
  • Catchall position/role definition/idiosyncratic
  • Qualifications/selection process
  • On the job learning opportunities
  • Isolation/Support Network
  • Relationship to administrators--school/district
  • Selection of Teachers/Differentiation
  • Time Formats: One-on-one, groups
  • Focus/shared vision
  • Measuring Success
  • Attrition/new recruits
what is your role
What is your role?
  • Infusing a new role into the system is a complex endeavor and an enormous opportunity
  • Finding the “essence” is of primary importance
purpose determines role
Purpose Determines Role
  • Purpose: To improve student learning by profoundly influencing adult thinking, behavior and practice.
  • Coaching as a strategy for transforming the system from a testing factory to a multi-generational learning organization
  • How do we do this?
  • Conversation across roles, levels, content areas focused on reciprocal responsibility, values, and images
  • Communication is the currency in interdependent organic, living, systems--the flow of information--feedback loops
conversations big picture small picture
ConversationsBig Picture/Small Picture
  • Start with conversations focused on systems, strategy, long-term goal, first steps, emotional intelligence and necessary support for coaching
  • Pair these conversations with on-site work providing common, focused, experiences around instruction and learning to build toward collective vision and implementation
when with whom why
When, With Whom, Why
  • One-on-one
  • Small group
  • Large group
content coaches
Content Coaches
  • Bring out the genius in each educator.
  • Create as many opportunities for educators across roles and content areas to engage in professional conversation to generate innovation and collective genius.
content focused coaching
Content-Focused Coaching
  • Ongoing, on-site, job embedded professional conversations that:
    • Delve into content and ways to teach it
    • Engender lesson plans, strategies and methods designed to enable student learning of a particular subject

Keep guiding principles in mind:

  • Work with what is working and build from there--systemically
  • Build capacity of home team
  • Create feedback loops--communicate across roles, groups, meetings, teams
  • Adjust as you go, but stay the course
  • Keep your eye on student learning/instruction

Big Picture Work

Principals, coaches, teachers, district level staff, co-create the model, the role definition, raise issues, question, view video examples or classes to develop common lenses and solve issues as they emerge.


Differentiated Learning At All Levels

Differentiation of learning through coaching practices for Principals, Coaches, Teachers, Students

Vision--a coaching culture to facilitate individualized learning, collaborative practice, and collective wisdom

content coaching big picture focus
Content CoachingBig Picture Focus
  • Clarity of purpose--improve instruction
  • Coach as leverage position--systems-- working with networks of schools
  • Coach as member of leadership team--cultivating culture of partnership
  • Purposeful, regular meetings focused on planninglessons--content, visuals, predictions
  • Co-teaching model of coaching
improve instruction by focusing pd on
Improve instruction by focusing PD on:
  • Teacher content knowledge
  • Teacher pedagogical and PCK knowledge
  • Capacity to assess, diagnose, intervene in student learning
  • Principal capacity to assess and support instruction
  • Principal and teacher beliefs and philosophical perspective
what is the history of content focused coaching
What is the History of Content-Focused Coaching?
  • An attempt to identify and make explicit the moves and strategies of effective coaches
    • A video study of coaching sessions and lessons of both expert and novice coaches.
    • A model for developing the expertise of teachers--building capacity for sustainable capacity building.
coaches offer assistance
Coaches Offer Assistance
  • It is not enough for coaches to limit themselves to eliciting teacher reflection and offer no direct assistance
  • Coaches need to provide substantive contributions that will impact the quality of the lessons and create opportunities for teachers to learn from practice.
people not programs
People Not Programs
  • Focus on teaching important content well
  • The real work is learning how to plan (at all levels) very, very well (collaboration helps)
  • Evidence of more robust student learning is the primary criteria for success (this can include higher test scores)
coaching is an iterative process
Coaching Is an Iterative Process

Observing teacher before coaching

Pre-conference (planning the lesson)

Teaching the Lesson (teach, co-teach, or observe)


pre conference
Pre Conference
  • Develops capacity to design lessons
  • Develops habits of collaborative planning
  • Broadens pedagogical content knowledge
  • Builds differentiation into the plan
  • Builds repertoire of instructional strategies
  • Focuses on evidence of student learning
coaching and student learning
Coaching and Student Learning
  • What are we looking for that would be evidence that students are learning?
  • What might coaches need to focus on during conferences in order to ensure that lessons are worthwhile and will result in teacher/student learning?
  • Where does content fit in the picture?
  • What evidence of impact of coaching sessions would we look for in teacher practice?
what do you look for
What do you look for?
  • Make a list at your table of the specific things you would look for in a (math) (lit) class that would show evidence that the class was an effective one. (3 min.)
  • Be prepared to read your list or items from your list to contribute to a whole group list.
prioritize and focus
Prioritize and Focus
  • Which items on your list directly focus on evidence of learning?
  • Which items focus on structures, programs, formats, mechanics?
  • Which items focus on specific instructional strategies, moves, or practices?
  • What is significant, surprising, in this clip?
what is the one thing
What is the one thing?
  • If you had to choose only one (or two) vital behaviors for improving student learning, what would you choose?
  • Positive deviants
  • Vital Behaviors
coach as diagnostician
Coach as Diagnostician
  • Task
  • Climate/culture
  • Content knowledge
  • Assessing student understanding
  • Instructional repertoire, orientation
  • Beliefs about learning/teaching
the task
The Task
  • Rename the number 1000 in interesting ways. Examples:
    • 10,000/10
    • 0 x 10 + 900
    • 1001 - 1
  • What’s the math?
  • What were your strategies?
visiting a 5th grade lesson
Visiting a 5th Grade Lesson
  • What do you predict students might write in relation to this task?
  • What errors if any might you foresee?
  • What evidence might you collect to determine what students know?
  • What might be done with that information once it is collected?
welcome to tennessee
Welcome to Tennessee
  • 5th Grade Class about 15 students
  • 16 adults observing
  • Jamelie, site-based math coach and teacher leader
  • Lucy, visiting consultant facilitating a combination study lesson, content coaching session to build the professional learning community among the coaches and to enhance their coaching skills
view excerpt from preconference
View Excerpt from Preconference
  • Unpacking the launch activity
    • Sequencing
    • Clarifying content
  • Preparing to uncover what students are thinking
    • Questioning, probing, listening
view excerpt preconference
View Excerpt-Preconference
  • What specifically is being talked about in relation to content and student learning?
  • How does this image of coaching resonate with your image of coaching?
  • What questions do you have?
view video lesson segment
View Video-Lesson Segment
  • How did coaching session impact lesson?
  • Read transcript looking for evidence of student learning and/or misconceptions, partial knowledge, fragile knowledge and mark transcript.
  • What concepts are being discussed?
  • What is the role of the coach in this dialogue?
view video post conference
View Video-Post Conference
  • What did Jamelie learn about her students during the lesson?
what are the complexities in teaching
What are the complexities in teaching?
  • How well do you expect teachers to implement new practices when they are trying them on?
  • How might lessons be effected when teachers are attempting new behaviors?
  • What specific practices are worth cultivating?
  • What is the coach’s responsibility in terms of the success of a lesson?
the role of discourse
The Role of Discourse
  • How does the coach use discourse to assist the teacher?
  • How does the teacher use discourse to understand student thinking?
  • How does discourse reveal learning and how do we distinguish learning from already knowing?
is discourse worth the time
Is discourse worth the time?
  • When do adults talk about teaching and learning?
  • To what depth and specificity are people discussing the content?
  • To what degree are people inquiring into student thinking?
  • To what degree are coaches inquiring into teacher thinking?
can we afford 20 minutes
Can we afford 20 minutes?
  • What is the most important idea students might walk away from this lesson thinking about?
  • Is this idea the one all students must be thinking about? Or might there be a network of related ideas that are responded to based on prior knowledge?
what s my role
What’s my role?
  • What is the ultimate goal of coaching?
  • What can educators at every level of the system (e.g. teachers, principals, district level leaders) do to support coaching to ensure its full potential as an improvement strategy?
principles of learning jigsaw
Principles of Learning Jigsaw
  • Select one of the following:
    • Socializing Intelligence/Instructional Environments for Socializing Intelligence
    • Academic Rigor in a Thinking Curriculum/Clear Expectations
    • Accountable Talk/Accountability to Knowledge/Accountability to Rigorous Thinking
    • Self-Management of Learning/Clear Expectations
    • Read the sections you have selected.
    • Make sure every section is read by at least 2 people at your table.