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Differentiating as a Coach Bev Freedman August 22, 2006. The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat. Differentiating as a Coach August 2006. Leading the pack used to be an image of leadership. As a coach image would you select now?. Before Isolated events Boards determined focus and

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Differentiating as a Coach

Bev Freedman

August 22, 2006

the literacy and numeracy secretariat
The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat

Differentiating as a Coach

August 2006

leading the pack used to be an image of leadership

Leading the pack used to be an image of leadership

As a coach image would you select now?

sharpening the focus

Isolated events

Boards determined focus and


Isolated ad hoc professional


Multiple Initiatives

Limited reliance on research and


Getting people’s attention

Sharpening the Focus


Goal-oriented and strategic

Alignment with Ministry goals

Team focussed and job embedded

Selected high yield strategies

Research-based and data driven

Focusing on results

Building motivation and commitment

schools as harbours of hope
Schools as Harbours of Hope



Teacher isolation

Pass/fail mindset


Curriculum overload

General goals

Static assessment

Over-the-wall grade


Planning to plan

Time and staff fixed

Learning for most




Elimination of failure


Guaranteed curriculum

Specific goals

Dynamic assessment

Flexible structures

Planning to improve

Learning fixed

Learning for all

Hulley & Dier (2005, p. 108)

what is the target
What is the target

that coaching is the solution?

large scale improvement of student achievement is an adaptive challenge

Large-scale improvement of student achievement is an adaptive challenge

All of the necessary knowledge to solve the problem doesn’t exist and we are creating the knowledge and tools as we are working on the problem

Change Leadership, 2006

as a job embedded coach

As a job-embedded coach,

What do you see as the 3 most important issues in terms of working with teachers? Discuss with your elbow partner.

coaching can

Coaching can

Improve the efficiency and productivity of the organization, increase metacognition, supports collaboration

Schon; Osterman; Gates Foundation, 2005

as a literacy or numeracy coach
What are you?

What are you not?

Complete at your table

As a literacy or numeracy coach

is a collegial relationship

coaching for teachers is a series of intentional strategies designed to
Coaching for teachers is a series of intentional strategies designed to:
  • Improve teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom
  • Focus on improvement achievement for all
  • Support resiliency
  • Enhance self and collective efficacy
  • Help teachers reflect on their craft and change practice to better teach all students
  • Help them manage and balance
      • Through observation, feedback and modeling
improve performance

Improve performance

But its based on situational needs

Its contextual

coaching enhances the intellectual capacity of teachers

Coaching enhances the intellectual capacity of teachers;

Which in turn produces greater intellectual achievement in students

Costa & Gamston









Collaborative Interactions

And Learning Together

what works as a coach you need to probe
What works – As a coach you need to probe
  • Pay attention to teachers’ belief systems – allow time for them to articulate their beliefs and express their concerns
  • Make time for self-reflection, self-analysis and growth
  • Have teachers articulate, paraphrase and communicate their beliefs with others
  • Collaborative dialogue, problem-solving exercises and shared teaching experiences
factors to consider
Factors to Consider
  • Interaction existed between cognitive, behavioural and environmental influences,
  • Collaborative conversations lead to reciprocal learning,
  • Use open-ended, high-end Blooms taxonomy.
  • Perceived self and collective efficacy – beliefs about their own and others capabilities to produce designated levels of performance
  • Determines how people feel, think, behave and motivate themselves
        • Bandura, 1994
what influences a willingness to change

What influences a willingness to change?

There are moderating factors that influence beliefs and values – gender, experience, panel

coaching it s a formalized relationship
Instructional or Directive


Specific expertise

Specific experiences and abilities

Address a specific problem or impart a specific skill

Peer or Non-Directive

Internal – part of the team

Broad background

Climate for change, learning environment

Facilitate meetings

Knight, 2004; Fouts and Associates, 2005

Coaching – it’s a formalized relationship

…persuading other people to set aside for a period of time their individual concerns and to pursue a common goal that is important for the responsibilities and welfare of the group.

[Avolio and Lock, 2002]

change leadership s blueprint of improved achievement
Change Leadership’s Blueprint of Improved Achievement
  • Urgency for improvement through the use of data
  • Shared vision of good teaching
  • Shared understanding of student data and its implications for teaching and learning
  • Collaboration
  • Effective supervision
  • Professional development
  • Diagnostic data with accountable collaboration
categories of core leadership practices
Categories of Core Leadership Practices

• Setting Directions (motivation)

• Developing People (capacity)

• Designing the Organization (situation)

• Managing the Instructional Program (keeping it all together)

(Leithwood, Riehl, 2004; Leithwood, Jantzi, 2005)


Towards Sustainability:

Michael Fullan’s Eight Elements

  • Public service with moral purpose
  • Commitment to changing context at all levels
  • Lateral capacity building through networks
  • Intelligent accountability and vertical relationships
  • Deep learning
  • Dual commitment to short and long term goals
  • Cyclical energizing
  • The long lever of leadership

Michael Fullan “ Leadership and Sustainability” 2004

linking leadership to student learning the student engagement link
Linking Leadership to Student Learning:The “Student Engagement” Link


Student Learning


Teacher Emotions

Student Engagement
























Csikszentmihalyi (1990)

key issues for today s teachers
Key Issues for Today’s Teachers
  • Asked to teach in new ways
  • Require more extensive knowledge of literacy and numeracy
  • Need a deep pedagogical knowledge to deal effectively with a range of students
  • Need to manage time effectively
    • Which have you experienced in your work?
          • The Secretariat p. 1
the effects of individual teacher efficacy on students
The Effects of Individual Teacher Efficacy on Students

• Higher levels of student efficacy

• Higher levels of student achievement, particularly in math and reading in the elementary grades and across diverse student populations

• More positive attitudes toward school, subject matter and teachers

• Lower rates of suspension and dropouts

(e.g., Tschannen-Moran, Wolfolk Hoy and Hoy,1998)

conditions which foster individual teacher efficacy
Conditions Which Foster Individual Teacher Efficacy

Examples of School-level Conditions

• Positive school atmosphere

• Academic press among staff

• Sense of community

• Teacher participation indecisions affecting their work

• Lack of barriers to effective instruction

• High expectations for students

• Collaboration among teachers

conditions which foster individual teacher efficacy continued
Conditions Which Foster Individual Teacher Efficacy(continued)

Examples of District Conditions

• Well designed district in-service experiences

- Differentiated for individual teachers

- Distributed throughout the implementation period

- Lead to the establishment of in-school networks and provide support for instructionalunderstanding

conditions which foster individual teacher efficacy continued1
Conditions Which Foster Individual Teacher Efficacy(continued)

Examples of Leadership Practices

• Being influential with district/provincial superordinates

•Providing resources for teachers

•Buffering teachers from disruptions

•Allowing teachers discretion over classroom decisions

effects of burnout on teachers
Effects of Burnout on Teachers

• Increased absenteeism

• Decline in instructional performance

• Poor interpersonal relationships with colleagues and students

• Less sympathetic toward students

• Less committed to their jobs

effects of burnout on teachers continued
Effects of Burnout on Teachers (continued)

• Lower tolerance for classroom disruption

• Less likely to be prepared

• Chilling effect on other staff

• More dogmatic about their practices

• More likely to blame students for poor performance

effects of teacher burnout on students
Effects of Teacher Burnout on Students

Slower progress with their learning

Higher rates of dropping out

linking leadership to student learning unraveling the chain
Linking Leadership to Student Learning:Unraveling the Chain


Student Learning





It is a classroom practice that looks eyeball to eyeball with the reality that kids differ, and the most effective teachers do whatever it takes to hook the whole range of kids on learning.

Carol Ann Tomlinson 1999

effective teaching is a set of complex context decisions about teaching

Effective teaching is a set of complex, context decisions about teaching

Carl Glickman (2003) Holding Sacred Ground

implementing differentiation
Implementing Differentiation
  • Content
  • Process
  • Product
  • Time
  • Environment
  • Assessment and evaluation
why gender matters

Why gender matters.

Gender is the central organizing category of our psyches. It is the axis around which people organize their personalities, and around which distinct egos develop. (Kaufman, 1999p.77)

elementary teaching as a feminized profession
Elementary teaching as a feminized profession
  • Over 80% of elementary teachers are female
  • Dominated by perceptions of female norms – nurturing, non-confrontational, focus is children not data, not competitive
  • Male teachers may feel alienated and isolated
schwalbe wolkomir 2002

Schwalbe & Wolkomir, 2002

noted that men may see interactions within a framework of control and that “the threat may be heightened, if it seems the leader is interested in gender” (p. 207)

Need to be business-like and refer the facts and research

reinhartz chase 2002

Reinhartz & Chase (2002)

Women are less formal, more connected and need to share personal experiences and stories

panel differences
Panel Differences

. Siskin (1994) mentioned that “workplaces are socially constructed” and that teachers working within each panel possess distinct knowledge about students and the relevant content taught (p.39). Teachers immersed in one particular panel may perceive differences in how another panel understands education. “Their differences are discursively magnified and dichotomized and this dichotomization takes on a life of its own.” (Bascia & Imants, 2006, p.4)

Elementary Panel

The elementary teacher’s world is profoundly polychronic in character. This increases as one moves from the higher to the lower age ranges,” (p. 104) Tasks and demands are immediate as teachers strive to meet children’s developmental and academic needs.

      • Bascia & Imants, 2006;Hargreaves, 1994
life cycle of the career teacher betty steffy

Still Contributing to Field




Creating New Knowledge


National Certific.

Level of Expertise


Mature Teacher


Beginning Teacher



Time in the Field

years of experience
Years of Experience
  • Individuals move along a continuum at different rates; and views the growing individual as an active participant in his or her own development,” (Steffy et al. 2000, p. 4).
  • Huberman (1989) discussed how this life-span developmental model, reflected “conceptual and methodological shifts in the field” (p.31).
  • Hargreaves & Goodson (2006), “Teaching and change in schools are driven by a generational centre of gravity, a dominant demographic of teachers who are of a particular age and career stage,” (p. 23).
novice teachers
Novice Teachers
  • Huberman (1989) discussed this cohort’s willingness to engage in exploration of the possibilities within teaching: “the present conveys no sense of loss for them, as there is no past to compare it against, (Hargreaves & Goodson, 2006). They are positive and more accepting of the current educational environment (Hargreaves & Goodson, 2006). They tend to volunteer to serve on committees or work on extra-curricular activities,” (Hargreaves & Goodson, 2006; Steffy et al., 2000, p.7) They are also more assertive about their own learning needs.
professional teachers
Professional Teachers
  • The Life Cycle of the Career Teacher identified the mid-experience teachers as “Professional Teachers,” characterized by a willingness to engage in collaborative work and a commitment to the broader profession (Steffy et al, 2000). As these cohorts engage in stabilization they feel more at ease in the classroom and consolidate their repertoire of skills. These teachers with 4-11 years of experience often assume positions of leadership on school committees (Steffy wt al., 2000).
experienced teachers
Experienced Teachers
  • If experienced teachers are not in positions of responsibility, they may have a diminished expectation, desire and/or ambition to be in one of these roles (Steffy et al., 2000). Teachers in this group may experience emotional withdrawal from colleagues and school initiatives for a variety of reasons. These may include a perceived lack of administrative support, a lack of collegiality, disconnect with the school’s goals and directions and/or a lack of opportunities for personal and professional growth and renewal (Ingersoll, 2003; Huberman, 1989; Steffy et al., 2000).
experienced teachers continued
Experienced Teachers Continued

Huberman (1989) identified the most experienced cohort as most willing to reassess their teaching career and engage in reflective practice.

at your tables

At your tables,

Work through 1 scenario, post for a gallery walk and be prepared to share your thoughts

critical teaching
Critical Teaching

Students need to be shown how to read critically and how to write effectively. They need to read to develop their intellectual capabilities. They need to be taught to think and reason.

In a review of 1500 classrooms, most teaching is teacher talk.

Researchers found that between .2 and 5% of classrooms used high-yield strategies, higher order thinking, clear learning objectives

Reeves, 2006; Schmoker, 2006

why teaching matters
Why Teaching Matters
  • Mortimore and Sammons (1987) found teaching had 6 to 10 x as much impact on achievement as all other school based factors
  • Marzano (2003) effective teacher can account for 35 to 50 % difference
  • 5 years of effective teaching could eliminate the achievement gaps on some state assessments (Haycock, 2005)
teaching reading is rocket science
Teaching Reading is Rocket Science
  • Phonetics, phonology, morphology, orthography, semantics and syntax and text structure
  • Each area required specific knowledge and skills from teachers
      • American Federation of Teachers, 1999
international reading association
International Reading Association
  • Standards for Reading Professionals
  • Refer to large-scale research
  • Tried to synthesize knowledge, skills and professional development
  • Looking at Learning First Alliance 2000 Table 1.2
      • What type of PD would be useful for you as a coach to assist teachers
research says
Research Says
  • Phonemic awareness – blending and segmenting – initial lessons should oral language
  • Phonics – instruction in how letters map to sound must be explicit
  • Fluency – guided oral reading procedures improve fluency, timed repeated reading procedures improve fluency
      • As a coach how would you use this?
  • What are data?
  • What data is needed?
  • How do you know?
  • How is data collected?
  • How is data analyzed?
  • How does it inform practice?
      • See Preparing for job-embedded professional learning
classroom observations
Classroom Observations

The purpose of a classroom visit is to help teachers improve their instruction and identify the best teaching practices in your school. Observation visits reflect your interest in instruction and in your staff's professional growth. (Blase & Blase, 1998; Scholastic, 2005)

classroom observations1
Classroom Observations


  • Time
  • Knowledge of effective reading instruction
  • Understanding what to look for
  • Collection and analysis of appropriate observational data
indicator categories
Indicator Categories
  • Classroom Environment
  • Materials
  • Teacher Instruction
  • Whole Class Instruction
  • Small Group, Differentiated Instruction
  • Student Reading Centers
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics & Fluency
  • Vocabulary & Comprehension
questions to promote professional dialogue p 12 15
Questions to Promote Professional Dialogue (p.12 -15)
  • Which questions do you already use?
  • Which are ones that you want to incorporate into your repertoire?
  • Why? Share with the table.
knowledge learning
Knowledge Learning
  • We learn together
  • We learn from common data sources that are reliable
  • We learn when we accept challenges
  • We learn by applying knowledge to develop innovative ways of improving
the literacy and numeracy secretariat1

The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat