Can a Principal Also Be an Instructional Coach?

By Matt Renwick

Ive heard this from multiple teachers. The myth persists because for a long time guidance and examination have been a sole obligation within instructional management.

If I had approached it from a supervisory position, I do not believe we might have had this open and authentic discussion.

Research study has actually debunked this myth. Studies have revealed principals can also lead like a coach.

Among my favorite research studies comes from the world of Cognitive Coaching. Scientists discovered that when instructors were coached by another instructor, by a training coach, or by an administrator who was trained in training, the effect was the very same: instruction enhanced.

A prevailing myth in education is that formal school leaders can not likewise coach instructors.

This has actually been my own experience as a principal who has training relationships with instructors. In one example, a teacher wasnt sure whether to focus on classroom management or curriculum as part of her expert practice goal. Through a training conversation, she chose improving her curriculum as a method to mitigate any negative student behaviors.

Lead like a coach by embedding training abilities

3 training abilities– paraphrasing, pausing, and posturing questions– are the tools I lean on when teaming up with teachers and other associates.

They are simple to utilize as long as we are mindful about utilizing them. (I often forget and fall back on providing guidance or telling instructors what I think they should do.) Once we trust our capabilities to embed these skills in our practice, and remain mindful, the results will surpass any expectations we may have for the traditional instructor assessment system.

Paraphrasing, pausing, posing questions

Ability # 3: Posing questions. A questioning based upon what was formerly talked about can empower the teacher to make a decision. In my example, I asked the instructor which top priority might address both problems. She went with enhancing the curriculum to increase interest and engagement and minimize negative behaviors.

Here is a short meaning of each ability I utilized in the example I shared above..

When the teacher was sharing her possible goals, I organized them verbally and asked her if I was appropriate in my understanding. A moment of silence gives you and the teacher time to process what was said. In my example, I asked the teacher which priority may resolve both concerns.

Ability # 1: Paraphrasing. It means to put into our own words what the other individual said. When the teacher was sharing her possible goals, I organized them verbally and asked her if I was right in my understanding. (She validated that I was.).

► Thinking Collaborative (https://www.thinkingcollaborative.com/) is a website with resources for executing Cognitive Coaching in schools. Take a look at the brief videos of paraphrasing, pausing, and posturing questions in the “Resources & & More” area.

Matt Renwick is a primary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District in Wisconsin. He has served in public education for over 20 years– as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in a country school outside of Wisconsin Rapids; a middle school dean of trainees; and an assistant principal with athletic director responsibilities.

► Jim Knight composed this article for Instructional Coaching Group that describes three techniques when training experts: facilitative, dialogical, and regulation. My example in this short article would be categorized as facilitative.

In one example, an instructor wasnt sure whether to focus on class management or curriculum as part of her expert practice goal. Once we trust our capabilities to embed these abilities in our practice, and stay conscious, the results will go beyond any expectations we might have for the traditional teacher assessment system.

Matts most current book, with a foreword by Regie Routman, is Leading Like a C.O.A.C.H. 5 Strategies for Supporting Teaching and Learning (Corwin, 2022). You can sign up for his popular totally free Read by Example newsletter (and explore the archives) at his site. Follow him on Twitter @ReadByExample.

Guidance and assessment may have its place in schools, however its purpose is not to improve guideline. Leading like a coach, on the other hand, supports mentor and learning. Principals remain in prime positions to do this important work.

Skill # 2: Pausing. A moment of silence gives you and the teacher time to process what was said. My instructor valued having the chance to think about how she might manage both areas of focus for professional knowing..

Suggested resources on this topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.