Coaching by Watching: Coaching by Watching Sharon Walpole
University of Delaware
June, 2006 Some Things You Should Know: Some Things You Should Know I DON’T think that reading programs come in boxes
I DO think of Coaching within the federal reform initiatives
School-level (not classroom-level) efforts
Large numbers of struggling teachers and even larger numbers of struggling readers
New curriculum materials
I DO think that Coaches can take federal dollars and help schools use them for teachers and children
Slide3: What are the barriers that you’ve faced in using observation effectively in your efforts? Goals for Today: Goals for Today Consider the benefits of observation for the work of literacy coaches
Consider steps to take before observing
Consider strategies to use during an observation
Consider strategies to use after an observation Start by thinking broadly: Start by thinking broadly http://www.annenberginstitute.org/images/Coaching.pdf Slide6: 'Coaching is school-based professional development designed in light of the district’s reform agenda and guided by the goal of meeting schools’ specific instructional learning needs'
– Neufeld andamp; Roper, 2003 Reform Model: Reform Model http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/reading/projects/garf/ Literacy Coaches are Researchers: Literacy Coaches are Researchers Design, schedule and manage data collection
Interpret and share data with all stakeholders
Assess fidelity to school-wide model through observations
Assess relationship of fidelity to student achievement
Propose changes in school-level plan based on these analyses Why? Two types of observations: Two types of observations Walk-through: brief visit to see whether a practice is being implemented or not
Full observation: extended visit to understand the full context and quality of the practice across the instructional block Why? Observe to learn: Observe to learn Observe for yourself, so you can have a deeper understanding of teaching and learning in your building
In general, what do we do very well?
In general, what are we struggling with?
How can we build knowledge and practice in this area?
Why? From a design standpoint: From a design standpoint Literacy coaches are charged with supporting research-based reform efforts; they collect student data to measure the success of their programs
It does not make sense to measure program effects without measuring treatment fidelity
It does not make sense to measure treatment fidelity without observing the treatment
It does not make sense to document treatment fidelity without trying to improve it Why? Professional Support System: Professional Support System Joyce, B., andamp; Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development. White Plains, NY: Longman.
Why? Before your observation: Before your observation Give teachers a chance to explore the theory and watch a demonstration
Give teachers a chance to create or edit an observation format or innovation configuration
Give teachers a chance to create an observation timeline Before Innovation Configuration: Innovation Configuration Hall, G. andamp; Hord, S. (2001). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Before Context : Context http://www.nsdc.org/standards/index.cfm Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning: Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning: Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning: Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning: Innovation Configuration for Teacher’s Professional Learning Slide20: Moving NSDC's Staff Development Standards into Practice: Innovation Configurations
By Shirley Hord, Stephanie Hirsh andamp; Patricia Roy What specific parts of yourprogram could benefit from the design and use of an innovation configuration?What questions do you have about how to do it?: What specific parts of your program could benefit from the design and use of an innovation configuration? What questions do you have about how to do it? Consider Scheduled Observations: Consider Scheduled Observations Catching a teacher off-guard is a waste of your observation time
Consider observing all teachers each marking period
Walk-throughs will be unscheduled; observations should catch teachers doing their very best work Before Establish a climate for observation: Establish a climate for observation Be clear that you are a teacher, not a principal
Never link pd to evaluation
Never make your observations public
Have a pre-observation meeting
Review confidentiality agreement
Ask the teacher what she wants you to see
Tell exactly how the observation will be conducted, reviewing the format Before Be focused!: Be focused! Say what you will do and then do what you said you would!
Be unobtrusive; don’t disrupt instruction
Take or type notes on your observation form
Focus your attention on what is happening, not on your recommendations
Think of questions to ask the teacher to help you to understand his or her work better During Analyzing an Observation: Analyzing an Observation Think about the entire lesson
Reflect on what you learned about children, about teaching, and about reading from watching
Make positive comments
But they have to be sincere
But they have to be specific
Offer to help After Give Feedback: Give Feedback Make the feedback specific to the target that you set beforehand and specific to the lesson that you observed
Be genuine about positive things that you learned by watching
Be specific about something that you’d like the teacher to consider improving, and offer choices about how you can help After Plan to differentiate: Plan to differentiate Each teacher has a different weak…I shouldn’t say weakness, but something that they need to work on. [The important thing is] going in there and finding out what each teacher needs and being able to talk with them. And trying to develop a relationship with them so they won’t think of me as the enemy. After Sharing an Observation: Sharing an Observation Give the teacher a chance to read your comments before you meet
Make it quick!
Schedule a safe and informal time and place to talk about it
Provide choices and support for the teacher as she/he explores next steps
Avoid keeping any documentation. After Slide29: I took a laptop computer with me and I have a little form that has 3 sections: A description of what I see, celebrations, and then considerations. I try to make the descriptions almost just like a script, as much as I can, as quickly as I can. The celebrations, that’s pretty easy. I try to always make sure I give a little general one right from the onset. And then I try to get really specific things. And I don’t think a day has passed yet that I’ve given the feedback that I haven’t had a teacher approach me and say, 'I appreciate that.' If I don’t write something that was a celebration, but I remembered to mention it to them outside of that, then I think they really feel like 'she was watching when she was in there.' A lot of us have never been watched this way. You’re the only one that’s going to see [my observation.] That’s the end of it. What happens is you read it and hopefully you benefit from it and that’s all. We’ll carry on and I’ll give you another [observation] next time. Professional Support System: Professional Support System Joyce, B., andamp; Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development. White Plains, NY: Longman.