Coaching: It’s Not Just for Athletes

Working with an instructional coach does not mean a teacher is poorly trained, incompetent, or incapable of teaching. In fact, it is one of the best methods to help teachers develop exceptional instructional skills, practices, and strategies in the classroom, and to improve student achievement.

A recent post on the Impatient Optimists education blog describes a teacher’s personal experience working with an instructional coach in her classroom. While she was at first wary of opening up her classroom to an outsider to observe and critique her teaching, she later realized the value of receiving feedback in real time and understanding her strengths and areas for improvement. Her work with the coach, she noted, had a positive impact not only on her teaching practice but also on her classroom culture and her students.

Here at CLI, we believe in the impact of effective, comprehensive professional development. Monthly trainings and guidebooks alone are not enough to improve instruction and student learning—teachers need one-on-one time with trained literacy coaches and access to on-demand resources to be exemplary instructors and help their students develop their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. This is why we provide coaching to our CLI Model Classroom teachers in addition to training and resources. CLI Compass, which will be launched this summer, will allow teachers to access on-demand resources and modules customized to their classroom and school needs.

Athletes aren’t the only people who can benefit from coaching. Teachers can become exceptional educators when they, like athletes, take the time to learn what works and what doesn’t work with the help of a supportive and knowledgeable coach. And while there are no Olympic medals for teachers, there is the satisfaction of knowing they have been equipped with the best strategies and tools needed to ensure their students succeed.  

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