Coaching in the Classroom
During our most recent webinar entitled “Coaching in the Classroom: How Real-Time Feedback Leads to Lasting Improvement”, we were delighted to be joined by participants from all over the US including Michigan, Tennessee, NY, Florida, California, North Carolina, Louisiana, and many countries from around the globe such as Puerto Rico, Portugal, Bermuda, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Lebanon, and Ontario, Canada!
Amongst participants, a variety of careers and roles were represented showing interest in Real Time Teacher Coaching. From school-based coaches, to teachers, interventionists, curriculum coordinators, district employees, and parents. The audience was indicative of the many stakeholders within the school systems we serve.
Real Time Teacher Coaching is a cutting edge coaching model that changes teacher practice through immediate, non-disruptive feedback and guidance from coaches during classroom instruction. View a whiteboard video explaining our No-Nonsense Nurturer Approach and Real Time Teacher Coaching.
We received hundreds of questions during the webinar on April 14, 2020 and wanted to answer the most frequently asked questions:
How do I become a Real-Time Teacher Coach (RTTC)?
This is probably the most popular question of all. To become an RTTC, you are trained by a CT3 Associate for a year. This year includes on-the ground support, online training courses around pedagogical practices, and video coaching with feedback. The end goal is to create a coach who is able to support teachers in achieving high levels of student engagement and empowerment within their classroom.
So is coaching (for teachers) the same as mentoring?
Real Time Teacher Coaching (RTTC) is different from mentoring. Even though both require training, they have fundamental differences. RTTC is hands-on and delivers “in-the-moment” feedback to the teacher with each coaching cycle completed weekly. Mentoring can occur on a weekly/monthly basis. But mentoring doesn’t always utilize quantitative data to drive the focus of the session.
Is there a way to do Real Time coaching without the walkie talkie?
No, the benefit of RTTC is the use of in-the-moment feedback with the walkie. Using the walkie is the major differentiator in increasing teacher efficacy because the teacher is able to build muscle memory during the coaching session.
How do you choose what 10-minute baseline you will observe?
The coach works with the teacher to determine which part of the day or portion of the lesson they are struggling with the most. Real Time Teacher Coaches typically begin the coaching during the first 10 or last 10 minutes of class to ensure teachers have a successful start and finish to their class.
How long is the coaching session?
Each coaching cycle has four parts which take about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The cycle consists of a baseline, pre-coaching conference, coaching session, and post-coaching conference. The coach determines how many teachers will be coached weekly and they schedule other responsibilities around their coaching cycles.
What is the average caseload of a coach?
The Real Time Teacher Coach (RTTC) in collaboration with administrators selects a cohort of four to six teachers. The RTTC supports the cohort of teachers until they reach proficiency in the selected strategy. When proficiency is reached, the RTTC supports the teacher with the next strategy.
Do coaches usually work with new teachers?
Yes, definitely! However, all teachers are coached using this model including new teachers, mid-career teachers, and veteran teachers. All teachers are coached for their own growth and development.
Do you recommend staff teach for a certain amount of time before being coached? What time of year do you begin coaching?
Coaching is all year long. Starting at day one and ending at day 180. Any day teachers are in front of scholars is a day for teachers to request and/or receive Real Time Teacher Coaching.
How would students perceive the physical presence of the coach in the classroom in relationship to the teacher’s role?
An exemplary RTTC model is when the teacher has shared with students their own professional growth goals and the role their coach is playing in fulfilling their growth and development. Students view the coach and teacher as collaborators in reaching school-wide goals, classroom goals, and individual professional goals.
Sometimes we find that teachers are not welcoming of coaching. Have you encountered pushback from any teacher?
Pushback is important because it is a sign that the teacher is realizing they have a blindspot or what we call a disempowering mindset. Oftentimes the teachers who begin with the most pushback and are the most critical become your top advocates for coaching as they discover empowering mindsets and see the transformation in classrooms. Welcome the pushback – it makes you a stronger coach!
By Samantha Reichard, Lead Real Time Teacher Coach, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and Eyka Stephens, Managing Associate, CT3