The Country’s Best Coaches: Molly Cohen in New York, NY

At CT3, we are fortunate to be able to meet and work closely with educators all over the country. We often find that the Real Time Teacher Coaches we train often hold different roles besides just “coach”. They’re not just No-Nonsense Nurturers, or skilled Real Time Teacher Coaches, but they’re also experts in a variety of subjects in their buildings to help better serve their students. Many are masters of lesson planning or teacher evaluations. Some are even Union representatives! Many are teacher leaders or school leaders that juggle both positions. We’re bringing recognition to many of the coaches we work with in schools across the country through our new blog series: “The Country’s Best Coaches”.

Today we’d like to recognize Molly Cohen, Principal of Success Academy Harlem 5, a part of Success Academy Charter Schools in New York, NY.

Describe the school you lead. What about it makes you proud?

I lead a K-4 charter school in Harlem. We have over 400 students who come from as nearby as a few blocks away and as far away as the Bronx and Brooklyn. I love my school! It is a strong community, consisting of educators, students, and families. I am proud of the love that all of my scholars feel when they enter our big blue doors, and the push that each of them gets to meet their academic goals.

Why did you become a principal?

I became a principal because I wanted to make a larger impact. I have a strong attachment to the school I lead–I started here many years ago as an associate teacher. This school is my home. It felt natural to step up into a leadership role here because it was my duty to continue to build the strength of my school community. As a principal, I am able to influence teacher practice and push more kids to rigorous standards. I love being able to inspire and guide my school towards our vision.

Why did you bring CT3’s work (No-Nonsense Nurturer® and Real Time Teacher Coaching®) into your school?

I wanted to improve my own abilities to coach teachers on building classroom community. As a teacher, this was a natural strength for me. However, it was more difficult for me to teach teachers how to master the No-Nonsense Nurturer [NNN] model. Having CT3’s work at my school has helped me as a leader to hone in on my skills of diagnosing the root problem that a teacher may be facing, coaching in the moment to increase student participation, and follow-up with deliverables that influence classroom achievement.

How has Real Time Teacher Coaching [RTTC] transformed your school?

RTTC has transformed my school because it has created automaticity with the NNN four- step model. Teachers give clear directions, narrate, and address. They also build strong relationships with their kids. The focus from RTTC has helped my school focus on building strong classroom communities.

Can you tell us a story of student or teacher success you attribute to NNN or RTTC?

We have had so many teacher successes! One of my lovely teachers struggled at first managing all four parts of the NNN cycle. She gave clear directions, narrated, and addressed but it didn’t seem to work. Through multiple observations and conversations we uncovered that what was missing was strong relationships with students. She thought that she had to be a “certain way” as a teacher – this prevented her from being her authentic self and connecting with children. After uncovering this mindset, she was able to move forward and genuinely build relationships with her students. Now all of her kids are receptive to her directions, narrations, and follow-up. She has an AWESOME classroom community!

Questions about bringing Real Time Teacher Coaching to your school or district? Email
Check out CT3 Education programs such as No-Nonsense Nurturer, Real Time Teacher Coaching, and Real Time Leadership Coaching to find out more about Professional Development for Teachers and Leaders, classroom management strategies, and building relationships with students and their families, and properly addressing important issues in the classroom and school.