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An Implementation Model For Coaching and Mentoring New Reading Professionals: A University-based Approach Dorothy Leal, Susan Nolan, Carolyn Backus, Molly.

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Presentation on theme: "An Implementation Model For Coaching and Mentoring New Reading Professionals: A University-based Approach Dorothy Leal, Susan Nolan, Carolyn Backus, Molly."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Implementation Model For Coaching and Mentoring New Reading Professionals: A University-based Approach Dorothy Leal, Susan Nolan, Carolyn Backus, Molly Mahoney & Kim York Ohio University Presented at the International Reading Associations Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada May, 2007

2 Why Literacy Coaching? There is a growing need for reading professionals in todays schools (Bean, 2004) Coaching with collaborative problem solving is a powerful way to increase teacher knowledge and improve practice (Cavanagh, 2005) Coaching encourages supportive relationships that nurture and sustain literacy learning for kids, teachers, coaches and community (Leal, 2007) Literacy coaching has the potential to become the most important step for increasing teacher effectiveness (Shaw, 2006)

3 What is The Role of a Coach? My job is to get men to do what they dont want to do in order to achieve what theyve always wanted to achieve. - Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys, on How to Build a Winning Team

4 What is the Role of a Literacy Coach? To enable teachers to successfully use assessments, strategies and resources to make students successful To impact student and teacher learning and performance To become an instrument of change for teachers, for students, for families and beyond

5 Coaching: A Spiraling Instrument of Change

6 What the Literature Says Early on we knew that the teaching profession must be restructured in two directions (Darling- Hammond from the National Commission of Teaching and Americas Future, 1996): - Toward increasing teachers knowledge to meet the demands of their roles - Toward redesigning schools to support quality teaching and learning

7 What We Dont Know About Restructuring and Coaching At this point we have absolutely no single piece of evidence that coaching is effective: no research studies, no published research, no randomized- control-style studies (Kamil, 2006) However, we do know that meaningful professional development for teachers translates into measurable student outcomes (National Reading Panel, 2000)

8 Key Issue #1: Lack of Research Lack of empirical research validating the effectiveness of coaching (Hasbrook and Denton, 2007) Coaching models must reflect research based approaches in order be measurable (Russo & Alexander, 2004; Walpole & McKenna, 2004) Absence of financial and administrative support for those expected to provide coaching programs with research (Walpole & McKenna, 2004)

9 Key Issue #2: Diversity of Roles Contextual influences determine the interpretation of coaching (Hall, 2004; Quatroche, Bean, Hamilton 2001) Multiple definitions feed into the problem of diversity and complexity of roles (Riddle-Buly, Coskie, Robinson & Egawa, 2006) Need for more job embedded professional development specific to the context (Neufeld & Roper, 2003)

10 Key Issue #3: Different Teacher Beliefs Different models of literacy coaching reflect different beliefs about teachers teaching and teacher change (Toll, 2004) Different teacher conceptions of reading and writing processes (Kamil, 2006; Lyons and Pinnell 2001) Conceptions about reading and writing processes need to be aligned (Rodgers and Pinnell,2002)

11 Key Issue #4: Need for a Coaching Credential Literacy coaches have varied professional experiences, certifications and training Qualifications for coaches need to be standardized The establishment of the Gold Standard Bean & Frost, 2006

12 The Gold Standard Masters degree in literacy Additional coaching credential Successful teaching experience Experience working with teachers Excellent presenting skills Experience modeling lessons Experience observing in classrooms Bean & Frost, 2006

13 Coaching in the Context of IRA Standards for Reading Professionals 1.Foundational Knowledge 2.Instructional Strategies and Curriculum Materials 3.Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation 4.Creating a Literate Environment 5.Professional Development

14 Advantages of the University Structure and Setting Literacy coaching courses to mentor reading coaches Tutoring opportunities to practice student- focused coaching in the context of the Clinic Model IRA standards aligned in syllabi, course content, instructional assignments and rubrics Supportive learning community Tutors and coaches hear same messages, are on the same page

15 Limitations of the Current University Structure and Setting Minimal collecting, analyzing and using school- wide assessment data Minimal development and implementation of a school wide reading program Minimal communication with clinical specialists, school psychologists, or social workers Minimal communication to policymakers, public officials or community members Minimal evaluation-free coaching Therefore, not all IRA standards are presently addressed

16 What The University Coaching Model Includes Coaching Responsibilities Professional Responsibilities Research Responsibilities

17 Coaching Responsibilities Observe/evaluate tutoring sessions twice a week: Goal of 4-6 tutors to one coach Evaluate and respond to student activity plans and tutoring logs Alongside demonstrations of best practice strategies for tutors Frequent communication with teachers, including phone, email, LiveText Weekly meetings with professor and other coaches

18 Professional Responsibilities Keep a reflective journal with Coach/professor documenting learning Maintain regular communication with teachers Prepare a cumulative evaluation of the coaching experience Attend and/or present at a professional reading conference Prepare and equip teachers in best literacy practices

19 Research Responsibilities Research topics of literacy coaching Keep a Learning Log on current research readings on coaching Co-author research and professional publications with other reading colleagues

20 Our Evolving Model Once upon a time…..But now…. Short observation times, scattered locations More focused time per tutor, centralized locations Handwritten evaluationsEvaluations via LiveText Plans received at lesson timePlans received before lesson No set time for collaborationSet time for collaboration Feedback via emailFeedback via LiveText and email Coaches evaluate strategiesCoaches model strategies

21 Coaches in a Clinic Model Listen To understand teacher concerns To affirm teacher success To build trusting relationships To support learning in the midst of evaluating learning To facilitate collaboration

22 Coaches in a Clinic Model Reflect and Respond Help teachers reflect on student strengths and weaknesses Help teachers reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses Help teachers reflect on the effectiveness of assessments and strategies Respond to teachers with feedback on Activity Plans Respond to teachers with reflections and applause via logs Respond to and communicate with course coach

23 Reading Coaches Also…. Identify and match instructional objectives with remediation activities Collaborate jointly to solve problems Demonstrate effective strategies Suggest instructional resources to accomplish goals Intervene and model when tutoring isnt going smoothly

24 Benefits and Barriers from the Teachers Perspective BenefitsBarriers Constant communication strengthen their methods and strategies Guidance and support with individual attention help overcome kids difficulties Coaches can relate and empathize with stresses Feedback comes from coaches honest and shared experiences Desire for more one-on-one meetings and more immediate feedback Limited observation time can be a constraint: dont get to see everything More time needed for feedback and advice

25 Benefits and Barriers from the Coaches Perspective BenefitsBarriers Constant communication strengthens everyones knowledge and experience Working together toward common goals makes constructive criticism easier to give and receive Professional development yields new learning for both tutors and coaches Communication can be very time consuming Personality and philosophy conflicts can challenge outcomes Resistance to new learning can limit growth and create awkward situations

26 What Weve Learned and Where Were Headed Next Regular and sustained communication is key Electronic support facilitates communication Coach candidates should be experienced teachers Continue the coaching experience with another course to bridge coaches with the schools Collaboration builds community and releases creativity Its OK to enable teachers do the hard things to really make a difference in the lives of children

27 Thank You for Coming and for Your Feedback and Help! A copy of our handout can be found on the IRA website. This is a work in progress. We value your collaboration and invite your questions, comments, concerns or input. Dorothy Leal:

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