When teachers have the support of an instructional coach, research shows that the quality of classroom instruction improves and leads to significant gains in student achievement. Researchers, Kraft and Blazar, in an article published in the journal Education Next, found that improvements in both instructional practice and student achievement improved significantly more when teachers worked collaboratively with an instructional coach then when provided with other types of professional development or school-based interventions. They found that the improvement difference for new teachers who received coaching support was as much as a teacher with 5 to 10 years of experience. There are two factors that are important to coaching success. The first is that coaches are well-trained to do their jobs and the second is that teachers are open to feedback and are willing to adjust their practice to see improvements. Characteristics of effective coaches include being able to establish strong interpersonal relationships with teachers, having knowledge of effective instructional practices and being able to use data effectively to help teachers meet individual student needs. Interested in learning more about coaching?
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