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Instructional coaching has grown exponentially over the past two decades. Today there are coaches in large districts, small districts, urban districts, and rural districts. Coaches focus on subjects like mathematics, literacy, and technology. And others work across content areas. With millions of dollars and countless hours being dedicated to coaching, we must be sure that it is reaching the intended goal of increasing student and teacher learning.
Recently, I’ve been building a collection of resources to support principals who are leading a coaching effort in their own schools. These resources include a new book I’m working on that will be titled, Leading Student-Centered Coaching. I am writing this book with Ann Mausbach, a professor at Creighton University, and it should be published by late summer, 2018.
I’ve also begun creating a series of short videos for school leaders. The topics for these videos are coming from our work in the field, and from the content that we are developing for the new book.
It’s important to remember that this is hard work. Anything worth doing takes thoughtfulness, leadership, and a team approach. The same is true for coaching. While we often attribute the success of coaching to the skillfulness of the coach, the school leader is just as important to get the job done. The leader is essential because coaching is about lifting the learning of every member of the school community. We need everyone working together, taking risks, and committing to do what it takes to get there. At times, this may feel as challenging as lifting a 165,000 pound Space Shuttle off the ground. If you’ve seen the movie The Right Stuff, you may remember the scene when an astronaut is invited to join the team and he responds, ‘It sounds dangerous. Count me in.’ This is the sense of urgency that we are looking for when it comes to leading a coaching effort. We simply don’t have time to waste. While the astronaut’s life was on the line, we are talking about the lives of our students. We believe that their success is just as important.
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