Sunday, 12 August 2012

Why a Coach?

We all have an idea of what a coach is.  You've probably already had a few of them in your life.  Whether it was the one telling you what your position was or how to hold a high note, the coach was always the giver of knowledge, the experienced counsel, the savvy strategist. The coach knew exactly where you needed to go and how you should get there.

Teaching, however, is different.  And teaching literacy is complex.  That's why the role of a literacy coach needs clarification.  

Unsatisfied with the conventional definitions of a coach, I've come up with my own:  A Literacy Coach is someone who provides continual support, offers a range of possibilities, and builds upon the strengths of individuals to ensure a successful outcome for the entire team.

In considering this definition, I found this image which really resonates with me.  The coach is there, following along, listening in, asking questions, and providing instant feedback.  The expert, in this case, Lance Armstrong, is still in control and will finish the race.  Just like Lance's coach, part of my role as your Literacy Coach is to work with you in real time as you are planning and teaching.  I will support you in any way that I can.  Possibilities of what this may look like include:

  • planning a mini-lesson with you
  • locating authentic samples and valuable resources
  • modeling a mini-lesson
  • providing feedback
  • assessing student work
  • reworking the classroom environment and library
  • fine-tuning anchor charts
  • modeling a conference (individual or small group)
  • calibrating an assessment
  • developing a record keeping system
  • covering your class while you work with a peer
Finally, while I will provide you with these possibilities and more, one of the most exciting aspects of being your Coach is that I will learn so much from you.  And when I do come in to work with you, I'll be sure to share the exciting strategies and techniques that I've come across in all of your classrooms.

Image from:

1 comment:

  1. We are sooooo lucky to have you as our support team, Scott. Looking forward to following your blog, inviting you into our class, and learning along with you. Enjoy the ride!