As we have learned from the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN), “STAFF COACHING is essential." Implementation of best practice depends on successful coaching. This is described by NIRN (2018):
“Most skills that successful practitioners need can be assessed during selection and introduced in training, but practitioners really learn them on the job with the help of a coach. An effective coach provides 'craft' information along with advice, encouragement, and opportunities to (re)practice and use skills specific to the practice (e.g. engagement, instruction, good judgment). The full and effective use of human service practices requires behavior change at the practitioner, supervisory, and administrative support levels. Training and coaching are the principal implementation methods that bring about behavior change for carefully selected staff in the beginning stages of implementation and throughout the life of evidence-based practices and programs.
Schools and districts can make use of teacher fidelity data to continue to improve coaching methods. States are encouraged to develop coaching as a 'Usable Practice' with a representative team of shareholders who have the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to develop a common philosophy of coaching that clearly defines and operationalizes what coaches will do. A teacher survey often can accomplish fidelity of coaching by assessing whether teachers in schools are receiving the core components of the defined approach to coaching. States then establish training processes to assure the availability of skillful coaches and to prepare district and school administrators for their roles in supporting coaches.
Instructional Transformation is dependent on targeted staffing improvements that ensure time and capacity for Talent Development. Often this requires a Culture Shift led by Turnaround Leadership to support the development of the structures and opportunities for faculty and staff to work together around common goals to engage in the deep system change required to install, use, and sustain coaching systems of support.”
As we continue to prepare for the implementation of our restructure next year, we are working on building strong relationships among team members with a wide range of experience and strengths. Our focus areas for practices coaching are Behavioral Health, Instructional Technology, Literacy, Math, and SDI. Behavioral Health, Literacy, and Math will also be supported by systems coaching. These roles are defined, in part in the Coaching Field Guide (pgs 5 & 6):
“Coaches are inherently involved in multilevel conversations with a variety of school staff because of their distinct and meaningful relationships between teachers and administration. They are uniquely positioned as leaders and resources when interacting with individual teachers on specific classroom routines and teams that make higher stake decisions for larger cohorts of students. Coaching that increases an individual teacher’s knowledge in a particular domain and enhances the level of implementation fidelity of evidence-based practices to improve student outcomes is referred to as practices coaching. Guidance that increases the capacity of a school or district team to implement MTSS to enhance student outcomes and to develop the infrastructure to sustain MTSS over time is known as systems coaching.”
(The Center on School Turnaround. (2018). Four domains for rapid school improvement: Indicators of effective practice [The Center for School Turnaround at WestEd]. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Retrieved from: https://nirn.fpg.unc.edu/sites/nirn.fpg.unc.edu/files/resources/Four%20Domains%20for%20Rapid%20School%20Improvement.pdf)