Effective continuous professional development (CPD) has the potential to improve teaching and school leadership: it is proven to have a significant effect on pupils’ learning outcomes (Zuccollo & Fletcher-Wood, 2020).
As a method of CPD, instructional coaching has one of the strongest evidence bases for supporting teachers and school leaders to keep getting better. It combines bite-sized goals, targeted feedback and rehearsal to help teachers to make sustainable changes to their classroom practice and develop the mental models needed to use these new techniques appropriately.
Our Instructional Coaching programme supports experienced teachers and school leaders to implement this practice across their setting. This article delves deeper into the Instructional Coaching programme, answering questions such as: What is the Instructional Coaching programme? What do you learn on the Instructional Coaching programme? Am I eligible for the Instructional Coaching programme?
What is the Instructional Coaching programme?
The Instructional Coaching programme will teach you the foundational principles of teacher education and instructional coaching, and how to implement this practice in your setting.
It is designed so you build your theoretical knowledge of coaching and how it relates to mechanisms underpinning professional learning. You will also gain practical knowledge and experience of how to coach others with skill and confidence.
Over the course of the programme, you will learn:
- The science of teacher learning: what makes teacher learning particularly challenging and how you can support teachers to overcome some of these challenges.
- Instructional coaching and behaviour change: why teachers may struggle to change their teaching practice and how you can support them to make changes.
- Instructional coaching and knowledge development: why it is important for teachers to understand the purpose of their classroom actions and how you can make this central to your coaching.
- Embedding instructional coaching: what the practical and cultural challenges are of implementing a programme of instructional coaching and how you can overcome these challenges.
These modules will be delivered by experts in the field of instructional coaching who will offer feedback on your coaching implementation at your school.
By the end of the programme, you will have the confidence and depth of understanding to deliver effective coaching to all staff, from early career teachers to senior leaders, in your setting.
How will you learn?
The programme is delivered across one term via live, facilitated sessions with fellow teacher educators. You will take part in a total of 27 hours learning, including:
- Four, full day developmental sessions: During these online sessions, you will learn the theory behind effective instructional coaching. Rather than focus on a specific coaching model, you will identify, evaluate and match an approach to the needs of your staff in school. These sessions combine theory and practice – coaching is modelled and you will practise some scaffolded elements of coaching to build your confidence.
- Networking opportunities: You can collaborate with your fellow participants so that you can share expertise and work together towards similar goals.
- In-school coaching: you will coach one other member of staff in your school. This will be an opportunity to trial what you have learnt and adapt the coaching models to your setting.
- Coaching sessions: You will be paired with an expert coach who will provide tailored support via one-to-one meetings. You will have the opportunity to share recordings of your teaching and coaching practice to help develop your skillset.
- One hour of independent study, fortnightly: You will have access to the latest research and theory on instructional coaching through our learning platform Steplab.
But what does this mean in practice?
It means understanding the evidence base around effective coaching.
It means gaining the confidence to practise instructional coaching and tailor this to your specific context.
It means developing a whole-school coaching offer that supports impactful teaching and learning how to scale up your approach to benefit a wide range of staff.
It means receiving expert support from a dedicated coach so that you can reach your coaching goals.
It means building a network of colleagues working together to implement effective coaching in a variety of settings.
It means ensuring that pupils at your school are receiving the best quality teaching.
How much does the programme cost?
The programme costs £1,300 per person.
Who is eligible?
To apply, you need to be an experienced teacher who can influence teaching and learning in your school/trust. You will ideally have leadership responsibility, or responsibility for developing colleagues. This includes roles such as head of department, lead practitioner or professional mentor.
Some schools/trusts choose to sign up multiple teachers and/or leaders for the programme at the same time. This allows them to develop a team of trained coaches who can then lead the implementation of coaching across a school or trust.