Carol left a comment on yesterday’s post which left me thinking again about vision and action. I’ve written about this before, because in my experience this is as essential as it is complex. Defining literacy is no easy task, and articulating a vision for supporting the development of it within a district is a tremendous collaborative effort. In the beginning, coaching experiences can help teachers define what they are eager to know and accomplish for kids. Coaches have so much to learn about the needs of students and teachers and administrators. It takes some time to figure out how they can shape their work to better meet all of those needs. I suppose that in an ideal world, these key ingredients are already working together to create the perfect entry point for coaches. In my experience, this sort of discovery and definition has been a important part of the coaching initiative, though. I don’t know that it is something that any coach can expect to have in place from the outset. I’m eager to know what others who have coaching experience think about this.
Unfortunately, sometimes the coaches role isn’t valued as it should be. I have heard may conversations among teachers. Usually because teachers are a time poor lot and some teachers feel it adds another layer to an already super busy job. I don’t have a coach at my school but would enjoy it. I also know from speaking to coaches that this is not an easy job. They often work in a number of schools where teachers can feel they are working very hard but the data doesn’t reflect this. The coach has to build capacity and often the teacher’s self esteem. Coaching has been implemented in Australia over the last three years and I beleive overall it has been very successful, but not without issues.