Why Do Teachers Need Instructional Coaches?

posted Feb 29, 2016, 11:20 AM by David Kimball
As teachers, we spend an enormous amount of time on our own in our classrooms. Actually, let me correct that. We spend a lot of time with our students, and we are often the only adults. Many of us prefer to work without adults around.

When we spend a lot of time as the only adults in the classroom we often engage in activities that we think are really successful. How couldn't they be? We created most of them! But, I often think that we may not be as successful as we think we are. Kind of like our first year as teachers.

Do you remember your first year?  

According to Jim Knight, someone I work with as an instructional coaching trainer, up to 90% of what teachers learn alongside coaches will be retained. This means, that unlike traditional professional development where Knight's research shows that teachers lose 90% of what they learn, coaching can provide an enormous impact.

Knight's work is highly respected, and is highly respectful of teachers. Instructional coaching, in Knight's research and philosophy, is about working in partnership with teachers where the learning is reciprocal on the part of the teacher and coach. After all, we can learn a lot from one another.

Read the whole article in context.