An instructional coach helps a school improve by observing teacher methods and exposing them to ways to diversify or improve their teaching. They are critical pieces to retaining and developing educators in today’s teaching environment that is rife with burnout and teacher churn.
We already know that instructional coaches can be beneficial for a school, but it’s best to know whether or not they are bringing the results we need in our schools. So, here are a few things you can use to measure the success for instructional coaches.
The ultimate outcome of the students’ progress is a key indicator in how effective an instructional coach is with their job. If students aren’t progressing, then something needs to be changed in the way someone is teaching. You can simply track the progress by tracking the students’ grades, or set up goals for them to achieve to measure their progress. This is where instructional coaches should be stepping in and directing teachers to evaluate how they can better educate their students. You can simply track a student's grades, or set up goals for them to achieve to measure their progress.
One of the hardest parts of being an instructional coach is pushback from teachers. Telling them what they need to hear in order to challenge them to be better isn’t always taken well. But giving rubrics for teachers and being able to track their progress and then giving them better instructions to improve their teaching is exactly why instructional coaches are needed. Take the time to create touch points with teachers to review and reflect progress that their students are making or even just to check whether or not there is some that you as an instructional coach can assist them with. If your fellow teacher needs help figuring out their support language, encourage them to take the TSLQ that TARA offers to find out what they are.
After having your touch points with your teachers, you can grab some feedback from them. But it may also be helpful in getting direct feedback from students and parents as well. These are the 3 huge roles that know especially what is best for their student in terms of their education. So getting their feedback is a huge way to find out whether or not an instructional coach is successful in their tactics of helping students get the best resources and education. You want to ask them both what has been helpful for the students and what they have noticed to not be helpful. Although you are the expert with techniques and resources, sometimes there could be underlying issues you may have missed, but they know quite well about.
Finally, retention. What is it? It’s simply whether or not the school is keeping the teachers. Are those teachers coming back every year? This is solid evidence that something that you are doing as an instructional coach is still keeping them around. A good majority of the time, teachers leave because they feel under-appreciated or they just don’t receive the right support. There could be other reasons, but a good percentage of the time, a teacher will stay because of their environment, which you as an instructional coach can play a large part at. If you see teachers happy in their work environment, then it’s solid evidence that they are being treated well and supported.
It can take different approaches to measure out how successful an instructional coach is with their work. Even if they are not successful, it’s always best to sit and evaluate the data and see where things are improved. Just like how educators and students need support, it couldn’t hurt to give extra direction to an instructional coach with whatever feedback is taken from teachers, students, and parents.
Although instructional coaches should be the professionals, in a school, a student’s education needs to be prioritized. The best way to ensure that is to check on everyone’s progress and measure their impact.
Are you still unsure of what an instructional coach does? Check out our blogpost What is an Instructional Coach to learn more.
And if you are an instructional coach looking for resources to enhance your coaching, check us out at https://www.tarateachers.com/.
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Because when teachers come first, students win...and teachers stay.