A Common Definition
If coaching means different things to different people in different settings, we may not be coaching as intended.
Coaching is intentional, job-embedded professional learning designed to support teachers and staff in implementing practices with fidelity. Coaching takes place after training and happens while practitioners are doing their work.
The Coaching Competency Practice Profile (CCPP) is a tool that expands on this definition of coaching, allowing coaching to be teachable, learnable, doable, and replicable.
Watch this brief tutorial to learn how to use the tool in your work.
Installing a Coaching System
One role of coaching is to support educators in the implementation of an innovation. Ongoing research shows that effective coaching improves teacher practice. What is often overlooked however, is that coaching is also an innovation which must be operationalized before it can support innovations with fidelity. The following tool, adapted from the National Implementation Research Network, fits the needs of Wisconsin educators.
Included in each section below, are key activities along with tools and resources to guide you through each stage of implementing a coaching system.
The exploration stage is a critical starting place when regions, districts and schools are considering change. Taking the time to explore what to do, how to do it, and who will do it saves time and money and improves the chances for success. The exploration stage takes place well before coaching is put in place. The overall goal of this stage is to consider the extent to which coaching meets the needs of the community, and whether it is feasible. This stage is also the time to assess potential barriers to implementation related to funding, staffing, referrals, and system changes. The result of the exploration stage is a clear plan with tasks and timelines to facilitate the installation and initial implementation of the coaching. The plan creates “readiness” for the change.
Click on the Exploration Stage portion of the worksheet to access the resources and evidence of implementation.
During the installation stage, the team actively builds their own capacity to support coaching within the system. At this stage, teams work together to ensure the availability of resources. Teams actively develop the supports needed to initiate coaching and use it as intended. Teams put necessary supports into place (such as funding, human resource strategies, new policies and procedures, materials).
Click on the Installation Stage portion of the worksheet to access the resources and evidence of implementation.
The key focus of the initial implementation stage is on continuous improvement. Staff are attempting to use newly learned skills in the context of an organization, that is itself just learning how to change to accommodate and support the new ways of work. This is the most fragile stage where the awkwardness associated with trying new things and the difficulties associated with changing old ways of work are strong motivations for giving up and going back to comfortable routines.
In the full implementation stage, the new ways of providing services are now the standard ways of work where practitioners and staff routinely provide high quality services and the implementation supports are part of the way districts and schools carry out their work. Teams are built into organization structures and are essential contributors to the ongoing success of using the coaching. Staff, administrators and leaders come and go and each new person needs to develop the competencies to effectively carry out the innovation and its implementation supports.