A lot of effort is put into selecting the right practice and building a system of support to ensure that the practice is being implemented as intended. Part of this system of support is often access to coaches. Coaching is unique in that it acts as a support of adult practices, but it is also a skill in and of itself which needs to be supported. Sometimes this support is overlooked. One tool that is often utilized by grants and districts to consider and develop coaching supports is the Coaching System Development Worksheet. This worksheet is designed as a self-assessment tool which guides teams to consider which supports are in place, partially in place and not at all in place. Often, one of the supports that is not in place is a system for collecting and using coach data, and when considering this support many teams say they don’t know where or how to begin collecting coaching data. This brief article will introduce and explore a coach system data matrix template adapted from the Early Learning Technical Assistance and Improvement Grant.
This tool is intended to provide a ‘home base’ to organize the specific data elements within a coaching system. It allows team members to see each discrete source of data, whose responsibility it is to complete each source of data and how often, and how the data will be used to support growth. The tool captures the data from a ‘big picture’ point of view, and then offers hyperlinks to each element wherein a deeper explanation lies, if applicable.
Note that the data matrix linked in this article should be used as a starting point. It provides an example for how one grant accesses coach data tools and uses the data. When considering your own coaching system, you will want to determine what is appropriate for you in terms of “When to Use It” and “How to Use It”. For example, this grant typically coaches a team once a month so it makes sense that the client would fill out a feedback form after each unique session. If you are meeting with clients weekly, it may make more sense to have them complete the feedback form monthly or quarterly. Think about the realities of your unique coaching team and ensure that the data matrix makes sense and is useful for you. The end goal is that you are collecting and using data to inform coaching in an accessible and meaningful way!