The book: Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction by Jim Knight.
This text was highly recommended from the former 9-12 math coach, our consultants and even a random math specialist I met at AVID’s conference. I had high hopes that this would be the one-stop shop to figure out what I was going to do as a Math Coach.
Knight is a leader on academia about Instructional coaches (ICs) and how to make them most effective. He bases his model on partnership – not on authoritative rule. Knight says that by asking questions to the teacher about the teacher’s goals you are more likely to get buy in (which I whole-heartedly agree with). With the focus on a partnership, ICs must focus on relationships and be positive with their teachers. Finally, Knight believes there are the “BIG 4” of coaching – what are the 4 things ICs can help coach with. They are Behavior, Content, Direct Instruction and Formative assessments. In his book he includes some strategies for each of these areas.
I am pretty underwhelmed by this text. Maybe it is because I had just finished “Leverage Leadership” by Bambrick-Santoyo a week before which aligns much more with my needs or just all of the hype I’ve heard. Maybe it is because my job will include more administrative duties than ICs with his definition. Maybe it is because Knight consistently reinforced what I’ve already been told: Relationships with people make things happen. Period. And even though I’ve heard it a million times, my biggest take away is still that I need to focus on relationships to create sustained success. I also like how Knight broke down the four things ICs should focus on and gave solutions to each. That could be helpful come fall. I also picked up on his preference of the word “visit” over “observation” which I’ll definitely implement next year in my schedule I’ll be sharing with teachers. Visits are much less intimidating and are informal – which my visits will be. These big take-aways will supplement my plan I created after reading Leverage Leadership.