Lipscomb University is in its third year as a School Improvement partner with Cameron Middle School. Each year, Lipscomb University faculty members have been involved in coaching the teachers at CMS in some capacity. This year, the LU-CMS Partnership has Lipscomb professors working as instructional coaches with two Cameron teachers each.
In order to train the Lipscomb partners, the College of Education at Lipscomb University sought the help of Nina Morel, author of How to Build an Instructional Coaching Program for Maximum Capacity, and Karen Marklein, Program Director, Instructional Coaching, for the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation.
LU Partner Testimonials:
The instructional coaching training has been an asset to me. It really helped me see the many roles an instructional coach does or does not fill. The training opportunities have been a benefit to me in helping me implement the protocols and the questions into my own coaching sessions. One of the things I have appreciated is the quality of resources and the real-life modeling situations.
The training I have received on instructional coaching has deepened my understanding of critical thinking and the effects teachers can have on student outcomes. Through my training at Lipscomb, I have learned the power of the questions. I have witnessed the impact of reflective questions, formulated and used as protocols during my coaching sessions with teachers, and in the questions teachers themselves are beginning to employ in their own practices. Teachers are now asking questions that cause them to reflect and to think critically about their teaching strategies and their students' learning.
The instructional coach training at the Ayers Institute has transformed my ideas of coaching completely. Through this training, I have learned to partner with teachers, working together to focus on student learning behaviors and outcomes. By analyzing evidence of student learning and progress, teachers can target student learning behaviors that will help students show mastery and teacher behaviors and strategies that increase those students’ behaviors. By pairing up with an extra set of eyes, a good listener, and someone who makes time for reflection, teachers can use the coaching model to improve their practice in a positive, productive way that impacts student learning.
The instructional coach training and professional learning that I have received from the Ayers Institute at Lipscomb University has been an invaluable part of my personal and professional growth as an instructional coach. The collaborative nature of the training has allowed me to work with other educators to develop best practices and procedures. In my work as a partner at Cameron Middle School I have used my training experience to engage in effective observation protocols and reflective practices.