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Peer Coaching

Coaching Skills - Preparing Coaches

What do coaches need to know and be able to do to support teachers’ needs?

Part of the answer to that question is related to the goals of the Peer Coaching program. Let’s review the goals for this program and discuss your questions. Peer Coaching is designed to:

  • Help teacher leaders develop skills needed to serve as peer coaches for colleagues.
  • Engage students in powerful, technology rich learning which will prepare them for their future.
  • Foster systemic adoption of 21st Century teaching and learning.
  • Assist schools to build the capacity to meet their own professional development needs.

Part A: Questions and Challenge

To answer the question, “What do coaches need to know and be able to do to support teachers’ needs?” requires that we explore four closely related questions that we will begin discussing now, and continue to discuss throughout our work together.

  • What skills and competencies do our students need to be successful in college and their careers?
  • What are the characteristics of learning activities that will help students develop these skills?
  • What professional learning is going to best prepare teachers to meet their students’ needs?
  • What do coaches need to know and be able to do to support teachers’ needs?

We are going to start to use these questions in the following challenge.

Every year, Kieran asks his History students to do this activity:

Each of you will choose a cabinet minister, research that minister’s life and his/her accomplishments in office. After completing this research write a five page report about this minister. Kieran has collected students’ work on this activity and is preparing to meet his coach to review the activity and students’ work.


Imagine that you are Kieran’s coach, and he is coming to see you in 15 minutes.

Part B: Initial Thoughts

Your task:

  1. Think about this learning activity.
  2. As you think about the learning activity start to develop answers to the four questions listed above.
  3. Take brief notes on your thoughts and save these. You will use them in the future.

Now let’s discuss your answers to one of these questions: What skills and competencies do our students need to be successful in college and their careers?

The answers to these four questions form the core of our learning throughout the Peer Coaching Program. In the course of our collaboration together we will periodically explore these questions. We believe that the Peer Coaching Program will provide resources, approaches, and skills that will help you answer those questions and develop the skills as coaches to meet your colleagues’ needs.

Next Page

Related Scenarios

» Overview
» Preparing Coaches
» Explore Communications Skills
» Assess Lesson Design
» Closing