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Peer Coaching

Coaching Skills - Preparing Coaches

Part C: Coaching Skills

After reviewing the program goals you know that this program plans to help you develop the skills you need to coach. But what skills do coaches need to be successful?

  1. Before we can define this list, let’s draw on what you know about coaching, and the kinds of roles coaches play. Some general roles we have considered include:
    • Providing just-in-time, just enough advice or training
    • Co-planning learning activities with teachers
    • Modeling or team teaching and reflection
    • Observing teachers and encouraging reflection on learning activities
  2. Let’s discuss other roles for coaches that you may have in mind.
  3. Now that we have a fairly strong list of the roles coaches play let's discuss as a whole group the skills coaches would need to be successful in these roles.
  4. Your facilitator will offer suggestion for how to capture your thinking.

Part D: How Peer Coaching Helps Coaches Develop Skills

Before we look in more detail at the Peer Coaching curriculum, it may be worthwhile to review some research on why school-based professional development, professional development led by the school’s teacher leaders, most often fails. Richards (2003) argues it is because these teacher leaders:

  • Lack experience;
  • Have poor communications skills; and
  • Have limited preparation.

Key Coaching Skills

The Peer Coaching curriculum is based on the belief that success as a coach rests on three sets of skills. Learn about these three pillars of Peer Coaching and how coaching training helps coaches develop these skills as you review Peer Coaching Program at a Glance.

  • As you review this information about Peer Coaching think about whether you feel the curriculum will help you be successful in the roles you think you might assume.
  • Raise any questions you might have after you review this document.


At the start of this activity you participated in a challenge that asked you to think about these four questions.

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

Take a few minutes now and write yourself some notes about what you need to know and to be able to do to support teachers’ needs.

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Related Scenarios

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