Findings of Coaching for Learning Task Force

(Envisioning Statewide Academic Coaching Support)

WVDE convened a Task Force to provide input into developing work for supporting academic coaching in WV Schools. Approximately thirty-five stakeholders from various WV geographic areas (teachers, academic coaches, county administrators, central office liaisons and representatives from the teacher organizations) assembled in two separate meetings to reach consensus about what effective academic coaching practices look like and ways to support that work.

Support for Coaches

The Task Force identified three overarching categories of needed support for coaches:

  1. Resources - Tools, people, and networking capabilities to support coaches to continuously improve their practice
  2. Professional Development - A comprehensive, sustained and intensive approach to personalized learning for coaches and thereby impacting student achievement
  3. Policy Support - A commonly defined responsibility, purpose and perspective to include:
    • Basic guidelines to define the various coaching roles, responsibilities and accountability
    • A framework of standards for coaching and appropriate evaluation process

The Work of Coaches

The Task Forces identified two major categories of coaching roles:

  1. Implementation Coaching for Continuous Improvement (as requested by LEA or School Leadership Team)
    • Building Capacity
      • Building skill in effective teaming processes
      • Building skill in addressing the four critical questions of learning
    • Providing technical assistance based on identified needs
    • Coordinating and organizing professional development based on identified needs
  2. Support for New Teachers provided by coaches
    • Direct mentorship of new teachers
    • Mentorship of the mentors of new teachers
    • Coaching of new teachers based on need

The task force determined the following to be the most important reasons for achieving their vision of effective coaching practices and support:

  • Student achievement
  • Some effective, research-based models already in place
  • Many new teachers

The task force identified the following barriers to the vision:

  • Funding not focused toward coaching
  • Various mindsets about what coaching should be
  • Lack of time for effective coaching (duties not focused or clear)
  • Policy support not in place
  • Current mentoring program not sufficient

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