As a midlife career changer, I am basically no longer in the teaching profession because of a lack of support, ongoing training and direction. As a new teacher, it is difficult enough to put all the pieces together, but then to be thrown into a classroom for which you are not equipped or do not have the training or never receive training is just too much for anyone. If I had only been provided with ongoing coaching – or what is called coaching support and development for teachers – this would have helped me greatly as a new teacher. But what exactly is coaching support and development for teachers, and what does it entail?
Teacher coaching helps and encourage teacher to create new insights about their teaching, to come up with new ideas, and to look at what they need to improve about the different aspects of their teaching. Coaching also includes filling a teacher in no policies, procedures, and required paper work that a school district requires. A school should have a set process for assigning a coach to teachers who are either new, new to the district, or just ask for the added and extra help. Most schools provide coaches for the very first year of teaching, but after that , the effort disappears. My first year of teaching, i had a fellow teaching mentor, but this is the same thing as a coach. ( Experience) (http://www.compstrategies.com/staffdevelopment/coach.htm)
There are certain steps that need to be undertaken in order to have a successful teacher coaching situation. A good coach should not be told , here is your teacher and let go. The coach also needs steps and guidelines in order to make the experience successful for the teacher they are working with. But what are some of the steps that I have either seen or that are recommended by the literature on the subject. Below are a few of these recommendations.
1. During my first year of teaching, the first step for my mentor and me was to sit down and discuss what my needs were, where I thought my weaknesses were, and what procedures I needed explained or felt I needed help with. The school had a pre questionnaire form already made that my mentor used to gather the basic information so she could ascertain where to begin.
2. The second step was to watch my teaching, and to sit with my during my planning period. My mentor even helped me with the various computer systems, like email, grade book, lesson plan forms, and with education goal forms, as I was a special education and was responsible for formulating goals.