Being an instructional coach is an interesting career. Learn more about the job and how to become one. Read on!
Just as students need constant grooming, teachers too require coaching. They require guidance on improvising their teaching strategies and way of imparting education. They need to craft a study curriculum for the long-term benefit of the students.
An instructional coach plays a phenomenal role in upskilling the capacity of teachers to achieve the learning objectives effectively. The coaches impart techniques and methods for efficient collaboration between the teachers and students.
So, how to be a successful instructional coach? In this article, we will focus on the duties, roles, and responsibilities of an instructional coach. We will also discuss the probable interview questions, approximate salary, and the various websites to apply for instructional coach jobs. Let us first understand what is an instructional coach and what does an instructional coach does.
What is an instructional coach?
An instructional coach is an expert in devising quantitative and qualitative strategies for teachers, imparting education to students and learners. Their suggested practices and methodologies can be applied in classrooms as well as in remote or online sessions. Various academic institutions hire them as mentors for their teachers.
Teachers are responsible and accountable for a student’s performance. Parents and local guardians depend on them majorly for their academic grooming and performance enhancement. Hence they need to introduce innovative ways in developing the competency of their students.
An Instructional coach assists them in adopting new methods for improving their curriculum, and their teaching approaches. Various seminars, conferences, webinars, classroom or online sessions are conducted to educate and groom the teachers for enhancing their teaching skills.
Note: The traditional modes of education are now past. Students and learners demand greater collaboration and interaction. Utilizing visual images and use cases are the tools for academic success.
What does an Instructional Coach do?
Instructional coaches educate teachers in innovative and modern learning tools and techniques. Their sole objective is to embed the methods into the educational system, thereby enhancing the knowledge of the students.
1. Teachers coaching starts with analyzing teachers’ needs
They first analyze the needs of the teachers. Often one to one conversation is held with each teacher. These meetings help them to gain a fair knowledge of the teacher’s tasks and the difficulties faced in executing their jobs.
Teachers coaching first analyze the needs of the teachers. During one-to-one consultation with the teacher, the instructional coach gains an understanding of the teacher’s task and the challenges faced while executing their jobs teaching coaches to discuss if research-based interventions can be used to help the teacher.
2. Instructional coaching strategies are created
Based on the inputs, the next step to formulate a strategy and plan for assisting the guiding the teachers to overcome their issues.
The teacher coach observes the teacher in class in session. During the observation, they make special notes of the issues raised by the teacher raised during the consultation. Instructional coaching strategies are created in consultation with the teacher to identify the issues that require urgent attention.
3. Decide instructional coaching model
The coaching can be either in the form of one-to-one sessions or generic training programs. The instructional specialist and teacher decide instructional coaching model to implement based on the teacher’s most pressing challenge.
The primary aim to consult instructional coach is to improve student learning. Coaching can be generic or intensive one-on-one sessions. Instructional coaching models can be placed into three broad categories are,
- Teacher centric coaching
- Student-centric coaching
- Differentiated coaching
4. Create a teaching coaching checklist
Checklists are provided to the teachers to follow the instructions in a sequential manner. This becomes a sort of bible for everything that needs to be followed in the rest of the processes of being into the teaching mode.
5. Prepare teachers instruction material
Prepare learning materials, and assessment sheets for the teachers to leverage in their study sessions. The teaching coach observes the teacher implement the new techniques and they look for improvements.
The instructional coach helps teachers as much as possible while implementing the new coaching model. They start by preparing a checklist for the teacher based on the coaching sessions. They prepare teachers’ instructional material – learning material, assessments, handouts, and any other material that can assist the teacher.
6. Teaching coaches observe teachers
They observe the teachers check their improvements after adopting the new techniques. The teaching coach observes the teacher implement the new techniques and they look for improvements.
The instructional coach uses a checklist or other observation tools to record their findings. While interacting with the teacher you will provide them with feedback and suggestions for improvement.
7. Coach teacher in an ongoing basis
Continuous collaboration and interactions with the teachers to resolve their problems and provide suggestions for betterment. The process of instructional coaching allows for continuous dialogue between the coach teacher and teacher.
After the first observation, the instructional coach interacts with the teacher to discuss how the training was used. The coaching teachers provide validation as well as suggestions for improvements. The communication is an ongoing process, with the model being adjusted, observing the implementation, and providing feedback.
Responsibilities of an Instructional Coach
The duties of an Instructional Coach are now quite significant, due to the ever-changing demands in the educational systems. The need for more and more innovations and techniques is essential to strengthening the capability of the teachers.
Instructional Coach jobs are gaining momentum and are on a high rise. Academic institutions and online education businesses are hiring coaches to upskill their teaching faculty. The key duties and responsibilities of an Instructional Coach are,
- Create models or prototypes of the lessons to be conducted. You can perform the activity every day or once a week
- Analyze the behavioral and professional characteristics of the teachers
- Guide them to understand and develop the curriculum for better interactions with the students
- Assist in conducting students’ assessment exercises through innovative methods
- Develop a strong interpersonal relationship with the teachers and even the school or college administration
- Inculcate best practices within the curriculum and teaching techniques for the betterment of the students
- Provide educational resources and tools to the teachers for efficiently conducting their sessions
- Helps teachers in planning and organizing the sessions, through a comprehensive, collaborative strategy
- Invite feedback and comments from teachers on their problems, issues, or additional knowledge requirements
- Continually guide and support teachers in developing their competency and skillset
- Suggest online materials and guides for boosting up their teaching efficiencies
- Improve their teaching abilities and behavioral characteristics through group discussions, one on one sessions, and learning programs
Did you know? On Unremot.com you can find resourceful public spaces where you can connect with other adjunct professors as well as participate in educational webinars. Register and signup to avail of the classes and gear up yourselves before applying for the jobs.
What is the role of an Instructional Coach?
Instructional coach performs various roles across different school and environments. Teachers consult curriculum coach when they want to implement an alternative strategy. They observe the teacher while they teach, brainstorm, model lessons, and curating resources to share.
Instructional coach help provide customized solutions for individual students or for specific units. An instructional coach is not entrusted with a single role, but multiple ones. The key roles are,
1. Provide instructional coaching resources
As a resource provider, the coach assists teachers with resources and guides for sessions in a classroom. Resource shared during instructional coaching are websites, the material used by other teachers, case studies and research on teaching practices, study guides, presentations, and debates. The resources help teachers get a breakthrough.
Providing the teachers requisite educational resources and guides for imparting sessions in a classroom as well as conducting online sessions. The resources may be in the form of tools, supporting data or use cases, study guides, and materials. You can provide them with books, online links, or learning courses from subject matter experts.
2. Support coach in data collection
The support coach collect data, analyze it, and present their finding. They collect data through surveys, feedback, and polls. The coaching teacher presents the data and facilitates dialogue among the faculty. They use the data to improve teaching methodology while working with teachers and administrators.
Collect data through surveys, feedback, and polls on the academic level and success. It is important to assess the performances of both the teachers and the students. Eventually, you can leverage the data for further research and analysis on improving the learning process being followed. An instructional coach guides the teachers based on the data collected.
3. Curriculum coach designing
The curriculum coach assists in assessing and modifying the curriculum. An in-depth analysis helps them evaluate if the lessons are adequate to impart relevant information or require modification.
They need to understand how the curriculum is structured and validate the expertise of the teacher. There needs to be synergy between teacher’s skills, curriculum, and maturity of the students. The instructional coach plays a vital role in assessing the design of the curriculum.
A thorough analysis is conducted to understand whether the lessons imparted are sufficient or need improvement. While performing the assessment, it is vital to consider the complexity of the subject and the age or maturity level of the students. The coach also needs to verify and validate the expertise of the teachers in handling the curriculum.
Sync needs to be established between the proficiency level of the teacher, the subject matter, and the expectations from the students. They must ensure the topics covered are as per the standards established by the respective academic boards of the state or country.
4. Instructional teaching
Assisting and guiding the teachers in devising the instructions that need to be imparted to the students. The instructions can be verbal or written. It essentially consists of the sequence of steps that the students need to abide to follow the sessions well.
A session mainly comprises of the lessons imparted by the teachers, interactions with the students, live demos or videos, assessment, and feedback. Following the instructions of the teachers is vital to cover all the aspects of a session.
The teacher needs to communicate the same to the students avoiding confusion effectively. Failure to do so may result in unnecessary discrepancies and miscommunications between the students and the teachers. Instructional coaches facilitate this important aspect to build up trust and confidence.
The instructional coach act as mentors and coach in every facet of the teacher’s journey. Coaching teachers improve the interpersonal relationship of teachers with their peers, supervisors, and students. They play a vital role in the professional goals of the teachers. They groom the teacher to work on various personal aspects through counseling sessions.
Acting as the mentor and guide for the teachers in every facet of their learning journey. They help in strengthening the interpersonal relationship of the teachers between peers, supervisors, and students.
Besides professional aspirations and goals, behavioral characteristics and relationships play a major role in future growth. Instructional coaches assist teachers in working on the personal aspect by grooming them through various counseling sessions.
6. Instructional coach scenarios training
The teacher must manage the classroom and online sessions to achieve the learning objective. The instructional coach scenario helps the teacher plan and organize the sessions, activities to be conducted, and duration. They attend teaching sessions to understand the problems encountered by the teacher.
They conduct mock sessions to evaluate the teacher after training. Managing the classroom and online sessions for achieving the learning objectives is vital for a teacher. An instructional coach works along with the teachers to plan and organize the sessions, the activities to be conducted, and the duration for each.
He or she often attends sessions in listening mode to understand the difficulties encountered by a teacher. Also, it helps the coach to analyze the shortcomings of teachers. They can eventually guide the teachers to further improve their skills and techniques.
7. Teacher coaching on upskilling and cross-skilling
The coach focuses on teacher coaching to promote 360 learning. The coach gives special focus on needs to upskill or cross-skill. They assess teachers, students, syllabus, and the teaching session being conducted. They visit forums and consult experts to learn the latest innovations in academia. The coach aims to improve educational standards in an institute.
Encourages and promotes learning within the academic institution at all levels. The coaches focus on areas that need to be upskilled or cross-skilled. They conduct assessments of teachers, students, curriculum, and the sessions being conducted. They interact with different outside learning groups, forums, and experts.
This helps them to gather knowledge on the latest innovations in the world of academics. The coaches then embed the best practices within the educational system of the institution for uplifting the competency levels. Besides they organize group discussions, study circles, bring in practical examples or use cases in the study curriculum.
8. Instructional coach training on goals and objectives
The instructional coach must understand and adhere to the goals and objectives of the educational institute. The coach tries to overcome the hurdles that may prevent the institute from obtaining the goals and objectives.
The coach will need to analyze course content, learning program, the expertise of teaching staff to ensure the smooth functioning of the institute. Understanding the goals and objectives of the academic institutions and ensure adherence to them.
The coaches must try to mitigate any hurdles that may hinder obtaining the learning goals. They need to work on the courses, learning programs, content and assess the expertise of the faculty for the smooth functioning of the institution.
9. Teacher coaches on driving innovation
Teacher coaches initiate improvements in academic performances. Implementing modifications recommended by the coach helps to improve the reputation of an institute. They help schools include methods of teaching and the latest techniques for imparting education.
The instructional coach measures performance and modifies their technique. Introduce innovative ideas for improvements in the overall academic performance of the institutions. The modifications suggested and recommended by coaches play a significant role in enhancing the reputation of the institutions.
The trend is to embrace modern methods of teaching and adopt the best-in-class techniques for imparting education. The coaches need to constantly measure performance improvements and adjust the charges accordingly. They must enforce multiple ideas at once. It must be a step-by-step process, gradually traversing to the path of improvement.
10. Teaching coach and thought leadership
The teaching coach is a thought leader. They are role models who help absorb the best practices into the learning process. They interact with learning groups and communities to ensure they are acquainted with the latest trends in academics.
They collaborate with experts to arrange for training sessions and certifications. Thought Leadership is an important concept in almost all domains. An instructional coach is expected to be the thought leader of an institution.
They are the role models, imbibing the correct and best practices into the learning process. They interact with multiple professional learning groups and communities to be acquainted with the latest trends in academics. They try to synergize collaborations and arrange external training and certifications too.
Skills required for instructional coach jobs
Here is a summary of key skills required for instructional coach jobs,
1. Analytics and teacher coaching jobs
instructional coach jobs spend time analyzing data. The data can represent the courses, sessions conducted, details about teachers and students, and performance levels. After collecting the data, they verify and validate them. The maximum time of an instructional coach is spent analyzing the data.
Data represents the courses and sessions conducted, the details of both teachers and students, the satisfaction and performance levels. Once the data is obtained, you have to scrutiny them, verify and validate them. You must possess a strong analytical capability to assess the data and suggest steps for improvement.
2. Instructional coaches must know latest techniques
Instructional coaches must stay updated with the current best practices and trends in education. They allow coaching to remain student-focused. Each student is unique and the coach has a toolkit to support teaching and learning to help the student learn well. You need to possess adequate knowledge of the best learning strategies and methodologies.
Next, you must be an expert in implementing and executing the same. Equipping the teachers with the best in class practices is an essential activity of instructional coaches. Therefore without sufficient information and experience, you will not able to recommend or guide the academicians.
3. Instructional specialist must be student-centric
Students are the heart and soul of education. Coaching works when the instructional specialist works with the teacher having a student-centered approach focused on what the student needs. The learning process suggested by them must remain focused on the goal.
An instructional coach must focus on the student asks and upliftment while providing recommendations and imparting training. Increasing the knowledge and competency levels of students must be the main objective or goal. Hence the learning process suggested or improvised by you, must focus on achieving this particular goal.
4. Academic coach jobs demand trust and confidence
The academic coach jobs require building a bond of trust and confidence with teachers. Teachers must believe in the methods recommended. Coaches need to interact with the teachers answering questions and assisting them as required. They need to provide feedback to help teachers improve.
One of the key criteria of success in instructional coach jobs is building up a strong bonding of trust and confidence. Teachers must believe in the methods and modes suggested by the coaches. They must rely on the ability of the coaches and trust their recommendations. Coaches must constantly engage with their teachers in resolving their queries and assisting them whenever needed.
Also Read: Remote Meetings | A comprehensive guide
Common instructional coach interview questions
If you want to become an instructional coach, it is vital you prepare for the interview. Before you start coaching it is advisable you practice sitting in front of the mirror. There is the potential of conflicts as teachers resist your help when they are struggling
1. Why do you want to become an Instructional Coach?
You must focus on your learning spree and love for the noble profession of teaching. Refer experiences that demonstrate your passion for education and eagerness to bring in improvements.
2. Share your experiences where your methods have helped improve the learning.
Explain with a practical scenario where you have introduced innovative methods or best practices to improve the learning process. You must explain the steps clearly and concisely.
3. What is your educational formula and how did you apply them in your work?
You can explain the common asks of students from a learning session. Then you can talk about the preparations required as a pre-requisite to fulfilling the tasks. You must specifically point out the checklists to be followed by the teachers to achieve the same.
4. How did you mitigate a conflict with a teacher?
Through this question, the interviewer will essentially try to judge your mitigating ability in case of any conflicts. You must focus on one-to-one conversations, hearing out the concerns of the teacher, and adopt a logical step through facts to resolve the issue.
5. Briefly explain the techniques and instructions you normally impart to the teachers
The question will help to judge your knowledge of the learning techniques and best practices. Hence you need to explain each of them with their objectives and outcome. You may point out some practical examples as well.
The other common instructional coach interview questions revolve around your strengths, weaknesses, willingness, confidence level, and ability to judge students.
6. What are the broad instructional coach job description items?
The instruction coach job description items are as follows,
- Assists teachers with different aspects of their jobs.
- Observe teachers provide feedback and improve the relationship between teachers and students.
- Prepare material to convey instructions, document training, and convey instructional.
- Coordinate mentorship and training programs under established rules.
- Implement programs and programs to convections prescribed by district and state educational requirements.
- Create positive coaching relationships with teachers.
7. How does a teacher coach contribute to society?
Teacher coach helps educators and administrators to excel in creating content. They help teachers focus on their requirements in classrooms. They find and put together resources to help a teacher grow. They encourage teachers to use their new skills with one another.
They interact with different teachers, collect feedback. Instructional coach identify common issues faced by teachers in a particular grade. While meeting faculty they discuss, dissect, and debate practices. They encourage teachers to learn from one another.
8. Differentiate teacher vs coach
The difference from teacher and coach is as follows,
- The teachers introduce knowledge and the coach focuses on the asking right questions to enable the student to discover the knowledge.
- Someone who is a beginner will find interacting with a teacher more beneficial. The teacher presents a general idea about a topic. A coach helps a person acquire skills and tools to learn. They help their student when they have roadblocks, find a new approaches, and more resources.
- Teachers impart knowledge in detail while a coach uses a self-directed approach.
9. What are some of the instructional coaching books you have read?
Some of the best instructional coaching books are,
- Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-Interest by Peter Block
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
- The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive by Michael Fullan
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
10. How do the duties of teachers and coaches compare?
Teachers and coaches are an integral part of the education system. But how do the duties of teachers and coaches compare? Teachers have a straight-line approach and help to establish a basic understanding of the subject. The primary activity of a teacher is to spread information. The coach imparts knowledge and information.
The person being coached generally has an underlying understanding of the subject. The coach comes in and helps a student improve understanding, give them feedback on the current knowledge level. They adjust and mold knowledge.
What is the typical instructional coach salary?
The instructional coach salary varies depending on the subject matter of expertise, the school grade levels, and your educational background and experience. The starting salary is approximately USD 25,000 per year which increases to about yearly USD 106,500. As you gain experience and expertise, the remuneration tends to rise.
Websites offering jobs of instructional coaches
Numerous websites offer a listing of jobs for instructional coaches. You can search for them and apply as per your preference. It is advised to go through each of the instructional coach job descriptions and roles offered by the companies.
They even mention the approximate salary ranges along with the job locations. You can register and set up your profile on the websites to ease the search by potential employers. Your resume must be the latest and attractive.
By now, you must have understood the role of an instructional coach and the instructional coach job description. Hope the article has provided you with sufficient guidance in preparing for instructional coach jobs.