What do I do all day?

Good Question!  Honestly, I have asked that question as a classroom teacher.  Having only been doing the job for a few weeks, I honestly cannot tell you everything that I will do, but here is a list of things I have done in the last week.

  1. Planned new teacher inservice
  2. Taught new teacher inservice
  3. Met with teachers individually
  4. Met with teams of teachers
  5. Collected resources for teachers
  6. Helped teachers set up their classrooms
  7. Met with a district curriculum leadership team
  8. Planned back to school inservice
  9. Facilitated back to school inservice
  10. Debriefed back to school inservice and processed teacher feedback
  11. Unpacked my boxes
  12. Ordered some professional books
  13. Read some professional articles, blogs and books
  14. Setup an electronic calendar and began scheduling appointments and meetings for the year
  15. Tried desperately to setup my voicemail.  Argh!

I think that this is just touching the surface of the possibilities that are available to teachers.  Here is a list of typical things that an Instructional Coach might do from Kristin Houser an Instructional Coach in Aurora, Colorado:

  • Collaborating with teams to develop long term and short term instructional plans and quality assessments
  • Observing teachers and providing feedback based on our school work plan and individual teacher goals
  • Modeling lessons
  • Digging for or reading through resources current with best practice research
  • Facilitating groups visiting from other schools
  • Planning and facilitating professional development meetings
  • Or even designing and decorating the school hallways

What support would you like from your Instructional Coach?


What’s an Instructional Coach?

As we move into a new year, I am looking forward to partnering with my new colleagues in my new role. Although we have had Instructional Coaches in our district for years, I want to clarify the role that a coach can play to support classroom teachers. The Kansas Coaching Project is one of the innovators in the area of Instructional Coaching. Here is what they have to say about the role of a coach.  Are there things you add to the list?

Instructional coaches are on-site professional developers who teach educators how to use proven instructional methods. To be successful in this role, coaches must be skilled in a variety of roles, including public relations guru, communicator extraordinaire, master organizer and, of course, expert educator.

Marketing their services

Instructional coaches hold brief meetings with teams of teachers to explain their goals, philosophy, kinds of interventions available, and the support they can provide. They allow time for questions and provide a means for teachers to indicate they are interested in working with the coach.

Analyzing teachers’ needs

Instructional coaches meet with teachers individually at a convenient time for the teacher (such as during a planning period or after school) to identify the teacher’s most pressing needs and to discuss possible research-validated interventions that might help the teacher address those needs.

Observing classes

Instructional coaches sit in on classes taught by the collaborating teacher to observe the overall progress of the class as well as behaviors related to specific issues raised during the individual coach-teacher conferences.

Collaborating on interventions

Together, instructional coaches and teachers identify interventions that best address the teacher’s most pressing need. As an example, an instructional coach and teacher might determine that a graphic device could help the teacher clearly organize and communicate the standards and content that will be taught in a unit. When necessary, instructional coaches and teachers collaborate to develop a plan for using the chosen instructional method.

Preparing materials

The instructional coach’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for a teacher to successfully use a new instructional method. To that end, instructional coaches try to alleviate the burden on teachers as much as possible by preparing all handouts, assessments, overheads, and other materials that the teacher needs.


As teachers observe, instructional coaches teach their classes and demonstrate how the new instructional method or intervention should be taught. In some cases, instructional coaches provide checklists or some other form of observation tool so teachers know to watch for specific teaching behaviors.


Instructional coaches observe teachers as they use the new intervention in class. Sometimes, the instructional coach uses a checklist or some other form of observation tool as a means of providing specific feedback to the teacher.


The nature of the instructional coaching process allows for continuous communication between instructional coaches and teachers. After the first observation, instructional coaches meet with teachers to discuss how teachers used the intervention. Coaches provide plenty of validation along with suggestions for improvement. The communication then continues, with instructional coaches modeling, observing classes, and providing more feedback, depending on the needs of the teacher.

Taken from: http://instructionalcoach.org/about/about-coaching