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The Teacher Tip

Keep Your Literacy Coaching Focus on Teaching & Learning

May 15, 2018

Adapted from Literacy Coaching by Stephanie Affinito. 


Literacy coaches cultivate the expertise of literacy teachers in multiple ways. Coaching activities might range from building relationships with teachers to analyzing and changing teaching practice. Although any coaching activity has the potential to transform teaching and learning, the more intense collaborations with teachers are better apt to produce the greatest results. Here are some concrete steps you can take to ensure that your coaching continues moving teachers’ instructional practices forward. 


  1. Start with yourself. What level do your coaching activities primarily fit into? Are there places where your coaching could use a boost of intensity?
  2. Name a goal. Where do you want to make a change in your coaching to strengthen teaching and learning in your school?
  3. Identify challenges. What challenges might interfere with your more intense coaching work? Whose challenges are they?
  4. Seek solutions. Match every challenge you identified with a possible solution. Connect with other coaches to share and problem solve coaching challenges.
  5. Take a risk. Start small, with interested teachers ready for more intense coaching, to build your confidence in a new coaching practice. 
  6. Repeat. Over time, your own coaching skills grow in parallel with your teachers’ instruction. Be sure to set new goals for yourself, and your teachers, as you gain newfound skills and confidence. 

To learn more about Literacy Coaching and download a sample chapter, visit Heinemann.com. 


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