Question Detail

Coaching difficult teachers

Nov 8, 2014 7:25am

What are your suggestions to coaching teachers who claim they have already tried your suggestions or who are resistant to changing up their teaching?

  • Other
  • Coaching


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    • Nov 8, 2014 10:54am

      Remember, coaching is not about expert and novice, so if this teacher tried "your" suggestions, maybe you can ask him/her to meet with you again and ask for their insight as to what obstacles they encountered. Was the strategy for a few or the whole group? Solicit their input since coaching is to be collaborative, and ask them what they think would help. Have another suggestion ready with some "research" behind it that is similar to the composition of the classroom. Good luck.

      • Nov 8, 2014 11:10am

        I have found it helpful to show teachers how to use suggestions made. Sometimes teachers don't know what they don't know. Co-teaching or modeling a lesson will solicit great conversations about the learning and help with next steps. Keep the focus on student learning (discourse and formative assessments) and they are more app to change. It's not easy but it's worth a shot. :-)

        • Nov 9, 2014 1:51pm

          This may sound like a wild and crazy idea, but consider having the teacher video a lesson (or you sit in and video). You can see so much more about yourself and your students by watching a video of the lesson. I have found that some teachers don't realize what is going on in all parts of the classroom (especially with large class sizes). A friendly and calm viewing time can provide more rationale for adjusting strategies and incorporating new ideas. For example, teachers may think a lesson is totally engaging because that teacher loves the content. However, he or she may not realize that students checked-out after 10 minutes due to lack of engagement and interest. On video, teachers can see the reactions of students and what their own behaviors look like and decide for themselves whether a novel strategy is warranted. Just don't use a video as an opportunity to say "told you so!" Keep the conversation friendly and open when viewing a video, and its helpful to create some immediate next steps for both the teacher and the coach right after the discussion.

          • Nov 10, 2014 11:27am

            I agree with all of these answers! The video taping is a really effective strategy. I have seen lots of progress by using that, as well. Co-teaching can be a lot of fun, too.

            • Mar 14, 2017 7:55am

              It is Feb. 2017 and this answer just gave me a whole lot of life Lisa F.

              • Mar 27, 2017 4:39am

                Thank you teaching Channel!
                It is March 2017 and this post just served me greatly!!!!! I am an instructional coach at Newark Public Schools in New Jersey. While each year I find there will always be some resistance to true collaboration, this entry just reminded me of how careful and strategic I have to be when working with teachers in a one-on-one setting.
                Thank you so very much!

                • Mar 27, 2017 4:58am

                  I agree with Sheila! I have found great success in video taping teachers and giving them feedback based on their goal areas in our teaching standards. I have found uploading the video to YouTube and then into Ed Puzzle with questions inserted throughout the video to be the most beneficial. Good luck!