Are you looking for extra support in tackling a challenge in one of the courses that you teach?
Are you ready to dig into your teaching practices and refine them to enhance the learning experience for your students?
Coaching may be the support you are seeking.
Coaching will provide you with personal feedback and guidance to address your concern. The coaching process begins when the instructor seeks out support from the Trefny Innovative Instruction Center. We will schedule time with you to discuss your concerns and to develop an initial plan. Next, we will schedule a time to observe your teaching to gather some baseline evidence and to get a sense of the interactions in the classroom. We will take detailed observation notes during the class meeting to help us give you evidence-based feedback related to your question. After the classroom observation, we schedule a time to debrief, when we share with you what we noticed, and discuss opportunities for refinement. We might recommend different options for ongoing follow-up support. The Trefny Innovative Instruction Center uses the Content-Focused Coaching¹ method when working with faculty. This approach focuses on the content, learning, and interactions through a cycle of planning, evidence-based observations, and discussions. Some of the questions we use to guide our coaching conversations include:
- What do you expect students to learn by the end of the class meeting?
- How will you know whether or not they’ve learned what you intended?
- Why is this learning outcome essential in your course of study?
- What learning has come before this, and what will come after?
- Where does this learning fit within the over-all arch of the course?
- What difficulties do you anticipate students will face with this content? How do you plan to support students as they struggle with these difficulties?
The goal of the coaching approach is to provide a structure, time, and guidance to help you focus and reflect on the impact that your teaching has on student learning. The coaching process slows you down to allow you to focus on key aspects of your work. The reflection leads to more explicit and intentional teaching practices and has been shown to lead to significant improvements in student learning.
There is a statistically significant relationship between teachers receiving professional development coaching and student achievement.²