Coaching and Professional Development Midyear Reflection

This post is my reflection (and brainstorm) for creating a 21st century learning district, specifically through developing our Collaboration Coaches. I’m asking for your feedback.

The focus for Year 2 Collaboration Coaches

This is the second year we’ve had Collaboration Coach training in the district. The first year training module is closely adapted from Microsoft Peer Coach Training developed by the Peer Ed Team.

Since there isn’t a continuation training module, I’ve created my own based on surveys, reflections, and four areas of focus:
  1. Communication, collaboration, and coaching skills 
  2. 21st century learning, pedagogy, and lesson design
  3. Best practices with technology integration and resources
  4. Staff development
The professional development plan for Year 2 Collaboration Coaches

Feedback for improvement

Some of the feedback for improvement was repeated by several coaches. I organized them into topics:

Created in xmind

Ideas I'm pondering to improve Collaboration Coaching

I’m brainstorming ideas to improve the coaching based on the feedback from above and our goals. In no way is this list a final draft or even a rough draft. It’s just a brainstorm to collect ideas.

  • Time collaborating and learning together: 
    • Meet more than one hour a month to bond, share, and learn together.
    • Invite continuing coaches to meet the new cohort of coaches, and have them participate in Session 1 -- setting site and individual coaching goals with the principals.
    • Join Year 2 and Year 3 coaching cohorts as one learning group.
    • Have one day of sub release (or a Teacher In Service Day) to work together on lesson improvement and PBL (either have it for all the Year 2 and Year 3 coaches, or have it for the teams that work together with a coach).
  •  Time to go in teachers' rooms:
    • Could we give Year 3 coaches an extra prep hour for 7th-12th grades, and K-6th coaches 1 sub day a month or a rotating sub to give the release time?
    • What other options are there for allowing teachers to leave their classroom and go into another teacher's room?
  • Site Goals--Blogging: Could the principal dedicate staff development to develop a blogging learning community? If not blogging specifically, then authentic learning or 21st century learning, and have blogging as one of the options.
  • Site Goals--CCJH: Since there are no longer pure teams, the coaching focus should be on content area for PBL, 21st century learning, and improving lessons. The house team, or team that has the same prep hour focuses on management and digital citizenship.
  • Specific Coaching Goals for PBL, 21st Century Learning, Global Collaborations:
    • Set a goal each quarter with their coaching team to share with one another. -- Possibly measure that goal by having them reflect with a quick survey to measure their/our progress towards that goal?
    • Have site sharing of these goals with the leadership (and staff?).
    • Set goals based on ISTE's NETS-S and/or NETS-C.
  • Incentives for others to collaborate with coaches on 21st century learning:
    • Offer 301 or inservice professional development hours during the contract time, and non-contract hours if outside school day.
    • While we still have Career Ladder, have those portfolios options on form to check off during the orientation meeting at the beginning of the year.
  • Other ideas:
    • Leadership book study: One of the best trainings I had was when Larry LaPrise took me under his wing, and challenged me to read various leadership books. I grew so much from reading a chapter, then debriefing in a quick meeting every week.
    • NETS-S: Incorporate ISTE NETS-S or the Learning Activity Checklist into their collaboration logs or into an agenda as a template (I've read many times that their coaching meetings are much more focused when they create and share the agenda ahead of time) -- Which idea would work better?
    • Relationships: A fun, informal gathering of coaches to build relationships outside of school time
    • Connecting the training from the end of the year reflection to the beginning of the year's setting goals: In the Peer Coaching training, Session 7A has the coaches and principal reflect and set staff development goals, and in Session 1A the coaches and principal set site goals, and then they set personal goals. It didn't seem to flow smoothly into one another because the training is set up for the first year only. So, I'd like to modify to have it fit together better. Suggestions?
  • Measuring effectiveness 
    • Build NETS-C into goals/reflection.
    • Survey Collaboration Coaches on what has worked well and changes for next year.
    • I have not asked for feedback from the team being coached and their reflection of the effectiveness.
    • Continue to survey Collaboration Coaches on what has worked well and changes for next year.
Final Thoughts

Collaboration Coaching is definitely helping us open doors and support one another as we create 21st century, learning-centered classrooms. Pausing to reflect on the effectiveness of what we've done, and looking ahead to what we can do to improve is necessary.

The purpose of this post is to gain insight from others. Whether you are part of AJUSD or not, I encourage your feedback to help us improve.
  • What ideas stand out to you here?
  • What questions do you have?
  • How would you improve coaching?
  • What have I missed?


  1. Hi Tracy,
    First, what stands out to me is how much ahead of the learning curve your community is at this time. How many other communities are involved in Collaboration Coaching? This is wonderful.
    Being reflective on your practice will surely help push you forward. It seems that a recurring theme in education is "Time". Time to collaborate, time to share, time to plan. I see that you have outlined some solutions. Offering PD credit or other incentives will often get others involved. I think asking the administrators for substitutes so that people can collaborate is also a good start.
    You have done so much work here. I wonder if you are keeping a video record of your successes/ideas. I would like to see Collaboration Coaching in action.
    I think you are paving the way for so many others. You truly have inspired me to delve into this a litte more deeply. I will be reviewing your previous posts.

    Thanks Tracy for all your hard work & for sharing!

  2. Thanks Nancy!

    It is helpful to see your response as someone looking in, and is helping me think more deeply about coaching.

    Collaboration Coaching is district wide. We have 6 schools in our district, 5000ish students, and 500ish teachers. We have 15 Year 2 coaches and 18 Year 1 coaches. There are 4 elementary coaches at each of the elementary schools, 7 at the Junior High, and 7 at the High School.

    Last year, the reflections asked for more time working with the people they coach. So, our training this year for our Year 2 Coaches was only one hour a month, with their other time to work together at their campus with the other coaches and their coaching teams. However, I did not do a good enough job helping the coaches and principals build that time on their own campuses. In their reflections, the majority asked for more time together. Learning together as a professional community has been beneficial for all of us, and I didn't carve out enough time for us to monopolize on that. -- Something I'll improve next year.

    I like your idea of a video portfolio of our successes, and it is actually part of our Year 1 Coach Training (from Microsoft Peer Coaching, developed by the Peer Ed team). Our Year 2 coaches are continuing that, but by creating a video with artifacts of coaching to share coaching with others. However, I think we should consider a video portfolio of our successes for more than just the coaches. If we expand this to principals and other administrators to the teachers and the students, then we'd be setting goals and building in reflection for what we are working towards so we strive for those artifacts as evidence of success.

    Thank you for this insight.

    Kind regards,

  3. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back down the road. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!
    nlp practitioner


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