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HANDOUTS Student-Centered Coaching (Denver, 2016)
Student-Centered, Teacher-Centered, and Relationship-Driven Coaching
More Impact on Students-------------------------------------------------Less Impact on Students
The coach partners with
teachers to design learning
that is based on a specific
objective for student
The coach moves teachers
towards implementing a
program or set of
The coach provides support and
resources to teachers.
The focus is on using data
and student work to
analyze progress and
collaborate to make
informed decisions about
instruction that is
differentiated and needs-
The focus is on what the
teacher is, or is not, doing
and addressing it through
The focus is on providing support
to teachers in a way that doesnt
challenge or threaten them.
Formative assessment data
and student work is used to
determine how to design
the instruction. Summative
assessment data is used to
assess progress towards
Summative assessment data
is used to hold teachers
accountable, rather than as
a tool for instructional
Data is rarely used in relationship-
and curricular programs
are viewed as tools for
moving student learning to
the next level.
The use of textbooks,
technology, and curricular
programs is the primary
objective of the coaching.
Sharing access and information
to textbooks, technology, and
curricular programs is the primary
focus of the coaching.
The coach is viewed as a
partner who is there to
support teachers to move
students towards mastery
of the standards.
The coach is viewed as a
person who is there to hold
teachers accountable for a
certain set of instructional
The coach is viewed as a friendly
source of support who provides
resources when needed.
Trusting, respectful, and collegial relationships are a necessary component for this type of
We will: Read and take notes on the continuum for student-centered, teacher-centered, and relationship-
driven coaching. In small groups, please write down examples of coaching practices that fall into each
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Student-Centered Coaching Teacher-Centered Coaching Relationship-Driven Coaching
Core Practices for Student-Centered Coaching 1. Set a standards-based goal for coaching cycles
2. Unpack the standard(s) into student-friendly learning targets
3. Use student evidence to co-plan instruction
4. Organize coaching through cycles
5. Co-teach with a focus on effective instructional practices
6. Measure the impact of coaching on student and teacher learning
7. Partner with the school leader
Core Practice #1: Set a standards-based goal for coaching cycles
Examples of Goldilocks Goals
Too Narrow Just Right Too Broad
Students will create a
diagram that shows the
Students will learn their
addition and subtraction
Students will memorize
the major events in the
Civil Rights movement.
Students will engage in
research in order to
understand how drought
impacts daily life.
Students will use a variety
of strategies to solve
addition and subtraction
Students will analyze the
role of a key person in the
Civil Rights movement.
Students will describe
weather in our area.
Students will understand
the concept of addition
Students will learn about
the Civil Rights
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Sample Goal Setting Conversation
Coach Im looking forward to working with you during our upcoming coaching cycle. You probably
remember that we always start by determining a student-learning goal for our coaching
cycle. What are you thinking?
Teacher Im not sure about a student-learning goal. What I really need help with is a math unit
coming up in two weeks that I've never taught before or know much about. I need help with
resources, strategies and some formative assessment ideas. If you can get me those, then I
should be ready to go.
Coach Its great that you are thinking through the unit ahead of time. Lets take a minute to review
the unit so that we are clear about the learning we are after for your students. (Coach pulls
out the unit and standards)
Teacher Ok, but what I really need is resources and activities.
Coach Well definitely brainstorm resources and activities, but we need to start with a goal for
student learning. Thats key to understanding how we will teach and assess. It will also help us
stay focused on your students.
Teacher Well, I suppose the goal is for my students to correctly add and subtract three digit numbers.
Id like them to do this quickly and from memory.
Coach Okay, that makes sense. As I look at the unit, I notice an emphasis on using a variety of
strategies for solving these types of problems. For example, using place value, breaking
apart numbers, etc. What if we focused on helping your students use more strategies than
just memorization? If we went in this direction, then wed be right in line with the unit.
Teacher I guess more strategies would be okay. I just want them to get the correct answer and not
count on their fingers anymore.
Coach I agree that the correct answer is important. How about if we made our goal for student
learning something like, Students will understand a use a variety of strategies to correctly
add and subtract three digit numbers. It aligns with the unit and the standards. Would that
goal work for you?
Teacher Sure, as long as I get some ideas for activities too. Thats really where Im stuck.
Coach Yes, youll remember that we have a weekly planning session as part of our coaching cycle.
Well do lots of planning together. We can also co-teach some lessons to try out some
different ways to teach the lessons. Sound ok?
Teacher Okay with me.
Stems for Goal Setting
1. What do you hope the students will learn as a result of our partnership?
2. Lets look at the standardshow might they help us choose a focus?
3. What would you like to see your students doing as (readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, etc.)?
4. Is there any student work or data that could help us decide on a focus that would make the most
impact on your students?
5. How do you feel about the goal weve selected? Does it feel right to you?
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Core Practice #2: Unpack the standard(s) into student-friendly learning targets
When thinking about individual learning targets, we ask ourselves:
Is the target directly related to our goal for the coaching cycle and the standard(s) that support it?
Is the target written in kid-friendly language?
Does the target focus on learning rather than on a task or activity?
Can this target be measured?
Is the target just right in size containing only one action and/or piece of content?
When considering a set of learning targets, we ask ourselves:
Does this set of targets cover all aspects of the goal and accompanying standard(s)?
Does the set of targets represent multiple levels of thinking?
Is there a balance of knowledge and skill in this set of targets?
Core Practice #3: Use student evidence to co-plan instruction
Checklist for Collecting Student Evidence
It doesnt take long to create
It doesnt require a lot of class time for students to produce (or is simply work they are already doing in
It can be analyzed as part of regular planning time
It is aligned with standard(s) and learning target(s)
It makes thinking visible
It doesnt leave much room for guessing such as with yes/no or true/false
Learning target: I can put my stories on paper in pictures and words.
Wrote a lot of words
Put name on paper
and then sits and
thinks. Later, begins
and words to
Jumps right to
drawing a detailed