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ERIC Number: ED530297
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan-2
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
What Teachers Say They Changed Because of Their Coach and How They Think Their Coach Helped Them
Vanderburg, Michelle; Stephens, Diane
Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse
Many articles and books have been written advocating for the use of literacy coaches in professional development and/or describing what literacy coaches should do. Some research has been conducted on the day-to-day practices of coaches, such as, how many hours they spend doing what (Alverman, Commeyras, Cramer, & Harnish, 2005; Deussen, Coskie, Robinson, & Autio, 2007; Lapp, Fisher, Flood, & Frey, 2003; Poglinco et al., 2003; Rainville & Jones, 2008; Roller, 2006). In this cacophony of pro-coach voices, teachers--the group of people most directly impacted by coaches--have not been heard. In order to find out what teachers thought about coaches, the authors analyzed interviews which had been conducted with 35 teachers who had worked with a coach for three years. They specifically sought to understand (1) the actions coaches carry out that teachers consider helpful and (2) what specific coach-initiated changes teachers make in their beliefs and practices. The 35 teachers the authors studied were all participants in the first iteration of the South Carolina Reading Initiative, known as SCRI K-5 Phase One. All 35 teachers felt that, because of their coach, they took more risks; they tried more things than they would have tried in the past. Thirty-one of the 35 teachers mentioned how they used more authentic assessments. Because teachers knew their students' needs better through authentic assessments, they were able to individualize instruction. Most of the teachers (28 out of 35) talked about how their coaches helped them learn about the research-base behind particular instructional strategies and this led to their desire to consistently use research-based practices. Teachers had a new or renewed sense of themselves as professionals who took risks and who grounded their instructional decisions both in their knowledge of their students and in the knowledge of research and theory. Twenty-five of the 35 teachers talked about how their coach supported them in study groups as well as in their classrooms. The coaches helped teachers understand the research behind the teaching strategies they were learning about and trying in their classrooms.
Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse. National Council of Teachers of English 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Fax: 217-328-9645; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse (LCC)
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina