Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Every month we PIIC the brains of one of our mentors and ask them to write about topics related to instructional coaching and mentoring.  See what they have to say...

Click here to see a complete list of Mentor Blogs

Is Coaching an Intervention? PDF Print E-mail

By IU PIIC Mentor Alicia Hull

Is coaching an intervention? According to Merriam-Webster there are three definitions of the word intervention to consider.

One definition of the word intervention is “an occurrence in which a person with a problem is confronted by a group whose purpose is to compel the person to acknowledge and deal with the problem.” This would imply that not only is the work of coaches limited to teachers identified as problematic, but that teachers own a problem and are expected to work with the coach to fix it. Utilizing coaching as a means to change teacher practice for the sole purpose of increasing student achievement is about fixing problems, not about the collaborative work of the coach and teacher to continuously grow and improve instruction. As mentors, we need to help coaches raise awareness of those who might view coaching as an intervention for teachers.

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Coaching the Digital Immigrant Teacher PDF Print E-mail

By IU PIIC Mentors Rob McKenzie and Melissa Petrilak

OMG! FYI, If you don’t know how to Livestream, Snapchat, Tweet, Tag, or post an Instagram story, you may be #Irrelevant to this generation of students. Why? This student population has grown up entirely with technology, as the average teenager spends one-third of their day using digital media. Affectionately known digital natives, the brains of today’s students are hardwired for technology, as it has become an integral part of their everyday lives. Growing up in a digital age provides both challenges and opportunities for the field of education.  

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Spring into Action: Three Tips to Keep Coaching Alive When Teachers are Dead Tired PDF Print E-mail

By IU PIIC Mentor Terri Lewis

Well, PSSA is here and we know what that often means for coaches! Schedules are up-ended, test administration and test security are top priorities, and teachers don’t want anything to do with you!

Yes, you will get through the few weeks of testing, but then what? After a busy and productive year, when PSSA is finished, many in the education world believe that school is over and it’s time to relax. This is when teachers and students need you most, coaches! Everyone is tired and in need of some inspiration. Consider these tips to keep teachers engaged and active learners through the official end of the school year!

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Establishing an Instructional Coaching Program: How to Thrive Rather than Survive PDF Print E-mail

by IU PIIC Mentors Jen Herncane and Diane Hubona

PIIC nourishes collaboration and communication in every aspect, so when we were asked to co-author this blog, we brainstormed, “What are three purposeful steps to foster success in coaching programs in schools?” We both agreed, without much debate, to thrive in coaching there are three key goals:

1. Establish a clear coaching focus.

2. Focus on student learning.

3. Develop collaborative professional learning opportunities for coaches as well as teachers.

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Falling in Love with Instructional Coaching PDF Print E-mail
By IU PIIC Mentor Heather Moschetta

Ah, February. The month when love is in the air. You may appreciate or despise or even be indifferent towards Valentine’s Day, but there is no denying that our society makes February synonymous with the four-letter “L” word.

Classical mythology blames love on Cupid, the winged child armed with bow and arrows, who mischievously casts his arrows to make people fall in love. In the world of the instructional coach, though, there is no Cupid to make teachers fall in love with instructional coaching. That job falls on coaches and their mentors, who often find themselves in a marketing role, selling teachers and administrators on the benefits that instructional coaching can have on teaching and learning.

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