Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education
The Nuts and Bolts of Instructional Mentoring PDF Print E-mail

What do IU PIIC mentors do?

  • Share a vision of the Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching;
  • Help coaches move from level 1 coaching to level 4 coaching (Bean: Levels of Intensity); help coaches provide one-on-one coaching to all instructional coaches;
  • Facilitate the ongoing implementation of the PIIC programs of study and the PLN framework between statewide PD events;
  • Review and revisit IU PIIC mentor action plans; help coaches design, implement, revise, and reflect on their action plans;
  • Coordinate content of IU PIIC mentor/coach meetings with PIIC’s programs of study;
  • Help coaches meet the needs of their teachers, principals, schools;
  • Emphasize the idea that a coach is a coach even though the targeted focus might differ, i.e., data coach, CFF school, reading coach.

IU PIIC Mentor priorities

  • Preparing for PIIC PD support as per the PIIC programs of study, i.e., coaches’ meetings, regional trainings, facilitating statewide and IU PD, presentations, etc.;
  • Supporting and reinforcing the process of instructional coaching and the components of the PLN framework between sessions and between statewide PD events;
  • Conducting site visits, i.e., B, D, A cycle of feedback and reflection with coaches, co-facilitation, modeling, train the trainers, etc.;
  • Coordinating IU/school calendars: which meetings are essential to my work with PIIC and the IU;
  • Providing a PD library and resource materials;
  • Networking with other PIIC mentor colleagues;
  • Participating on the school improvement planning team at the IU;
  • Developing individual IU PIIC mentor action plans;
  • Reviewing and revising IU PIIC mentor action plans quarterly in alignment with the mentor objectives.

IU PIIC Mentor schedules

  • 60% of the mentor’s time is in the field visiting schools and supporting instructional coaches; IU PIIC mentors work with instructional coaches to focus on increasing student engagement and improving student achievement through the implementation of the PLN framework and other evidence-based literacy strategies.
  • Mentors:
    • support coaches as they facilitate the implementation of the PLN framework in all content areas;
    • help coaches understand the Standards Aligned System;
    • conduct turn-around-training and facilitate discussions on the content and process of instructional coaching;
    • provide organizational supports;
    • design effective professional development;
    • enhance teacher quality and classroom instruction;
    • provide strategies to increase student engagement and improve student achievement
  • Mentors provide PD on adult learning strategies, engaging students, school improvement planning, resiliency, assessment strategies, data collection and analysis, interdisciplinary units of study, integrating technology effectively;
  • Mentors reflect in their journals, providing next steps as they prepare for subsequent one-on-one meetings and preparing for ongoing, job-embedded PD;

IU PIIC Mentor Meetings

(all IU PIIC mentors with PIIC management team)

  • 3-4 times a year to plan professional development, engage in professional conversations around teaching and learning, sharing/networking

IU PIIC Mentor/Coach Monthly meetings

(IU PIIC mentors’ monthly meetings with instructional coaches)

  • Monthly meetings at the IU
  • Monthly school site visits – ½ or whole day; rotating locations and facilitators
  • Mentor/coach one-on-one site visits
  • Cross school/district visitations
  • Statewide/regional
  • Topics:
    • Turn around training and frequent PD in schools/districts/ IUs on topics that are “previewed” during the PIIC PD events;
    • Turn around training using the Penn Literacy Network (PLN) framework;
    • Derived from a needs assessment in collaboration with the IU PIIC mentor, the school leadership team, and the instructional coaches;
    • Aligned with the PIIC programs of study and address the needs of the schools/coaches;
    • SAS, the 6 circles, resiliency, and 21st Century Skills

IU PIIC Mentor Site Visits (school sites)

  • IU PIIC mentors review action plans, school improvement plans, coaches’ reflection journals, etc., and engage in conversations around student learning and teacher practices that are tied to standards, research and student achievement;
  • IU PIIC mentors watch as instructional coaches practice their craft, i.e., B, D, A cycle of instructional coaching, feedback, reflection, and projection;
  • Cross school/district visitations – IU PIIC mentors facilitate the conversation between and among instructional coaches around visiting various schools in each district. Instructional coaches should plan to visit one another and co-facilitate any PD in schools within and among districts in the IU. The IU PIIC mentor may or may not be present during these cross visitations;
  • Statewide/regional PLO – IU PIIC mentors collaborate, design, and co-facilitate professional learning at 3 Professional Learning Opportunities per year. Instructional coaches working with their IU PIIC mentors are invited to these PD events and engage in turn-around-training in their home schools/districts.
  • IU PIIC mentors meet with school based and district based leadership teams to provide updates and ongoing professional development to identified staff members, i.e., PD for principals, superintendents, curriculum coordinators, etc.

IU meetings

  • Standing IU meetings, i.e., department meetings, placed on calendars prior to coach/school scheduled visits. Exceptions are PIIC PD and mentor meetings or special requests by coaches/schools;
  • Meet with the IU Executive Director every 6 – 8 weeks; formal agenda needed;
  • Meet with the curriculum coordinator monthly; formal agenda needed;
  • Identify one or two colleagues at the IU who can be trained in PLN and updated continually on the PIIC programs of study.