Coaching is a process that supports educators to utilize, with fidelity, their knowledge and skills developed during Teaching and Learning Opportunities. Coaching is based on building capacity through relationships and facilitative questioning to help an individual or group take action toward goal-setting and achievement of desired goals. Coaching includes modeling, observation, reflective questioning, feedback, or other individualized supportive assistance. Coaching integrates Teaching and Learning Opportunities and Technical Assistance.

Coaching supports may be provided to facilitate individual, team and/or systems change:

  • Individual change is defined as a process in which an individual provides another with direction and support to accomplish their goals.
  • Team change is defined as a process in which a person helps teams build capacity to engage in ongoing team learning and continuous improvement efforts.
  • Systems change is defined as an application of a set of skills that provide dynamic support and facilitation to develop the capacity of organizations (e.g., schools or LEAs) to implement change (e.g., MTSS) aligned with organizational goals (e.g., school or district improvement plans for improving student outcomes). Select districts will receive individualized coaching delivered by a Network Coach who will be on-site in the district on a regular basis.

The IL MTSS-N uses a “coach the coach” model to build the capacity of the district to support its staff. The Network Coach assigned to work with the district leadership team and district coach supports the implementation process.  A gradual release of responsibility model is used to provide intensive supports while assisting and preparing the district to assume full responsibility for coaching to reach sustainability of practice.

  • Phase 1, the Network Coach models desired skills and competencies.
  • Phase 2, as the team begins to assume responsibility the Network Coach provides support and feedback.
  • Phase 3, the Network Coach releases the team to work independently and to self-monitor.

The goal is to build capacity to implement MTSS practices with fidelity and sustain those practices through gradual release.  The IL MTSS Network Coach will model and lead the work initially, with the focus on role release to staff directly connected to the district to support sustainability of practices.

Research has demonstrated the need for combining traditional staff development with skillful coaching.  High Quality (HQ) training alone-theory and discussion plus demonstration and opportunities for practice and feedback-did not result in effective implementation in the classroom setting. Only when this HQ training was accompanied with coaching at the level of service was there substantial implementation in the practice setting and evidence of change in adult practices. This is the level that student outcomes are impacted – when adults move away from the ‘old’ practices and become skilled with the ‘new’ way of work. (Onsite coaching, virtual coaching, job-embedded activities, etc.)

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