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A Teacher's Perspective

An excerpt from a new teacher who participated in a 10-week professional learning community with a focus on team teaching is illustrative:

[Team teaching] was new and … I really liked the fact that there were other people, especially other skilled people … They had a wisdom and knowledge and I was able to learn from them as well. So I found it, as a new teacher, very very beneficial because I was able to learn lots from experienced people. (King, 2016, p. 585)

Another new teacher had this to say:

Here's an opportunity for me to talk to probably the most knowledgeable people, my peers, and be able to come up with a solution. It's not someone telling me from above who hasn't been in a classroom potentially for, you know, 6 to 8 years telling me what to do. It's somebody else who's living what I'm living. (DeLuca, Bolden, & Chan, 2017, p. 72)

An experienced teacher reported a qualitative leap in instructional practice:

The most exciting result of my Cognitive Coaching experience was the improved quality in teacher-student interactions. I began to use discussion time more effectively, thinking in advance of how to ask one or two questions that directly addressed my learning goal, as opposed to my usual “shot-gun” techniques. (Garmston, Linder, & Whitaker, 1993, p. 58)

A teacher working as an instructional coach talked about the need for this help in her own role:

What I want most is for my principal to talk about instruction with me and discuss how I can help meet the school mission. I don’t just want to be left alone, and I don’t want the principal on my case all the time. There’s a reasonable middle ground that we should share as educators. I wish my principal recognized that that’s the best place for us to be. (Charner & Medrich, 2017, p. 11)