A Teacher's Perspective: The Benefits of Having a Collegial Coach
After our PD meetings, all of the teachers at our school had a chance to work with a coach. Just knowing I’d be meeting with my coach caused me to update my lesson plans to incorporate the techniques we’d talked about in the PD meetings.
One of the best experiences with my coach was learning to incorporate Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER) into my lessons. I liked the technique, but had not used it before. Once I did, I saw the payoff immediately. Learning how to use CER was painless with a coach right there at the school to help me. He kept me focused, helped me compare my use of CER in different lessons over the course of several weeks, and showed me how to collect and analyze student data to demonstrate their increased depth of knowledge.
Even though he didn’t teach literature himself, my coach understood the challenges I was facing. And he was patient with me as I figured it out. He listened and let me discover how to help the students, and then supported me as I learned how to use and then made slight modifications to CER. Best of all, we both got to see and celebrate the positive results. I never would have learned to use CER without him. Now I use it all the time. Even though my coach and I don’t work together anymore, the support he gave me made CER a practice I can use forever.