More than 200 educational leaders from across the country gathered in Boston last September for a three-day conference focused on a particularly promising school improvement strategy. The Instructional Coaching Conference, organized by EDC’s Center for Leadership and Learning Communities, featured success stories from large urban school districts, including New York, Chicago, San Diego, and Pittsburgh, that have hired full-time coaches to provide ongoing professional development to teachers.
The conference was one of the first ever to focus on instructional coaching across content areas—mathematics, science, and literacy. Participants learned that instructional coaches often provide a range of supports, such as guidance on curriculum selection and implementation, collaborative lesson planning with teachers, and ongoing advice on content and teaching techniques. Presenters provided insight into everything from the hiring and recruiting of coaches to evaluating their impact on teaching and learning.
“The first conference was a great success,” says EDC’s Barbara Miller. “There was tremendous interest from the start—we had to turn away people! Those who attended were very engaged in raising questions, sharing their experiences, and trying out ideas.” Miller and her team are planning a second conference in July, focused on mathematics.
Originally published on April 30, 2006