Buly, M. R., Coskie, T., Robinson, L., & Egawa, K. (2006). Literacy coaching: Coming out of the corner. Voices from the Middle, 13(4), 24-28.
Author: Buly, M. R., Coskie, T., Robinson, L., & Egawa, K.
After two years of editing and contributing to the "Coach's Corner" column in Voices from the Middle, the authors now reflect back on their understandings and concerns about literacy coaching. While the roles of literacy coaches still vary from site to site, two elements are critical to the success of any teacher-coach relationship: 1) coaches need to have clearly defined roles within schools, and 2) coaches must not formally evaluate teachers; they are to support teachers' efforts to improve their instruction. Another important ingredient to good literacy coaching, according to the article, is that the coaches themselves receive ongoing professional support as they grow and develop within their coaching roles, and as they nudge teachers to reflect upon and improve their practices. Additionally, literacy coaching at the secondary levels is, and must be, different than at the elementary levels: The authors suggest that because secondary teachers have been trained and have worked toward depth of content knowledge, their literacy coaches should focus on supporting them in acquiring more depth in understanding literacy learning processes. The authors' major concern about literacy coaching is around the lack of data collection and analysis. If literacy coaching is going to thrive in schools, they argue, it will need funding and support; if it is going to receive funding and support, related data must be collected and analyzed. Only this will effectively prove the power of literacy coaching programs.
The article is a quick read for any busy teacher, coach, administrator, or literacy coaching researcher, and is filled with advice on good literacy coaching. In addition, the authors have included two pull-out sections: 1) Questions for Guiding More Research, which lists five research-related prompts; and 2) Critical Points About Literacy Coaching, which lists and references four basic understandings--teacher preparation impacts student achievement, literacy coaching effectively provides job-embedded professional development, literacy coaching translates into new classroom practices, and the choice of a literacy coaching model is political.
Date Added: 10/28/2007
Attachment: Buly Coskie VFTM Out of corner.pdf
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