Taylor, R. T., Moxley, D. E., Chanter, C., & Boulware, D. (2007). Three techniques for successful literacy coaching. Principal Leadership, 7(6), 22-25.
Author: Taylor, R., Mosley, D. E., Chanter, C., & Boulware, D.
In this article, the authors suggest three practices that contribute to successful and effective literacy coaching programs: 1) coaches should collaboratively (district or school-wide) define the roles and responsibilities that will determine how they will meet their school's literacy needs; 2) coaches should receive the support necessary to become expert in literacy learning, teacher leadership, and professional development; and 3) coaches should develop positive and on-going relationships with their principals.
Each of these techniques is elaborated upon throughout this article. The authors explain why coaches' roles should be collaboratively defined: this practice increases teacher and administrator buy-in, support, and involvement. The authors give advice about technique #2, the professional development of literacy coaches that nurtures their expertise in literacy learning, teacher leadership, and professional development. They suggest that their own professional growth, literacy coaches in large districts form cadres for study, collaboration, professional development, and support, and coaches in smaller districts join a regional, national, or online professional community. Furthermore, in regard to teacher leadership and professional development of teachers, the authors contend that "the coaches who perceived that they spent the most time in professional development-related service with teachers had the greatest gain in student achievement as measured by 10th grade reading on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) 2006" (p. 24). In regard to the importance of developing a strong relationship with the principal, the authors explain that this is possibly "the most important practice for leveraging a literacy coach's ability to improve reading and writing" (p. 25). Involved principals who participate in professional development training, and who communicate regularly with coaches about the challenges and successes they are having, are able to become active in the literacy work in their school, are able to provide more useful feedback to their faculty and staff, and are more likely to support the program with funding and resources. These three techniques, according to the authors, will help coaches, teachers, and principals build literacy programs that support both improved school environment, and improved student achievement.
Date Added: 10/26/2007
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