Instructional coaching is a way to support classroom teachers in their efforts to provide high quality instruction across academic content areas. Because of beginner teachers’ needs for extra support, many districts are now embracing instructional coaches to provide specific pedagogical feedback to their beginning teachers via job-embedded, individualized, and sustained professional guidance. This initial, exploratory study employed mixed methods to gain both qualitative and quantitative insights into one district’s Beginning Teacher Support Program in general and Coaching Program in particular. Results indicate that, without a laser-like focus on instruction, the impact of coaching on student achievement and teacher retention is limited. Sharing resources, providing emotional support and helping new teachers manage stress is important but discussing instructional strategies, observing and discussing lessons, and modeling instruction is critically more important.


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