Instructional coaches support teachers

  • At Willmar Public Schools, instructional coaches support teachers in their continual professional growth. Not only are these coaches good for teachers, but they improve student achievement by helping make teachers better.

    Instructional coaches are teachers on special assignment who collaborate with classroom teachers to provide ongoing, job-embedded professional learning that is confidential, non-evaluative, and supportive.

    What is Instructional Coaching?

    An instructional coach partners with teachers to help them improve teaching and learning so their students become more successful.

    They do this by:

    • Helping teachers analyze current reality.
    • Setting goals.
    • Identifying and explaining teaching strategies to hit goals.
    • Providing support until the goals are met.
    • Mentoring new teachers.
    • Maintaining confidentiality.

    What do we hope to realize through instructional coaching?

    • Increased student achievement as a result of improving the quality of classroom instruction.
    • Professional growth and increased capacity of teachers and administrators.
    • Improved collaborative and reflective practices.
    • Implementation of evidence-based practices.
    • Utilization of data to drive decision-making processes.

    Why do we have Instructional Coaches?

    • Engage teachers in meaningful, personalized and effective professional development.
    • Provide teachers with ongoing support as they build capacity to implement and sustain best practices to ensure student learning.
    • Foster a collaborative culture of trust by connecting colleagues with one another.

    For more information about instructional coaches, contact Carrie Thomas, director of teaching and learning, at 320-231-8477, or thomasc@willmar.k12.mn.us.