Supporting Improved Learning and Instruction through a Community of Practice Yvonne Thayer &

Supporting Improved Learning
and Instruction through a
Community of Practice
Yvonne Thayer &
Georgeanne Oxnam
School Performance Coaching
aligned with West Virginia’s
“Coaching for School Growth” Model
Presented by
Yvonne Thayer
Georgeanne Oxnam
• Explore and reflect on current research on
• Explore and reflect on coaching to support
teaming processes
• Explore and reflect on coaching to improve
professional performance
Norms for Our Work Together
• Put our Phones/PDAs on vibrate and
return calls/emails at the breaks.
• Be ready to start and end on time.
• Help all to participate by minimizing
• Listen. Reflect. Contribute. Enjoy.
Questions on the Minds
of School Personnel
• What problem(s) will the coach help
• What skills does the coach have?
• With whom will the coach workprincipal, leadership team, teachers or
teams of teachers?
• What kind of relationships will the
coach establish?
• How will we know if the coach is
Getting Started
“The way we interact with others
makes or breaks most coaching
relationships. Even if we know a lot
about content and pedagogy and have
impressive qualifications, experience,
or postgraduate degrees, people will
not embrace learning with us unless
they’re comfortable working with us.”
Knight, 2011
The Compass-A Self-Analysis
• North (acting) – “Let’s do it”;
Likes to act, try things, and
plunge in
• South (caring) – likes to
know that everyone’s
feelings have been taken
into consideration and that
their voices have been heard
before acting
The Compass-A Self-Analysis
• East (speculating) – likes
to look at the big picture
and the possibilities
before acting
• West (attending to detail)
– likes to know the who,
what, when, where, and
why before acting
• What are the strengths of
your style?
• What are the limitations of
your style?
• What style do you find most
difficult to work with and
• Explain what the other
“directions” need to know
about you so that you can
work together effectively.
Why Coaching?
“Coaching facilitates learning from and with
colleagues, sustained over time, where
reflection, analysis, dialogue and problem-solving
strategies are applied.”
Kinkead, 2007
Effective Coaches
• Create partnerships
with teachers and
• Establish trusting
• Facilitate instructional
Kinkead, 2007
A Coach Builds Capacity of Others
• Supporting improved learning and instruction
through a Community of Practice
• Establishing focus and coherence–ensuring
personalized learning
• Supporting change–transforming student learning
by supporting educators
• Maximizing capacity–using evidence to collectively
personalize student learning
• Growing professionally
Supporting Improved Learning
and Instruction through a
Community of Practice
Supporting Learning and Instruction
“Coaches facilitate a culture of learning
where individuals, teams, and small
professional learning communities
regularly engage in formal and informal
continuous learning activities.”
Kinkead, 2007
Setting the Stage for Learning and
“Creating a collaborative environment has
been described as ‘the single most important
factor’ for successful school improvement
initiatives and the ‘first order of business’ for
those seeking to enhance the effectiveness of
their school.”
DuFour & Eaker, 1998
Why Collaboration?
“The idea that a single teacher, working
alone, can know and do everything to meet
the needs of 30 diverse students every day
throughout the school year has rarely
worked, and it certainly won’t meet the
needs of learners in years to come.”
Carroll, 2009
Purpose of Collaboration
“Collaboration is not a virtue in itself, and
building a collaborative culture is simply a
means to an end, not the end itself. The
purpose of collaboration-to help more
students achieve at a higher levels-can
only be accomplished if the professionals
engaged in collaboration are focused on
the right work.”
DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, and Many, 2010
Focusing on the Right Work
1. What is it we want our students to learn?
2. How will we know if each student has
learned it?
3. How will we respond when some students
do not learn it?
4. How can we extend and enrich the learning
for students who have demonstrated
DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, and Many, 2010
Prerequisites for Effective
• The purpose of collaboration must be made explicit.
• School personnel need training and support on
working interdependently to achieve a common
• Educators must accept their responsibility to work
together as true professional colleagues, to be
mutually accountable.
• Time for collaboration must be built into the school
day and year.
DuFour & Eaker, 1998
Norms for Collaborative Work
Garmston and Wellman (1999) identified seven norms
essential for collaborative work.
• Pausing
• Paraphrasing
• Probing for specificity
• Putting ideas on the table
• Paying attention to self and others
• Presuming positive intentions
• Pursuing a balance between advocacy and inquiry
Kaser, J.,Mundry, S., Stiles, K., & Loucks-Horsley, S. (2002)
Collaborative Teams Work!
• In high-performing teams, members hold
each other accountable. Everyone carries
his or her own weight (Blanchard, 2007).
• Peer pressure and the distaste for letting
down a colleague or the team is a
powerful motivator (Lencioni, 2005).
Bernhardt, V.L. (2004). Data analysis for continuous school
improvement. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, Inc.
Blanchard, K. (2007). Leading at a higher level: Blanchard on
leadership and creating high performing organizations.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Block, P. (2000). Flawless consulting: A guide for getting your
expertise used. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
Carroll, T. (2009). The next generation of learning teams. Phi
Delta Kappan, 91(2), 8-13.
DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., and Many, T. (2010). Learning
by doing: A handbook for professional learning
communities at work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
References (continued)
DuFour, R., & Eaker, R.(1998). Professional learning communities
at work: Best Practices for Enhancing Student
Achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
Elmore, R. (2003).School reform from the inside out; Policy,
practice, and performance. Boston: Harvard Education
Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco,
CA: Jossey Bass.
Hargrove, R. (1999). Masterful coaching: Extraordinary results by
impacting people and the way they think and work
together. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
References (continued)
Harvard University. (2003). The CLG concept of the change
coach. Unpublished paper.
Kaser, J.,Mundry, S., Stiles, K., & Loucks-Horsley, S. (2002),
Leading every day. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Knight, Kim. (2011). What good coaches do. Educational
Leadership, 69(2), 18-22.
Lencioni, P. (2005). Overcoming the five dysfunctions of a team:
A field guide for leaders, managers, and facilitators. San
Francisco: Josey-Bass.
Nidus, G., and Sadder, M. (2011). The principal as formative
coach. Educational Leadership, 69(2), 30-35.
References (continued)
Schmoker, M., (1999). Results: The key to continuous school
improvement (2nd ed). Alexandria, Va: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Senge, P. M., Kleiner, A., Roberts, C., Ross, R., Roth, G., & Smith,
B. (1999). The dance of change: The challenges to
sustaining momentum in learning organizations. New
York: Doubleday.
Speck, M. (1996, Spring). Best practice in professional
development for sustained educational change. ERS
Spectrum, 33-41.
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