How Coaching For Educators Can Improve Learning In The Classroom
Severe teacher shortages are weighing down American schools. Thousands of teacher vacancies are being reported across the country, with 8,000 open vacancies in Florida alone — this is up by 5,000 from last year. This well-documented shortage is detrimental to learning, as educators cannot adequately build valuable student-teacher relationships or focus on individual students’ needs. A high turnover rate also means that teachers being left behind must carry the extra load. This makes them more susceptible to burnout.
One of the main culprits for this “mass exodus” is teachers’ immense dissatisfaction with their work conditions. Factors like workload, unrealistic expectations, greater responsibilities, and a lack of support can weigh educators down. To solve this problem, schools should look to coach educators. Coaching equips teachers with the support, strategies, demonstrations, and opportunities for growth they need to handle the issues they encounter in the classroom. In turn, it can benefit student learning. Here’s how.
Coaching promotes retention
With overwhelming stressors weighing teachers down, it’s essential that they feel supported and that their concerns are seriously addressed. Coaching promotes retention by encouraging frequent, meaningful conversations with educators that are positive and solutions-focused. School administrators must encourage healthy dialogue about teachers’ well-being, job expectations, and development goals — all of which can influence their willingness to stay.
In this way, coaching can help classroom learning by lowering turnover rates and holding onto teachers who understand the school’s environment and the culture beyond it. Teachers can gain experience on how children learn best given their local context. Most importantly, they’ll be better trained to teach content and offer students support more effectively.
Coaching improves curriculums
Coaching empowers teachers to expand their ideas with support from their colleagues. In a survey of almost 100 district leaders and coaches, 75% responded that they see the connection between coaching, teacher growth, and student achievement. 93% agree that coaching is essential in allowing teachers to apply their learning more deeply, frequently, and consistently.
Through peer coaching or cooperating as a team, teachers can review each others’ curriculums and tweak classroom activities and lesson plans accordingly. Colleagues can also offer input on areas students commonly have trouble with so teachers can adjust their methods accordingly. Lastly, teachers can review each other’s classroom behaviors and attitudes and offer suggestions on how to better engage with students.
Coaching helps teachers connect with students
Coaching allows teachers to gain insight into gaps between their values and their students. By conversing with other teachers, they can nurture their understanding of how to better connect with learners. They can also provide solutions to critical classroom factors affecting student learning. For instance, coaches can help teachers prepare adequately for lessons, craft teaching strategies that suit students’ individual needs, and empower students to express themselves through coursework.
Moreover, when teachers are trained in a supportive environment that prioritizes empathy and personalized approaches, these skills can be transmitted in their own practice. They are better equipped to resonate with students and facilitate conversations that involve active listening and problem-solving. As such, students can learn in a more welcoming environment.
Teachers are valuable resources. They can cultivate a classroom environment that empowers students when provided with the right support and guidance. Through coaching, they can interrogate concerns, strategize solutions, and help other educators improve conditions in schools.
Teach & Kids Learn believes that when educators lead with passion, knowledge, and thoughtful instruction, students learn!
Consider joining our free educator community platform called The Teaching Knowledge Loop for additional resources and strategies.