Though principals value the feedback they gain from a job coach, most report coaching is not one of the most common ways they receive professional development, Singapore American School Director of Personalized Learning Andrew Miller writes for Edutopia. A recent study by the National Association of Elementary School Principals shows 66% of principals have participated in the model and 70% value it.
Instructional coaching expert Jim Knight says coaching is so effective because principals who participate are willing to learn, and the model allows for better information retention than typical “sit and get” PD approaches.
Coaching also fits in better to a principal’s day because the coach watches the principal perform their daily tasks so they don’t get behind in their duties. Non-evaluated, confidential coaching also allows for honest questions and feedback.
Not only does the coaching model benefit principals and teachers, it retains veteran educators who have spent most of their professional lives honing their teaching craft. Not all educators want to climb the administrative hierarchy, and the coaching model gives this group the opportunity to become teacher leaders who pass on their insight to the next generation.
Dr. Matthew Johnson, a school and district leader for Milford Public Schools in Massachusetts, backed that theory by saying collaborative leadership gives veteran teachers an opportunity to grow into shared leadership responsibilities while allowing them to teach their best practices to those new to the field.
The New York City Department of Education's Teacher Career Pathways program, developed in partnership with the United Federation of Teachers, is considered a model for other schools and districts around the globe. The program is a collaboration between the administration and the teachers, and it shifts pay from being performance-based to responsibility-based. Teacher coaches can earn stipends between $7,500 and $20,000 per year for taking on additional roles in their schools.