Elizabeth Powers reflects on the first Governor's Institute on Instructional Coaching PDF Print E-mail

On September 22-23, 2008 PDE’s Collaborative Coaching Board (CCB) led the first Governor’s Institute on Instructional Coaching.  As part of the CCB’s mission to ensure the consistency of coaching practices across state sponsored coaching initiatives, the CCB wanted to share new information and resources with Pennsylvania’s instructional coaches.

The Institute featured keynote presentations by Cathleen Kral, the Director of Literacy in Boston Public Schools on “Responsive Instructional Coaching”; Dr. Rita Bean, Professor of Reading at the University of Pittsburgh on “The Role of Coaches”; Mary Catherine Moran, Senior Project Associate of the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center on “Applying the Core Concepts of Coaching”; and Ann Delehant, Senior Consultant and Former Trustee of the National Staff Development Council on “Coaching Conversations: Changing School  Culture.”  Participants also had the opportunity to learn from Pennsylvania practitioners during a session on the role of reflection.  Classrooms for the Future (CFF) Mentor, Virginia Glatzer, and CFF Coach, Heather Ryder shared how CFF coaching logs foster reflection, and Michele Rodgers, PA High School Coaching Initiative (PAHSCI) Mentor, and PAHSCI Coaches Michele Merkel and Michelle Wenger shared their implementation of the Before-During-After coaching model and a plethora of tools designed to support one-on-one instructional coaching and mentoring.

The Institute also provided participants with a chance to learn in a smaller group setting during breakout sessions.  Keynote presenters Cathleen Kral, Mary Catherine Moran, and Ann Delehant led breakout sessions following their keynote sessions.  CCB members provided additional breakout sessions with Regina Palubinsky of PaTTAN discussing formative assessment, Cathy Bailey of Partnering for Academic Excellence showing designs for effective professional development, and Elizabeth Powers of MACC sharing a data dialogue protocol.  Beverly Barksdale from the School District of Philadelphia and Michele Rodgers, PAHSCI Mentor, also provided a breakout session on classroom management techniques.

CFF Mentor, Dr. Joanne Romano led the closing session of the Institute, a panel discussion featuring teams from PAHSCI and CFF schools.  The PAHSCI team from Harrisburg’s SciTech High School included Principal Mike Reed, Coach Deb Hines, and Teacher Delia Gongloff.  The CFF team from Eastern Lebanon County High School included Principal Randall Grove, Coach Dottie Noll, and Coach Amy Weddle.  The chance to hear how coaching makes a difference at the school level to improve student achievement was an excellent way to wrap up this first Governor’s Institute on Instructional Coaching.

Governor’s Institute participants commented that this Institute featured very knowledgeable presenters and session facilitators, and provided networking opportunities, and great resources – including books! Participants received copies of coaching books by Dr. Rita Bean, Mary Catherine Moran, and Dr. Jim Knight.  Participants suggested that the next Institute include more differentiation in the sessions offered in order to address the needs of new and experienced coaches, different content areas, and the differences between high school and elementary coaching.  Participants definitely valued this Governor’s Institute and requested that PDE offer an Instructional Coaching Institute next year.

In addition to recognizing the presenters for the valuable information and insights they provided, the CCB would also like to thank the Governor’s Institute planning committee for their tremendous work in creating this first Governor’s Institute on Instructional Coaching.  A big thank you to Planning Committee members Cathy Bailey, Rita Bean, Ellen Eisenberg, Virginia Glatzer, Holly Jobe, John Nau, Elizabeth Powers, Regina Palubinsky, Joanne Romano, Anita Siegfried and most especially Teresa Shakespeare!
Collaborative Coaching Board members are pleased that this event was so well received and glad to have been able to provide this Institute in order to support the effective use of instructional coaching across schools in Pennsylvania.  But the Governor’s Institute for Instructional Coaching did not end on September 23.  The CCB is providing additional professional development for instructional coaches by hosting three Governor’s Institute “Book Talks” featuring the authors of the resource books provided at the Institute.  In winter and spring 2009 authors Dr. Rita Bean, Mary Catherine Moran, and Dr. Jim Knight will lead online discussions of their books on instructional coaching.  Stay tuned for details on these follow-up events of the Governor’s Institute on Instructional Coaching!

Elizabeth Powers
Senior Project Associate
Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center
PDE Collaborative Coaching Board Member