Research Years 5 - 6: Teacher Support: Coaching

Colleen Reutebuch, Ph.D.
The University of Texas at Austin

Leticia Martinez, Ph.D.
The University of Texas at Austin

Content area teachers often face difficulties planning and delivering lessons that incorporate appropriate scaffolds and language development activities that meet the needs of English learners. Thus, in addition to professional development in the SIOP Model, each teacher received individualized content area literacy coaching throughout the integrated intervention. Education professionals with experience in instruction and supporting teachers entered classrooms from each content area (Social Studies, Science, and English language arts) in order to increase teachers’ effective implementation of the researcher-created interventions. CREATE coaches attended the SIOP Model workshops and received the professional development specific to each content area curriculum in order to align their support to the objectives of the research intervention.

One coach was assigned to each school campus to work directly with participating content area teachers. Coaches remained flexible to meet the schedules, requests, strengths, and needs of teachers. In order to provide the teachers with the appropriate amount of support, coaches demonstrated lessons, modeled strategies, co-planned with teachers, assisted with small student groups, conducted observations, and conferenced with teachers. They scheduled an instructional observation and debrief session on a biweekly basis with project teachers. They also participated in meetings with content area and grade level teams in order to provide their expertise and support to the teachers as a group.

Coaches compiled information from classroom visits and teacher conferences to communicate with researchers. The success of the intervention depended on a common understanding of the purpose, goals, requirements, and outcomes of study participation by all stakeholders (i.e., the research team, participating teachers, the district administration, and school leaders). Content area coaches were a crucial part of that success, linking all of the stakeholders together through their communication and presence in the schools.

Instructional coaches:

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