Using the Coaching Cycle to Improve Performance


“How can you use coaching cycles to make your coaching more outcomes-based?”

“How might you refine your goal-setting process?”

“How will you embed student-friendly learning targets into your coaching cycles?”

Providing opportunity of a coaching cycle provides organization, structure and timely schedule. By setting goals with teachers (and not for them) will reinforce the student-centered approach as well as promote teacher choice and equality. Being cognizant of the temptation to redirect a teacher goal in order to ‘fix’ a problem or behavior is also crucial to this partnership. By using “Students will…” language in coaching conversations should respect the belief of working to improve student performance.

While having goal-setting conversations, I will be careful to let the teacher know I hear their thinking, ideas and concerns as we attempt to teach and assess the standards-based instruction. Additionally, using the standards and setting the “just right” Goldilocks Goal will allow me to work with teachers around the processes of solving problems and focus our attention to clear and desired outcomes for students. It will be crucial for me to not introduce my own agenda as this may negatively impact the integrity of partnership agreement.

In order to strive for accuracy for the student-centered goal, we must confirm the goal is:

  1. standards-based
  2. valued by the teacher
  3. right size and scop
  4. measurable through formal assessment
  5. robust enough to carry a coach and teacher through the cycle.

By asking questions to confirm these criteria will ensure we are on the correct path at the beginning of the goal-setting conversation.

Committing to use learning targets and consistently refer to them during the coaching cycle will provide students a clear understanding of what they are supposed to be learning. When students have the ability to connect and direct strategies to optimize their learning experience they will perform better and be more engaged in the process.

To do this, the teacher and I must plan opportunities for students to clearly articulate their learning and be able to monitor progress in a measurable way. I should ensure that the standards are unpacked accordingly with the teacher so that learning targets are simple to follow and visible to all.

One way to do this is by asking the question, “What is important to know about…?” From there, we can plan examples of what proficiency can look like to the students. There are several tools and techniques that I can apply and draw upon.

Incorporating learning targets early on and consistently referring back to them will be a coaching move I strive to implement as I ‘guide on the side’ within the coaching cycle. In order to start efficiently, I may need to create a Google Slide with examples of language and questions for crafting learning target which I easily refer to with teachers.

About Brent Fullerton

International educator and entrepreneur striving to enhance lives.
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