Mentor blog: Why Coaches Need Ongoing Professional Learning Opportunities

March 1, 2019 - 2 minutes read

Coaches Need Ongoing Professional Learning Opportunities

by Jordan Lozosky, IU1 PIIC Mentor

As instructional coaches, we regularly focus on allocating time for professional learning opportunities to occur to best assist teachers as frequently and consistently as possible. We wish to bring the best practices and innovative information into to our schools and grasps of our teachers. Instructional coaches are often viewed as the “experts” in the schools in providing resources and ultimately developing the professional skills of teachers with whom they work directly. Developing such expertise takes work. Mentors and coaches consistently and methodically work to build capacity and share the knowledge and skills necessary to make an impact on the instructional practices of teachers and ultimately enhance student learning.

So, how can instructional coaches continue to provide the optimum energy, skills, knowledge, and overall organizational cleverness to develop such expertise??? The answer lies directly in ongoing, purpose-driven, and consistent professional learning opportunities. Coaches thrive on having their own internal batteries recharged from time to time. By what means can coaches nurture their own knowledge base and skill set without such opportunities? In order to fulfill the hunger and thirst of the teaching staff, coaches must first and foremost have the opportunity to learn through professional learning opportunities regularly. Have open, honest conversations with administrators. Achieve a shared vision. Every step along the way of your journey in coaching builds your skill set to achieve true change in your schools. Take a moment and truly reflect on the phrase “professional learning opportunity.” If each “opportunity” is seized for its maximum potential, tangible growth can be achieved.

I encourage all instructional coaches to seek out various professional learning opportunities consistently. Go out of your comfort zone every so often, too.  Permitting yourself to try something different or something new can potentially pay big dividends for your teachers. When quality opportunities arise, embrace them with open-mindedness and confidence. Lifelong learning is a principle we must hold sacred for our craft as educators.

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