As many folks know, I am in the process of writing my fifth book!  It’s about instructional coaching…tentatively titled “How to Coach Teachers to Teach (Almost) Anything” – – – I mean, it’s not like it’s going to be published by Yale or anything, right?  ????

One of the things that I wanted to really drive home for coaches are the fundamental skills that teachers have to have in place.  So, I broke those fundamental skills down into five categories:

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavior Management
  3. Engagement
  4. Lesson Planning (the most often un-coached skills that is the starting point of a successful lesson)
  5. Delivery of a Basic Lesson (like the very least the teacher has to do to deliver a successful lesson)

In this series of five blogs, one on each of the topics, I have broken down those skills for you, too!

If you’re a teacher, you can use these as a checklist for lesson planning

If you are a professional developer, you can use this is a checklist for a new teacher (or veteren teacher) training program

If you are a principal, you can use this to help you set your instructional goal and as a tool to determine where you staff might need strengthening.

If you are a coach, you will use these lists to prioritize the content that you will coach.  If a teacher is struggling with any of these, then that struggling point is where your coaching should start.  After all, if a fundamental is missing, then the teacher doesn’t have much of a chance of getting the fancier stuff well implemented.

Here are the Delivery of a Basic Lesson Priority Skills for Coaching

The teacher:

  • Introduces the lesson/the skill
  • Connects the lesson/skill to previous content, if appropriate
  • Teaches behaviors and materials management necessary for the lesson
  • Delivers a balance between teacher talking and student action
  • Models new concepts while students watch
  • Engineers guided practice and uses engagement tools to make sure every student does the work
  • Engineers independent practice and application and gives academic-based individual feedback
  • Uses the language from the curriculum or standards
  • Monitors the pacing of the lesson and picks up the pace when lagging and
  • Slows down the pace when students need more time to process the content or skills
  • Gives academic-based feedback specific to the whole class and individuals
  • Closes the lesson by recapping the most important information or skills and sets the tone for what will come next