When specifically asked what they seek from instructional coaches and from school-based leaders, their responses revealed seen consistent themes:
1. Trust – Respondents identified trust as the most critical component of any instructional coaching relationship.
2. Competence as a Coach – Instructional coaches have to have been successful classroom teachers before they could ever be effective coaches.
3. Providing Feedback Respectfully and with Specificity – Teachers ranked as “highly critical” the methods employed by coaches in providing feedback on teaching behaviors discerned during an observation.
4. Don’t Make Assumptions About Individual Abilities – In any coaching scenario, teachers need to be treated as professionals. The majority believe that they are in a “continuously – learning” mode.
5. I May Learn Differently Than You Do – Please Consider My Learning Style – Coach recognition of – or failure to acknowledge – different teacher learning styles is a critical concern.
6. Change without Meaningful Opportunity for Input is Change For the Sake of Change – Teachers feel “helpless”or “powerless” when new initiatives, a change of administration or a shift in district philosophy takes place without consultation, and without opportunity to discuss.
7. Quality of our Relationship is important to me – Building a relationship before plowing into the major components of instructional coaching is one of the most critical of indicators of coaching effectiveness.