Online teacher coaching services on the rise

To help them hone their skills and improve their classroom practice, a growing number of teachers are taking advantage of virtual coaching services., according to a story in the Hechinger Report this week.

More and more startups and educational associations are developing professional development programs that combine face-to-face interaction and online training, both for new teachers struggling with classroom management and for seasoned teachers. which seek to provoke further reflection on the part of the students. Of the room :

Nothing in Linda Liptrap’s training as a teacher prepared her for the onslaught of the pencil. In 2013, as a novice math teacher at Callaghan Elementary School in rural Covington, Va., Liptrap was plagued by requests from students to sharpen pencils, use the restroom, and other interruptions. picayune. “’They were killing me with a pencil,” Liptrap said. Classes have been blocked. Test results suffered. Callaghan’s principal tried a new solution to save his harassed teacher – a virtual trainer. A startup called EdConnective paired Liptrap with a veteran teacher trained in another state. as an educational coach. “

According to the article, Liptrap and his coach at EdConnective observed and analyzed videos of his teaching, came up with personalized teaching strategies, and then reviewed videos of Liptrap implementing those strategies in the classroom for six weeks. The training ultimately helped Liptrap reduce the interruptions that had affected his teaching.

Lauren Vargas, Virtual Coach EdConnective, describes the private coaching sessions as “very proactive and very action-oriented”.

For example, if a teacher wishes to give clearer and more concise instructions to students, Vargas will reproduce (or re-read) the instructions given by the teacher in a previous lesson. Then she will ask the teacher to practice a new approach “in her teacher’s voice” until the teacher understands, and she will follow up in the next session to see how it went. in front of real students. “

Schools and principals are turning to online coaching because often they just don’t have the time or money to have coaches on their staff, writes Hechinger columnist Chris Berdik. On the flip side, virtual instructional coaches can help from anywhere and anytime, promising teachers more feedback, personalized action plans, and follow-up – three aspects the Hechinger report notes as often missing from the classroom. PP of teachers.

EdConnective is far from the only program offering virtual coaching and online professional development. The article mentions TNTP, a nonprofit teacher education and advocacy group that offers virtual coaching in addition to providing school services and programs, and Teaching Channel, which offers a subscription service that allows mentors and teachers to hold online discussions and analyze instructional videos.

The Hechinger report notes that there is little hard data to support the idea that virtual coaching can improve student outcomes, but that there are two independent studies underway by teaching channel teams that need to be completed in three years.

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