Coaching Roles That Achieve Their Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning

Despite decades of efforts to support teachers with coaching, most teachers still do not get the support they need in their own classrooms. Yet many teachers, including experienced ones, need support to continue to evolve professionally, hone their practice, and use new tools.

Based on experience, the research base on coaching, and a forward-looking analysis, a new report from Learning Forward, Coaching for Impact: Six Pillars to Create Coaching Roles that Achieve their Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning, calls on the nation’s education leaders to expand their commitment to high-quality coaching for all teachers.

The six pillars are as follows:

  1. System Vision and Commitment. System leaders commit to providing great coaching on the job for all teachers, and include this commitment in their vision and plans for instructional excellence. They mobilize the changes in spending, roles, and other policies needed to fulfill this commitment.
  2. Recruitment and Selectivity. Coaches are chosen for their excellent teaching and demonstrated beliefs and competencies needed to successfully coach other teachers.
  3. Shared Responsibility. Coaches assume responsibility for the professional learning and improvement of the teachers they coach and share responsibility for the learning of students taught by those teachers. System leaders take responsibility for equipping coaches with the supports they need.
  4. Development and Support. Systems give coaches the training, professional development, and ongoing support they need to be successful in the role.
  5. Role Clarity, Time, and Culture. Systems define the roles of coaches clearly; assign teachers to coaches deliberately; give coaches and the teachers they support adequate time during school hours to coach and be coached; and foster a culture that supports professional growth.
  6. Compensation and Sustainability. Systems make coaching a well-paid role that attracts and retains great teachers in coaching positions. By paying for coaches sustainably within recurring resources, systems make the role part of a real career progression toward which teachers can confidently aspire.

To download the report, see: