How the School District of Lee County Builds Coaching Capacity with Video (Learning Forward)

The School District of Lee County takes professional learning seriously. With 84,000 students and nearly 100 public schools and 6,000 teachers, the district is supporting many learners.

At the Learning Forward conference in Dec. 2021, Asst. Director of Professional Development Helen Martin and Coordinator of Professional Development Amy French presented about how they use Edthena to build capacity, trust, growth, and goals among coaches and teachers.

“Our goal is to build capacity and video coaching with Edthena is our tool in order to accomplish that goal,” said Helen Martin.

Check out the video of the 15-minute presentation above or read on for highlights.

Video coaching builds capacity at the School District of Lee County

One way the School District of Lee County achieves building capacity for its 23 instructional coaches is by cultivating video reflection among teachers.

To support the many first- and second-year teachers in Lee County, teacher leadership is developed.

Veteran teachers serve as peer collaborators — mentors for the newer teachers, teaching half of the day and providing professional development the other 50% of the time.

Video coaching enables the most to be made of this peer coaching relationship.

“Peer collaborative teachers submit videos of their coaching conversations with the new teachers they’re supporting in their building,” said Helen Martin.

On these videos, the peer collaborative teachers receive feedback from district learning and leader teachers. Feedback includes strengths and areas of growth in the peer collaborative teachers’ coaching and questioning skills.

This use of video coaching extends the reach of peer coaching from within one building to the expertise of many instructional coaches across a district.

How to build trust in the video coaching process

But what about teachers who were hesitant to use video? Helen Martin commented on the importance of building trust so that all educators felt safe and invested in the process of video coaching.

Lee County leveraged the best practices of instructional coaching expert Jim Knight. This involved fostering Jim Knight’s partnership principles of reciprocity and relationship-building as well as the systematic process of coaching using his model, the Impact Cycle.

One specific strategy was to allow teachers to choose what they wanted to record. With this autonomy, teachers and instructional coaches became more comfortable with video coaching over time.

This was also reinforced by the peer collaborative teachers’ self-directed growth from reviewing videos of their coaching conversations. As they reflected, they learned on their own. Amy French remarked:

“When people reflect, they end up coaching themselves.”

One peer collaborative teacher noted the ability to carve out time to better her own practices, in addition to supporting new teachers.

Helen Martin added, “The use of video has reinvigorated [teachers] in their teaching and … changing their classroom practices and impacting their colleagues in a positive way.”

The School District of Lee County’s use of video coaching has expanded capacity, trust, growth, and goals among coaches and teachers.

To learn more about video coaching best practices from Edthena partners, check out this blog post about Keller ISD’s teacher leadership pathway.

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