How Edthena Professional Development Platforms Amplify Coaching Capacity

How Edthena’s Professional Development Platforms Amplify Coaching Capacity

The challenge facing many schools and districts across the country is one of limited resources. How can districts with limited resources provide enough support to help teachers and students thrive?

The effects of in-person instructional coaching are clear. And if administrators had unlimited resources, it’s a safe bet that every teacher would have access to in-person coaching on a regular basis.

But in a resource-constrained setting, schools need to enact professional development solutions that are efficient, effective, and budget-friendly.

Many educational leaders have found that Edthena professional development platforms help them amplify their existing instructional coaching capacity at a fraction of the cost of what it would take to provide in-person coaching to all teachers.

Read on to learn more about how these solutions can help schools:

Amplify existing coaching capacity to support more teachers

In a traditional view, the only way to add more coaching capacity to a school or a district is to add more coaches. While that would be welcomed by many, it’s not realistic.

Edthena teacher professional development platforms help districts amplify and extend existing coaching capacity by removing some of the traditional barriers of in-person coaching. With these tools, coaches and mentors can support more teachers without burning themselves out.

Hernando County School District in Florida was able to 2x its coaching cycles using Edthena professional development solutions. Faced with an influx of new and alternatively certified teachers and limited resources, the district’s Supervisor of Curriculum, Dr. Paula Clark had to think creatively to help provide enough coaching, without enough coaches. She had 135 active mentors and 278 mentees.

By leveraging Video Coach and the AI Coach platform she was able to deliver for her teachers.

Previously, teachers were only receiving formal feedback twice per year. That meant that for half the year, teachers didn’t get in-person feedback or other feedback tied to their teaching.

With the new model, teachers are participating in four coaching cycles throughout the year.

Eliminate schedule constraints and provide coaching exactly when it’s needed

In-person coaching is, by its very nature, limited to the amount of in-person coaching the staff can provide. By deploying the Video Coach or AI Coach platform, schools can implement teacher-driven coaching cycles to accelerate learning even when no coach is in the room. That means teachers can receive support precisely when they need it.

St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado is leveraging AI Coach to do just that. AI Coach opens up possibilities that weren’t there before and allows teachers to engage with focused, personalized coaching on their terms when they need it.

Asynchronous and self-driven coaching can help greatly expand the coaching that each teacher receives without overburdening existing coaches.

Analyze objective evidence and provide a clear picture of teaching practices

Sometimes there is a mismatch between what teachers perceive is happening in their classroom and what is really happening. Analyzing video offers teachers a clear picture of current reality.

One of the biggest challenges for instructional coaches can be trying to guide teachers who don’t directly report to them or who might not agree with a particular point of view.

When coaches or administrators drive coaching discussions with video evidence from the AI Coach professional development platform or Video Coaching solution the discussion is data-driven, the evidence is right there on the video for reflection and discussion.

This video evidence can help the discussion feel more objective rather than subjective. Video helps teachers see themselves the way students do, and that can go a long way toward identifying blind spots that can be gold mines for improving instruction.

Here’s how Instructional Coach Jared Kennedy of Spokane Public Schools in Washington describes his experience using video, specifically the AI Coach platform, to amplify instructional coaching.

Enhance coaching with more collaborative, in-depth conversations

Teachers who engage in video-based coaching come to in-person coaching sessions more prepared to go deeper than they would otherwise.

Instead of spending the limited in-person time listening to the coach or administrator tell the teacher what they saw, teachers can come prepared with their own reflections and goals. This turns the traditional coaching session from a passive, information-gathering session for the teacher into an active, collaborative coaching conversation.

Coaches see accelerated impact within the coaching process, allowing teachers to apply what they’ve learned right away and increasing the amount of improvement they can achieve in a given year.

Teaching and Learning Coach Patty Hagan described the impact to eSchool News:

“In addition to helping teachers become more reflective practitioners, this [AI Coach] supports the in-person coaching already taking place. We are now able to have more data-driven conversations around specific teaching practices and the impact these practices have on student growth.”

Amplify and replicate teaching excellence

One of the most effective ways to improve instructional practice is to allow teachers to collaborate and share best practices.

Finding time and resources for teachers to finish all of their existing duties is hard enough. This means finding time and coverage to allow teachers to visit other classrooms is nearly impossible.

And for newer teachers to a district, they may simply not know what good (or better) teaching looks like.

Screenshot of a district video library inside Edthena showing videos and filtering options

Edthena Video Library can help schools solve this problem by helping them create a library of instructional videos featuring the teachers within the district. The benefit is that teachers can access the videos without leaving their classrooms.

By exposing teachers to exemplary instructional videos at their convenience, coaches and schools can help teachers grow and faithfully implement curriculum without waiting for an in-person visit.

When in-person coaching does happen, it can be a more collaborative, two-way conversation about how to apply best practices.

Enhancing instructional coaching with Edthena professional development platforms

The benefits of in-person instructional coaching are clear. Several constraints limit the amount of in-person coaching that is possible in a given school year.

By leveraging technology, schools and districts can effectively increase the amount of coaching teachers receive without adding instructional coaches. It’s important to note that these professional development solutions are designed to complement and enhance existing coaching strategies, not replace them entirely.

Contact us today to learn more about how Edthena professional development platforms for teachers can help amplify your instructional coaching.

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