Summitview Elementary Digs in to Instructional Coaching

Feb 28, 2023

The term “coaching” is widely used in education for what is happening in our building, but the truth is, it is more of a collaborative partnership around what a classroom teacher wants to help their students with. It is authentic, job-embedded professional learning that the teacher is looking for during a specific time period.

Our Summitview Elementary teachers have been getting into collaborative cycles with their Instructional Coach this school year. There have been a total of 4 full “coaching cycles” and numerous co-planning, teacher requested observations, and coaching conversations throughout the school year. Teachers Katie Heary and Alyssa Fink have been part of these full cycles this year, and decided to share their experiences.

“From the beginning, I was willing to be the OG for a coaching cycle and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I honestly thought a coach was going to come in and tell me what to do verses work with me to enhance what I already know and do in the classroom. So, speaking from a very ‘set in her way’ teacher, I liked it!” - Katie Heary

“Coaching has given me a new way to look at all kinds of things. I asked our coach to help me develop intentional small groups for instruction. It has helped me gain confidence in my abilities as a teacher.” - Alyssa Fink

Coaches generally won’t talk about what they are working on with teachers, however, Ms. Heary has been very open about her experience with other teachers. She wanted to collaborate around independent centers and active learning for students. She and coach, Jennifer Sanderson, worked on these strategies around Washington State Learning Standard 1.OA.1: ”Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems…”

On Tuesday, February 28, District coaches will have the opportunity to participate in a coaching lab at Summitview Elementary. Participating teachers have invited their Instructional Coach at Summitview, along with other West Valley School District coaches to collaborate on student-centered strategies focusing on standards-driven instruction.

Thank you to our participating Summitview Elementary teachers for being willing to open your classrooms to our District instructional coaching team!