The challenge of coaching all your teachers (at scale)

Research confirms that individualized instructional coaching for teachers increases their teaching effectiveness and student performance in the classroom. As a result, school districts are pouring resources into professional development, specifically coaching. The challenge many districts are now facing is how to provide coaching for ALL their teachers.

A recent study by Education Next, found that many districts are struggling to develop coaching at scale. As coaching programs grow, there seems to be a diminishing return on effectiveness.

Here are a few common challenges schools face with coaching all their teachers:

  • COST - Coaching, by its nature, is individualized and personal. It requires a lot of time and effort from an instructional coach or principal to effectively coach a teacher. Figuring out how to provide this attention to a large group of teachers is a challenge. 

  • UNIQUE TEACHERS - Every one of your teachers is unique with different personalities, goals for the future, and teaching environments. Developing a coaching system that can offer individualized coaching for all your teachers is difficult. 

  • COACH CONSISTENCY - To coach all teachers means that you also have to increase your number of coaches. In a competitive job market with budget restraints, it is difficult to find and hire more coaches. When you do find them, how do you train them so they provide consistent coaching experiences? 

  • STANDARDIZED SYSTEMS & METRICS - How do you engage and interact with all of your coaches and teachers? How do you measure the effectiveness of different coaching experiences across a broad number of people? A one-size fits all approach to coaching will leave a number of people frustrated and disengaged. It also becomes difficult to have insight into the impact on your investment.

  • SCHOOL CULTURE - Teaching is a very individualized activity. Teachers often close their doors and live in their own worlds as they focus on their students and classroom. To engage all teachers in coaching (even the reluctant ones) it must be modeled and championed from the top down to create a school culture where people are given permission to grow, experiment, and collaborate. 

At iAspire we are passionate about seeing teachers grow and believe that effective coaching is essential. We’ve developed an approach using the latest technologies, such as machine learning, along with the latest research based coaching advances to provide a solution where all of your teachers can experience high quality coaching in a budget-friendly way.

We don’t want to replace individualized one-on-one coaching by instructional coaches (we actually think there should be more!) iAspire offers a complementary solution that allows administrators to offer embedded coaching to ALL their teachers while freeing up instructional coaches to focus on the teachers that need their attention most.

Coaching Effectiveness at Scale

“Looking at the size of coaching programs, we find that the average effectiveness of the coaching program declines as the number of teachers involved increases, suggesting the difficulty of successfully taking such programs to scale.”

- Education Next Study “Taking Teacher Coaching To Scale”

Scott Himes