Jamie's Mini Course


Return to: ETAP 623 FALL 2015 - Byrne & Zhang section 8550 | Jamie's Portfolio Page


Coaching has become a prevalent part of teaching culture for good reason. Observation and coaching is a great way to recognize existing talent and support those who are less experienced. However, some people still have a negative, or evaluative, association with the word "observation," and others feel that implementing observation and coaching will be too costly and difficult. For this course, I will focus on the importance of coaching for professional growth, models for coaching, and an easy way to implement cost-free virtual observation and coaching.

Learners will be able to:
  • List the benefits of observation and coaching on their practice
  • Discuss two models of coaching
  • Describe the basic equipment needed for virtual observation and coaching
  • Create a plan for implementing virtual observation and coaching

Needs Assessment

In today’s teaching climate, around 17% of public school teachers leave before their fifth year of teaching (Brown, 2015). Often teachers cite feeling unsupported (Aguilar, 2013) and lack of space for professional growth as reasons for leaving the profession (Brown, 2015). Observation and coaching has been shown to be an effective way to provide teachers with a network of support, build their own skill sets, and it can also provide space for professional growth and leadership.

One problem with observation and coaching however is that many schools lack the resources and time for their more experienced teachers to travel and provide this level of support for newer teachers. Additionally, not all schools have a relevant match for new teachers. For example, there may be only one physics teacher in a rural district. Virtual observation and coaching is one cost-effective way for schools to provide strong support to their teachers even if they lack financial resources.

Performance Objectives

Learners will be able to identify the specific benefits and challenges of coaching as a professional development model within their school. (Remembering)

Learners will be able to identify the necessary prerequisites for virtual observation and coaching, including technical equipment and cultural readiness. (Remembering)

Learners will be able to recognize two distinct coaching models (GROW and SUCCESS), and produce coaching scripts that would support teachers using one of the models. (Remembering and Applying)

Given a readiness checklist and options for moving forward, learners will determine whether or not virtual observation and coaching is a good fit for their school and they will create a plan for moving toward implementation or further research. (Applying and Creating)

Course Units

Note: Frequently throughout each unit there are links, excerpts, or references to specific sites, videos, articles, etc. For extended reading, you can see a list of referenced links at the bottom of each unit. Additionally, there are links included that may not be specifically cited, but provide broader information or context to the subjects being covered.

Unit One

The Benefits and Challenges of Observation & Coaching for Professional Development

This unit will serve as an introduction to observation and coaching, specifically it will cover the benefits and challenges of using observation and coaching as a model of professional development for teachers. Learners will also be able to reflect on their own school and classroom to determine how observation and coaching could work to support their own development, and determine which challenges may need to be addressed prior to beginning the use of this type of model.


  1. The learner will review the research about the impact of observation and coaching on a teacher’s performance and longevity, as well the challenges of implementing this type of professional development model.
  2. The learner will watch a video to hear a teacher’s perspective on observation and coaching in the classroom.
  3. The learner will reflect on how observation and coaching could impact their own teaching practice.

Unit Two

Different Coaching Models

This unit will cover models of coaching. We will look at what makes coaching effective, how coaching models differ, and the ways in which coaching works well within a school setting. We will then practice creating a coaching script for a peer to see how this looks in practice


  1. The learner will hear about the different models for coaching, and the benefits and drawbacks to each model.
  2. The learner will watch a classroom video and practice using different coaching models to instruct a teacher.

Unit Three

Virtual Observation and Coaching

This unit will discuss the planning, equipment, and programs necessary to implement virtual observation and coaching within a classroom or school. We will inventory the resources available within our own environments to determine the best way to implement virtual observation and coaching within a given setting, and we will determine our own site's readiness to implement such a program.


  1. The learner will recognize the traits of a culture conducive to virtual observation and coaching.
  2. The learner will be able to list the different tools, equipment, and programs necessary to implement virtual observation and coaching, and identify gaps in their own school’s available tools.
  3. The learner will identify whether or not their classroom and school is a good match for a virtual observation and coaching, and determine a plan for implementation.