My involvement with instructional coaching began in 2004 and remains to this day. Through a PDE initiative called the PA High School Coaching Initiative (PAHSCI), we were able to promote two premier teachers as instructional coaches. The support and leadership the coaches were able to provide to their colleagues through PAHSCI transformed the teaching-learning process, thus increasing student achievement and student engagement in the classrooms. The PDE initiative then grew into what is now PIIC, the Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching.
Moving to a new district in 2014, I brought coaching to the staff and continued our involvement in PIIC. The three instructional coaches led transformational changes in the classroom. The staff appreciated their independent feedback and support from these respected educational colleagues. Ultimately, the main beneficiaries were the students who were supported by the teachers who were supported by their instructional coaches.
For me, instructional coaching has become a valuable cog in the professional support for teachers, professional growth of teachers and sustaining instructional practices that engage students in learning.
Dr. G. Brian Toth
St. Marys Area School District, PA