Elementary Coaching Cycles

I am an elementary library media specialist who shares the tech coach role with one of the classroom teachers in our 1-to-1 iPad building to provide support for staff members. 

We would like to implement more effective coaching cycles so that teachers can better plan for and use technology to increase student learning.

What coaching strategies and approaches have worked well in your schools? What are the some of the biggest obstacles you have had to overcome? 

3 replies

February 12, 2023

Hello Jeff,

I would highly recommend the Apple Learning Coach program to both you and the teacher that is supporting coaching on campus.

Biggest Obstacle to overcome - feeling inadequate, not valuing the difference I am making because it doesn’t seem “big” enough. I think it’s easy to get caught in a negative thought process, especially when comparing yourself and your campus to others.

Coaching Strategies that work - I learned these two questions from an Apple Professional Learning Specialist (shoutout to Sherri) last week!

1.) Would you be willing to drive the iPad while I introduce it to your students?

This helps the teacher have confidence in trying something new, while providing the safety net of you introducing the new tool. It also forces the teacher to utilize the app/tool while you guide them.

2.) While I’m in your room, would you like me to be more of a fly on the wall or involved with students?

Asking permission to be involved gives them power and allows you to earn their trust by keeping your word in their room.

I hope this response helps! I’m interested to see what others say :)

February 13, 2023


I am by no means an authority, but I run a dedicated teacher coaching center in my school. Here are a few things that have worked well for us.

  1. Start with WHAT the teacher wants to improve rather than a specific piece of software. For example, sometimes the teacher who thinks they need help in one area (e.g. an app) will find a different app more useful. You only know what to suggest if you know what they are trying to do overall.
  2. Start small. Always better to coach 3 people well, including regular check-ins and the ability to teach shoulder to shoulder than 10 people at surface value.
  3. Feature the small wins, not just the best examples. The work of your top tech 10% will scare a majority of staff. Share a few examples of how a teacher has transformed a learning experience using simple tech skills to get people on board and believing the technology is within their grasp.

February 14, 2023

I don't have the answers, but maybe some thoughts as you work through this process. I really think there really are two types of resistant teachers: Those that are scared of technology and those that are scared of change. I, personally, would try to get a system in place for those that are scared of the technology, first. Maybe this looks like:

  1. you teaching their class for a lesson so they can see the technology in action,
  2. co-planning to help set them up for success
  3. co-teaching the lesson so you are there for support for when "nothing works"

I'm not sure what your schedule looks like, but this might be a good way to help those that are nervous about the technology.

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