Using the Classroom Checkup in Coaching

I made a Thinglink to summarize and extend the ideas presented in Chapter 5 about the Classroom Checkup (CCU) model.

The authors stress the importance of multiple classroom observations after the intervention for performance feedback (to check if the desired performance levels have been attained) and to see if disruptive behaviour has decreased.

The CCU is a model that coaches can use in working with teachers. To be effective at creating change in a school, the coach must work with other leaders to remove barriers to change. Clear communication, shared vision, and the use of data to back up claims will help create an environment that is supportive of change with a good relationship between participants. Clear communication is especially important to make sure that the relationship remains one of partnership, and support.

As I complete this chapter, I can see the importance of classroom management coaching. It’s an area where teachers are often expected to learn on the job. A new teacher may not be aware of the options for positive classroom management, and could build his skills and cognition of the concept through coaching. As a new teacher 12 years ago, I could have benefited from coaching in this area, and I’ve had many conversations with new teachers struggling to manage their classrooms. Yes, there are books and other content available to teachers but teachers can often be overwhelmed, and may benefit from additional support. Out of the models presented, I like the CCU, but modeling is not presented as a component. I think that teachers can build different types of understanding from reading, observation, action, and am curious how to integrate modeling into the CCU. However, in the stages of coaching, I wondered how the coach decides which techniques to model. Is it more beneficial for modeling to happen after exploring the data or before? Can modeling serve different purposes if done before and after teacher observation? I think that it may be most useful to model the chosen intervention, which is decided upon exploration of the data, but I think that the coach has to be careful to present her teaching as one style, rather than the only style, for implementing the chosen intervention.

This post is part of a larger series based on the book Coaching Approaches & Perspectives edited by Jim Knight. This post is based on sections of Chapter 5: Classroom Management. Visit the Coaching category for other related posts.

Book Citation: Knight, J. (Ed.). (2008). Coaching: Approaches and perspectives. Corwin Press.

The Role of the Coach in Coaching Classroom Management

My last post looked at the role of the administrator in Coaching Classroom Management. One of the roles of the administrator is to select coaches. They may also refer teachers to coaches. It is important that the relationship between the coach and the teacher is one of mutual interest and benefit, and that teachers don’t see coaching as punishment or obstacle.

Before beginning the cycle, coaches must be well versed in the intervention so that they can support teachers with simple, accurate information, examples and analogies. It also helps the coaching relationship if coaches are helpful, supportive and non-threatening with good communication and interpersonal skills. Chapter 3 presented seven components of the coaching cycle. I will review the main ideas here.

Enroll the teacher: Find teachers interested in improving their classroom management who would like to work with the coach.

Identify interventions: Use classroom observation and information from teachers and students to find out the current conditions in the classroom. Use this information to determine what to focus the coaching on.

Explain the process: The coach should clearly explain the best practice and the coaching process including data collection and feedback.

Model techniques: The use of modeling is important for showing what the intervention looks like. The teacher can use the same instrument that will be used in classroom observations to focus her attention on the behaviors relevant to improving classroom management.

Observe the teacher: Teacher observation is useful for identifying what intervention to implement, and to assess progress in changing classroom behavior. The coach and teacher should have clearly defined roles before, during and after the observation.

Explore the data: This is a non-evaluative component of the coaching process. The goal of exploring the data is for joint learning by the two parties to better plan and manage the success of the intervention.

Review results: An After Action Review (AAR) is useful feedback for the coaching to find out the relationship between the outcomes and the goals, with opportunities to modify the approach and learn from the experience. Reflection allows the opportunity to adjust coaching practice for better results in student learning.

The steps of modeling, observation and exploration of the data are part of a cycle of Revise, Review and Monitor.

Sprick, Knight, Reinke, & McKale, 2007 as cited in Knight, 2008, p. 104

Sprick, Knight, Reinke, & McKale, 2007 as cited in Knight, 2008, p. 104

This post is part of a larger series based on the book Coaching Approaches & Perspectives edited by Jim Knight. This post is based on sections of Chapter 5: Classroom Management. Visit the Coaching category for other related posts.

Book Citation: Knight, J. (Ed.). (2008). Coaching: Approaches and perspectives. Corwin Press.

The Role of the Administrator in Coaching Classroom Management

The school/building administrator is crucial in the success of any coaching structure. In coaching classroom management, it is important for the head of school or principal to envision the classroom and school environment that she would like for students and teachers, and determine the program/method that will be used for classroom management. One such program is CHAMPS which defines the behavioral expectations in a classroom/school for each activity. It addresses Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement and Participation. There are many different choices of programs, and the administrator should choose one that has been researched and validated for success. The best programs include considerations of five areas for behavior management, labeled STOIC. The STOIC planning strategy can also be applied in coaching teachers.

Knight, 2008, p. 97 as cited from Sprick et al., 2007

Knight, 2008, p. 97 as cited from Sprick et al., 2007

Training, support and evaluation are crucial for the implementation of any behavior management system. Staff training should be ongoing with strategies for training new teachers who may have missed several training sessions. It can be helpful to maintain regular sessions between coaches and new teachers for appropriate training and support; the administrator can structure this approach. The administrator is also instrumental in supporting the coaches in their professional growth through ongoing training and networking opportunities.

To ensure that training and support are effective, evaluation is important. Evaluation does not need to be punitive or threatening for the teacher. By using well-defined protocols for short walk-throughs, administrators can observe the teacher and students to evaluate progress. The administrator can use these observations for positive and corrective feedback, and to determine if the teacher would benefit from working with a coach. The administrator is the best guide for teachers in pairing them with appropriate coaches; thisĀ  confirms that the administrator values coaching. The administrator is key in the cycle of coaching within a school. “The administrator wears many hats toward shaping classroom management: to develop a vision for the school, choose a classroom management model, arrange training in that model, inform staff of what is expected, monitor implementation, provide feedback to staff, and encourage teachers to seek out coaches” (Knight, 2008, p. 100).

Did you learn about any classroom management models at university? I loved my Maths Education professor at University of Ottawa and found her class engaging and interesting. I remember that we had to do a presentation related to classroom management. My memory of the specifics is vague by I remember presenting in a group about Keller’s ARC Model. I just had to look it up as all I remembered was that it was useful for motivating students. To be more specific, it’s relevant to instructional design. There are definitely similarities between the two models, probably due to the fact that the ARCS model helps Structure the class for success and incorporates other elements of effective behavior management such a monitoring and feedback. There are many well documented, researched, positive, proactive models for improving student and teacher success. How can we do a better job of moving this theory to practice? It seems to me that the approach of training and supporting teachers in classroom management once they’re employed in a school is the best approach to building teacher efficacy in effective classroom management. A community of practice and a coach would be helpful in providing support for developing capacity with the approach, as well as providing an environment for the thoughtful implementation of the method with support in the deep thinking processes for lasting change in addition to the modification of practice.

This post is part of a larger series based on the book Coaching Approaches & Perspectives edited by Jim Knight. This post is based on sections of Chapter 5: Classroom Management. Visit the Coaching category for other related posts
Book Citation: Knight, J. (Ed.). (2008). Coaching: Approaches and perspectives. Corwin Press.

Coaching Classroom Management

As a student teacher in Ottawa, Canada, I had two practicum experiences. In one of my placements, I worked with a teacher in a Grade 9 Mathematics class. I remember being overwhelmed and stressed when I had to teach the class. I had no worries about the Maths content, but I had no idea how I would manage the class. In my weeks of observation, I had seen few effective strategies demonstrated by the teacher, and felt poorly prepared to teach.

Chapter 4: Coaching Classroom Management is written by Wendy M. Reinke, Randy Sprick and Jim Knight. The authors discuss the importance of good classroom management strategies for student and teacher success in the classroom. It is difficult for teachers to focus on other classroom issues, such as learning, when they have to deal with many behaviour problems. This makes it crucial for teachers to learn how to effectively manage their classroom. However, it is difficult for teachers to change their classroom management without adequate practice and support. While it can be useful for teachers to encounter new classroom management approaches and strategies at conferences, this is seldom effective in changing the teacher’s classroom because the teacher does not get an opportunity to internalize the approach. Unless a teacher has internalized a classroom management strategy (through practice), he will revert to his approaches that are familiar and thereby more accessible in the high stress situation of classroom misbehaviour. In addition to practicing the strategy, teachers need support during the process of changing their classroom management because one change in the classroom may cause other changes. A coach is necessary for teacher’s support as she can help the teacher anticipate the impact of an intervention on the students and classroom environment, and can observe the classroom to provide feedback to the teacher for determining when the intervention has become entrenched in the routines of the classroom. For coaching of classroom management to be effective, the administration of the school needs to clearly define the vision of coaching, establish the roles of the participants and provide training and accountability measures to support the attainment of the vision.

This post is part of a larger series based on the book Coaching Approaches & Perspectives edited by Jim Knight. This post is based on sections of Chapter 5: Classroom Management. Visit the Coaching category for other related posts.
Book Citation: Knight, J. (Ed.). (2008). Coaching: Approaches and perspectives. Corwin Press