In a recent Educational Leadership article entitled, “The Power of Virtual Coaching”, the idea of coaching a teacher while they are actually teaching in a discreet manor is discussed…. Through mobile communication devices, the teacher and coach can connect whiel a teacher is carrying out a lesson. With an ear piece in place, the teacher listens to feeback from the coach that listens to their teaching methods in a another room.
I see both pros and cons to this method of coaching… Instructional / Literacy coaches are often in a difficult position when they have to observe a teacher. Teachers are often threatened by the whole idea and feel a sense of pressure when being provided with constructive criticism. If something liek thsi were to take place for me, I would make it priority to praise the teacher on the appropriate language and strategy choices that they make. I would also offer subtle tips while listening in, but avoid overwhelming the teacher with critical remarks whiel the lesson is being carried out. Doing that could certainly cause a lot of anxiety for a teacher and weaken the overall lesson success.
I like the idea of being able to listen in, without actually being in the room because I think that teachers will feel less pressure than having a physical observation. The positive reinforcement that the coach whispers in thei ear could really motivate them! However, I think that the coach should still take notes and discuss the majority of problematic strategies after the actual lesson in a face to face setting.
Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined here, but it’s a great way to combine coaching with technology overall!