Use these questions based on Primetime for Coaching: Improving instructional coaching in early childhood education (2017) by Bonnie O’Keefe for Bellwether Education Partners to help you determine what coaching will look like in your program.
Theory of Change and Goals:
- What are the ultimate outcomes coaching aims to achieve?
- How will coaching change instruction in such a way that child outcomes improve?
- Which staff members receive coaching and how are they chosen?
- How much is coaching differentiated based on staff members’ needs?
- Who are the coaches and what training, guidance, and support do they receive?
- Do coaches serve one site or multiple sites?
- Are coaches employed by the provider or by an outside partner, researcher, or vendor?
- Is coaching their only responsibility or do they serve other roles?
- What skills and expertise do coaches need to have to be effective?
Dosage and Duration:
- How often do coaches and staff meet and for how long?
- Does coaching recur continuously or is it time-limited?
- How do coaches work with program administrators?
- How are leaders coached and supported, and what role do they play in evaluating or coaching classroom educators?
- What is the content of the coaching?
- Is it limited to certain skills, behaviors, or knowledge areas, such as literacy or social-emotional learning?
- Does the focus change over time?
- How strict or prescriptive are the expectations for the content of the coaching?
- What adult-learning or behavior-change strategies do coaches use in their interactions with educators?
- How do coaches build relationships and trust with educators?
- How consistent are coaches in their approach?
- How does coaching fit into the professional development and staff evaluation strategy, curricula, and structure of the program overall?
- How is coaching funded and is that funding sustainable over the long term?
- Do coaches and staff meet in person or use virtual strategies, such as video chat or email?
Measurement and Evaluation:
- How is program success evaluated, and how does that evaluation inform action or changes to coaching approaches?
- What metrics measure the outcomes of coaching?