5 P’s of Meaningful Conversations as a Teacher Coach

Having meaningful conversations with teachers as an instructional coach is key to their growth and development. Providing professional development, facilitating professional learning community meetings, and engaging in coaching cycles are the bread and butter of instructional coaching. However, teacher leaders often leave little room for authentic conversations in their support plan. These conversations can be put on a calendar and planned out while still being authentic and practical.

5 P's of Meaningful Conversations as a Teacher CoachBelow are 5 steps called “The 5 P’s” that will help teacher coaches lead meaningful conversations with teachers.

  1. Purpose– Set intention for the meeting. Why is this conversation important to have? How might this conversation propel the instructional capacity of the teacher? Share this intention with the teacher prior to meeting.
  2. Preparedness– Every meeting with teachers should be held with high regard. We take time to thoroughly prepare so as not to waste anyone’s time. We value their workload and ensure we have all materials gathered and a plan to execute.
  3. Plan– An agenda allows both the coach and teacher to know the flow of the meeting. This can be shared with the teacher ahead of time or a copy can be shared during the meeting. This outline provides structure to the conversation, keeps it on topic, and calms anxiety of the unknown with a roadmap of expectations for the time spent together. (Need an agenda? This guide should help!)
  4. Pause- Supporting the growth of a teacher requires time. Teachers need to comprehend and process the information you provide. They need to reflect on their practice and how your feedback aligns with their perspective on their performance. They even need time to design a course of action. By pausing throughout the conversation, the teacher can think and meaningfully contribute.
  5. Preview– Before wrapping things up, the coach should recap the conversation and provide a preview for what is to come next. Following up and following through on a teacher’s next steps ensures they are able to be successful implementing feedback in their growth area(s).

Coaches who follow these 5 P’s for meaningful conversations will have greater success bringing teachers’ instructional capacity to fruition.

Are you in need of more professional development to continue your learning as a teacher leader? Browse these professional development and instructional coaching resources!





How do you have meaningful conversations as a coach?

About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.