What does a day in the life of an instructional coach look like?
This is one post of many in the Instructional Coach Blog Series. Catch up on the series below:
- Preparing the behind-the-scenes tasks of an instructional coach
- How to set up your instructional coaching space
- Conducting a classroom observation with clarity and precision
- Providing models of expert teaching through coaching
- Coaching cycle– what is it and how do I conduct one?
- Advice to a first year instructional coach
- How to transition from a teaching role into a coaching role
Since the role of an instructional coach is somewhat new for many schools and districts, how they are utilized vary campus to campus. Regardless of the variety of duties, student achievement and teacher proficiency are top priorities for any instructional coach.
This post aims to answer what tasks typically occur daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly for instructional coaches. (Note: This post is based on my experience as an instructional coach for new teachers across a large K-12 school district in Charlotte, North Carolina.)
Typical Daily Tasks
Although each day looks slightly different based on unforeseen variables (ie. impromptu meetings or weather delays) or where that particular day falls on the calendar (ie. deadlines etc.), a day in the life of an instructional coach can look like the following:
- Duty (carpool line or bus lot, greeting staff and students, etc.)
- Classroom observations
- Observation debriefs
- Team planning meetings
- Technique instruction, demonstrations and discussion
- Admin check-ins
- Clerical work (review appointment calendar, check emails, confer to-do list, etc.)
- Office hours
(To see a visual description of how coaches spend their time daily click here.)
Typical Weekly Tasks
There are some tasks that do not occur daily, but must be completed weekly. Examples of those are:
- Teacher lesson plan review and feedback
- Co-teaching or live modeling
- Material and resource organization and check-out systems
- Professional development sessions for staff
- Admin debriefs on teacher performance and trends
- Task planning and preparation
- Staff meetings
Typical Monthly Tasks
There are some tasks that do not occur daily or weekly, but must be completed monthly. Examples of those are:
- School wide data digs
- School newsletter
- Parent communication
- Content or technique training
- District meetings
- Student test administration
- Student clubs
- School website updates
Typical Quarterly Tasks
There are some tasks that do not occur daily, weekly, or monthly but must be completed quarterly. Examples of those are:
- Teacher performance level discussions + goal setting
- School wide event planning, management and execution
- Text book accountability
- Grant writing
- School goals documentation
A Quick Note
There will be tasks that you are asked to complete that have very little to do with your coaching role. In fact, many contracts are written such that “other duties assigned” will cover any last minute requests from administrators. Examples would be providing tech support for staff and students, overseeing student discipline, running errands, substituting or writing lesson plans for a substitute teacher, answering front office phones, providing first aid, etc.
- If there are a variety of individuals in your school building that support teachers, you might be wondering how to divvy up those duties. Click here for a list.
- You might even want to just share with teachers what the role looks how and how you will interact with each other. Click here to access that list of responsibilities.
- If you are in need of coaching forms, you can click here for the bundle as well as peruse them individually.
What does a typical day look like for you as an instructional coach?