Core Coaching Moves for Teacher Leaders

In a recent learning experience with teacher leaders in my mastermind, we discussed core coaching moves. There comes a time when you have acquired a toolkit of strategies to lead others. After the acquisition phase, it’s time to perfect your barometer for knowing which strategy or tool is best used in specific situations. Part of understanding how to execute is knowing what you are working with and prioritizing those options. This post will discuss this process of gathering, categorizing, and executing core coaching moves.

Core Coaching Moves for Teacher LeadersGather

Engage in a quick self-reflection.

  • What actions do you take consistently?
  • What thoughts do you think often?
  • Which words do you use daily?

Begin making a list of your core coaching moves – habits you have developed over time. Don’t limit yourself to moves that you think are negative or need to be changed. Focus on making your list without considering ramifications.

You might want to even add coaching moves you have seen or experienced others use on a daily basis. These might be things you want to add into your repertoire over time. Check out my list of core coaching moves that I myself have used for years and know to be extremely effective in helping staff and students grow to their potential.

Analyze and Categorize

Now that you have your list, it’s time to make sense of the moves on the list. Engage in an analysis, asking yourself questions like:

  • “Is this a strategy to use with everyone or just a specific subset of individuals?”
  • “Can I use this daily or is it better served under certain circumstances?”
  • “Is this something to say or do publicly or privately?”

Shift items in your list by priority from every day use to specific, unique purposes.


Now that you planned out your coaching moves and prepared for when and how to use them, it’s time to execute! These are strategies that you will use to increase your effectiveness in leading teachers and students. You will begin to rely on these core strategies and others will ask you “wow, how did you do x, y, z?” Then you can confidently explain what you do, how you do it, and most importantly, why it works.

Tracking your core coaching moves is one way to remain an effective teacher leader!

If you’re looking for ways to expand your leadership skillset, consider joining an elite group of teacher leaders (instructional coach, specialist, PD facilitator, administrator, etc.) in my fall or spring Teacher Leader Mastermind cohorts. We virtually meet every other week to learn new leadership strategies, share our expertise, problem solve challenges, set and track goals and more!





What are your core coaching moves?


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.