In-classroom coaching implemented to elevate quality in our centers.
Recent research is challenging the traditional notion of teacher professional development. Instead of teachers attending workshops or trainings outside of their workplace, early childhood teachers often learn best and implement effective instructional strategies through on-site coaching.
Evidence suggests when teacher learning is grounded in day-to-day practice, linked to curriculum, and informed by analyzing children and family data, children’s outcomes are more likely to be enhanced and teachers are more likely to continue to improve their practices.
That is why we have implemented three classroom quality coaches to work with our Day Early Learning staff, thanks to the support from the Lilly Endowment.
The coaches are a part of the centers’ teams as trusted partners who understand the specific needs of the teachers and can respond accordingly. Coaches observe teachers in the classroom, provide on-the-spot guidance, and spend time in reflection and planning with teachers, ensuring lesson plans and activities are intentional and effective.
In addition to supporting teachers, the coaches also advise directors on how to sustain a high level of continuous quality improvement. Coaches work with teachers and directors to create a professional development plan that helps staff map out their goals and plans to grow in their field.
This level of intensive, customized support is known to have a strong impact on teaching quality and child outcomes, and we are excited for this opportunity to continue to raise the quality of our own Day Early Learning centers.
But we won’t stop there. Early Learning Indiana is uniquely positioned to model and refine this new and innovative practice in our centers, so that we can then help other programs and providers across the state more effectively adopt and be successful in these approaches.