Learning within the classroom: A phenomenological study of instructional literacy coaches
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Increasing student achievement is a primary focus for teachers and administrators in school systems and federal agencies. Many mandates require these organizations to implement professional development sessions with teachers. This is often done through a single workshop with little to no follow up, which has proven to have minimal results in changing teachers’ instructional practices. One professional development model that is gaining interest is instructional coaching. However, additional information s needed to understand the relational nuances that occur between coaches and teachers. The purpose of this study was to identify the activities and actions in a coach-teacher partnership found in the instructional coaching model. In this qualitative phenomenological study, the researcher explored the instructional coaches’ perceptions of the activities and actions that are important when building and maintaining coach-teacher partnerships and understanding which activities and actions impacted changes to teachers’ literacy practices. The participants in this study were purposefully selected and consisted of reading specialists/coaches who had at least 3 years of experience in elementary schools. The data collected from the individual interviews were transcribed and coded, which led to themes revealing the activities and actions within a coach-teacher partnership and the essence of supporting teachers’ learning. Identifying the activities and actions that support coach-teacher partnerships and facilitate shifts in teachers’ instructional practices may help school systems implement instructional coaching as one method of supporting teachers’ professional learning.