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Instructional Coaching with the End in Mind 12

collaboration of an instructional coach. Principals, too, would do well to know how to make effective use of coaches, and coaches need to know how to be part of building leadership teams. It’s all a partnership, with the end-user student benefting from the process and with society gaining overall. Teaching is complex. There is an amazing intricacy of decision making that teachers undertake through-out every day. As one develops a respect for teaching, it becomes impossible to imagine allowing teachers to work alone. The process of learning and teaching is just too multifaceted for one person to handle. Doing so might even border on malpractice.

The impact of coaching on teaching depends greatly on the system and quality of coaching programs put in place. Many schools have em-braced peer coaching programs, a viable way for teachers to coach one another on specifc skills and techniques and one that works in tandem with instructional coaches. Some schools have received grants, federal incentives, or stimulus monies to create and develop peer coaching pro-grams and/or instructional coaching positions for the improvement of teaching as a way to impact student achievement. In too many cases, however, coaches are placed in positions without suffcient training. Neither coaches nor principals nor, in most cases, faculty know how to obtain the great-est gain from this coaching resource. Without training, valuable coaches have been engaged in unrelated activities such as looking for additional resources or helping teachers cover lunch or re-cess—a sad waste of talent. As a consequence,

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