MAX Teaching also provides coaching services for individual teachers and/or small groups within school systems in the form of embedded professional development. Such individualized staff development may involve meeting with staff members individually or in small groups in their buildings to develop, implement, and execute literacy-based instruction. This may include assisting staff members in developing effective lesson plans that are based on the MAX Teaching framework of instruction and aligned to industry, state and common core academic standards, if applicable, or it may include co-teaching, observations, and feedback on classroom procedures. Embedded coaching may also include facilitating the development and practice of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) among the staff to create a culture of in-house collaboration. This will allow staff members to work together toward a common school culture of developmental professionalism.
Typically, the process is to start the day, before first period, meeting with the teacher(s) to be coached in order to find out about who they are, introduce oneself as a coach, and explain the PLC process we plan to use during the day. After that, the coach models a classroom activity with the participants, using a professional article or other relevant reading. We often use an article related to some general concept that permeates the MAX Teaching process --- formative assessment & feedback for instance --- while modeling one or more classroom activities such as a guided reading procedure, or paired reading, or INSERT or whatever. After debriefing on this opening activity, the consultant models the activity it in a classroom of one of the participating teachers, followed again by debriefing. The next step is to get one or more of the participants to do a similar activity in one of their own classrooms with the others watching and providing feedback afterward.
MAX Teaching requires a commitment by the school to a minimum of twenty days of of embedded coaching during the school calendar year, the exact dates to be mutually determined and agreed upon by the school, staff, and MAX Teaching. Several options are available:
Working with one teacher for the day. MAX Teaching will model, observe, coach, co-teach, aid in lesson planning, and shadow a single teacher for the day.
Work with two teachers for the day, one-half day each.
Work with up to five or six teachers.
Other formats can be tailored to the situation through agreement with the school and MAX Teaching.
Embedded coaching will require the administrator to select or target which teachers they would like to have coached during the visits. Many schools and school systems see the opportunity for 20 to 60 days of embedded coaching to be an economically attractive alternative to hiring an in-house literacy coach.
Participating teachers usually email or fax their readings and class objectives to MAX Teaching before the embedded coaching visit. This way the consultant knows in advance what s/he will be practicing or observing in order to provide appropriate modeling and feedback to the teachers involved.
It is important to note that we will NOT be evaluating teachers for the administration. One cannot be a coach and a cop at the same time. We seek to build a relationship of trust and support with the staff. However, we can report to the administrator which strategies we see demonstrated and offer suggestions for further implementation of MAX Teaching at the site.
This form of coaching is not meant to be a substitute for the staff development and modeling that we already provide to schools and school systems. In fact, a prerequisite for obtaining this coaching is that the participating teachers have already experienced the normal MAX Teaching preparation in the form of two or more days of staff development and modeling in the classroom.
One-on-one coaching is the next step once teachers understand the relevance of a curriculum that provides limitless opportunities for feedback and formative assessment. This is an opportunity to take the best teachers, and make them better. It is an opportunity to help all teachers improve their skills.
Embedded coaching varies from school to school, and from day to day, depending on which teachers are involved, and how many. We like to work with three to five teachers together at the same time on each of the days scheduled. It all depends on the needs of the school and how well the school sets it up. Sometimes, we work with only one teacher for the day. If the school has a literacy coach, we request that that person be involved in the coaching efforts as well so that the process can be carried on after we leave the school. Often, one of the goals of this effort is to help the literacy coach to become comfortable with doing the embedded coaching independently once our work is finished.
Classroom Activities for Helping Students Learn New Subject Matter While Acquiring Literacy Skills.
Classroom Demonstrations of Reading & Writing Activities that Help Students Learn New Subject Matter while Acquiring Literacy Skills. (Set of 4 DVDs)