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Using SchoolMint Grow for Teacher Coaching in School Districts

4 min read
May 24, 2023 8:00:00 AM

Building coaching capacity across a district is hard. Make instructional coaching successful in each school with SchoolMint Grow!

As a district leadership team, you spent months (maybe even years) setting a vision for instructional coaching in your district.

You engaged teachers, principals, instructional coaching experts, and data gurus in countless surveys, meetings, and planning sessions. You designed an instructional coaching model, got it approved, and enacted a communication plan to ensure all stakeholders were bought in and ready to hit the ground running on day one.

Then you sat down to figure out how you’ll track all of this instructional coaching data so you can see how each school is doing…and you had a painful realization: a spreadsheet just isn’t going to cut it.

Managing instructional coaching data for one school is hard. Now multiply that by 20. Or 50. Or 100.

With the time and resources invested in developing a district-wide instructional coaching system, it’s critical that your team has an easy way to track implementation and teacher growth to show progress.

Some schools adopt instructional coaching with ease, but others need help with answering questions, such as:

  • Which schools are observing and evaluating teachers regularly? Which schools need help getting started with instructional coaching?
  • How do we turn sit-and-get professional development into sessions that are tailored to teachers’ unique growth needs?
  • With what instructional skills are elementary ELA teachers struggling? What about our middle school math teachers?
  • We just got our interim results back, and we need to kick it into high gear. How do I ensure each of my schools are coaching on our new instructional priorities to maximize the time they spend with teachers?

Observe, Meet, Repeat: How Do I Get All of Our Teachers Better Faster?

Many districts are legally required to evaluate teachers for compliance purposes, but many more are looking for ways to help teachers improve their practice incrementally throughout the school year, when their growth can still have a positive impact on classroom outcomes.

Thousands of districts have adopted the practice of instructional coaching across their schools to move the needle on teacher practice.

Rather than teachers receiving just one 60-minute observation per year for the purpose of evaluation, school leaders now spend 10–15 minutes in classrooms on a weekly or monthly basis, observing for one high-leverage action step a teacher can take to improve their practice in the next week.

With instructional coaching, leaders and teachers meet to debrief the observation and collaboratively set an action step for growth.

This style of instructional coaching makes teachers engaged and energized because they are constantly growing and supported, and it makes it easy for leaders to be tied into what’s happening in classrooms.Subscribe to the schoolmint blog ad

Square Peg, Round Hole: Spreadsheets Don’t Work for Managing Instructional Coaching or Teacher Evaluation

...and forget about tracking both.

Districts getting started often try to manage instructional coaching using spreadsheets but quickly run into problems:

  • Managing multiple spreadsheets for hundreds of teachers across multiple schools is unwieldy and almost comically impractical.
  • Schools often track different things for instructional coaching and evaluation, doubling the number of tabs required to manage both.
  • Spreadsheet data is difficult to protect, putting sensitive teacher performance information at risk.
  • One errant click can erase valuable formulas and data.
  • Protected spreadsheets make it nearly impossible to share feedback in an efficient or timely manner.

…But Teacher Evaluation Platforms Don’t Make it Easy to Track Coaching, Either

Some districts swing the other way and try to force instructional coaching into their outdated, clunky evaluation platforms that were made only for scoring rubrics and printing reports once a year.

With these platforms, it’s nearly impossible to capture action steps, track observation frequency, or analyze instructional coaching trends happening across schools.Overcoming-Guide-Blog-Image

SchoolMint Grow Makes it Possible

A platform like SchoolMint Grow was built to manage both instructional coaching and teacher evaluation.

While we believe frequent instructional coaching is the key to helping teachers get better faster, SchoolMint understands that districts are required to evaluate teachers.

SchoolMint Grow was built to make it super easy to do both.

We also know that some districts are required to keep instructional coaching and teacher evaluation separate. We can help with that, too!

SchoolMint Grow is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that:

  • Gives schools and districts one home for everything related to instructional coaching and/or teacher evaluation.
  • Lets district and school leaders see real-time data on classroom observation frequency, action steps, and instructional coaching trends (in addition to standard teacher evaluation reports).
  • Enables district leaders to quickly identify which schools need help implementing instructional coaching.
  • Engages teachers and leaders by enabling them to see how their work during instructional coaching sessions is moving the needle forward.
  • Lets the right people see the right data at the right time.

Why SchoolMint Grow?

SchoolMint Grow was born out of necessity from a school team that needed a better way to track instructional coaching. Designed by a principal, SchoolMint Grow is built with schools and districts in mind:

  • Intuitive and ridiculously easy to use. SchoolMint Grow offers you one digital home for classroom observation and feedback lets you track instructional coaching and teacher evaluation across ALL of your schools.
  • Built-in instructional coaching best practices structure feedback work in your schools around proven coaching strategies.
  • Flexible and customizable. SchoolMint knows every district is different. That’s why we made it easy to customize SchoolMint Grow with your specific instructional coaching and/or teacher evaluation process.
  • Built for district teams. Instructional coaching analytics will make it easy for your academic team to plan and prioritize targeting professional development and instructional support. Easy exports will make end of year teacher evaluation reporting simple for your HR team. And your data team will love that our open API lets them pull any and all data wherever it needs to go, whenever!

Ready to see SchoolMint Grow in action for yourself?

Request a free demo here, and we’ll get you set up with one of our friendly coaching experts!

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