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Quality Coaching

by Emmalie Dropkin
March/April 2013
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/quality-coaching/5021072/

A national conversation has been ­going on for many years about how best to prepare teachers, throughout early childhood and K-12 education. There are many opinions about exactly what combination of credentials, experiences, professional development, and temperament is ideal.

Changes made in the Head Start Act of 2007 required half of all Head Start teachers to hold bachelor’s degrees by 2013: a benchmark met and passed in 2012. However, regardless of credentials, every teacher has room to grow, and programs have continued to explore the best strategies for providing effective professional development and helping teachers improve both their own practices and student outcomes. One model that has become increasingly popular in recent years is coaching (also called mentoring), in which professional development is delivered not in lecture or workshop format on designated days, but through ongoing relationships between indivi­duals.

Instruction is much more effective when it engages the learner in self-directed activities in a supportive environment. Coaching and mentoring practices offer each teacher individualized professional development to ensure their students grow and excel, which is the ultimate goal of everyone committed to providing the best care and education to young children.

In 2009, Head Start programs had an opportunity to apply for grants ...

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