Instructional Coaching Strategies: How Does It Work?

Instructional Coaching

As an alternative to instructional coaching, professional development programs are often used by teaching professionals as a method of enhancing their skills. Several studies have shown that supporting and developing teachers is a good way to achieve this goal, and the fact that one-third of the teachers leave after just five years of qualifying is an important factor to note. As a result of ineffective teaching, disadvantaged children could fall behind by a whole year from their peers. The skills and tools they need to overcome challenges in the classroom are the reasons why NQTs and early-career teachers might benefit from instruction coaching. The skills of more experienced teachers can also be developed if they continue to learn and develop. As a result, there should be a chance for more students to receive a high-quality education and be taught by effective teachers.

How does instructional coaching work?

A professional provides one-on-one instruction to teachers in order to help them improve their performance and to improve the learning of their students through regular one-on-one sessions with an expert. As a coach, one may be an expert, a senior leader, a teacher who has been in this field for a long time, or even a novice teacher who can learn from someone who already has experience in this field (since everyone can improve on it).

It is a form of coaching in which the coach is observed regularly by the expert, who provides feedback on what and how to improve, and helps the coach practice purposefully until their target performance is achieved (also referred to as their desired performance). It is expected that the teacher will practice the strategy in the classroom under controlled conditions before he or she tries it out in class using carefully selected activities before he or she actually uses the strategy in class. There is no doubt that learning will be optimized if the same skills are revisited and practiced regularly until goals are met. It takes time, repetition, and supportive conditions in order to get rid of existing habits as they develop over time.

Benefits of Instructional Coaching

Instructional coaching has demonstrated potential benefits for coaches and coaches' students. Among them are:

  • It is possible to improve teaching performance by developing a more coherent curriculum.
  • The student, as well as the coach, will experience a greater level of professional growth.
  • The ability of the teacher to analyze lesson plans and improve them gets improved.
  • Teachers are able to draw on a broader range of instructional strategies and skills as they deliver instruction in a classroom environment.
  • Learning more about the best practices in education and gaining a deeper understanding of them.
  • Stronger ties and relationships with colleagues improve collaboration between teachers, help them overcome isolation, and empower them to push each other forward.
  • A positive learning environment was created within the school, and the culture of the school was improved.
  • Students' achievement gaps can be reduced, and their performance can be enhanced.

Instructional Coaching Strategies

Coaching via video

There are several strategies that instructional coaches might use to assist students in learning, including video-based coaching. A coach can use this approach to gather concrete, objective evidence about what happens during lessons and how it affects the students as a whole as well as the group. Coaches have a variety of different methods they can use to use this approach, including the following options:

  • It appears that coaches have asked teachers to explain what they're doing throughout the whole video while watching it on mute (and, more importantly, why). By understanding what a teacher's underlying plan is, coaches are able to give their students a better understanding of how to best help them in class.
  • The students might benefit from the teacher watching a few segments of the video and then describing what they see based on what they see in the video. A coach gains insight into a teacher's thought process, and a teacher learns what they can do to improve their teaching practice as a result of this.
  • When the teacher uses this method, he or she will pause the video at a specific point that he or she feels is pivotal to the learning objectives of the lesson. In order for teachers to be able to make bite-sized changes in their teaching, they need to focus on specific moments in their teaching.
  • If you were to coach your student, you might simply ask a few questions that will enhance their ability to think critically, such as these: what motivated you to write this article and how did you match up with your expectations?

Counting methods

There are also some simple strategies for coaching instruction that can be used to help students count. This can be done both for filmed lessons that are transcribed by the coach as well as for recorded lessons that are filmed. In order to determine the frequency with which a particular practice is demonstrated, coaches will ask teachers to count how often they observe evidence of the practice, the number of engaged students within their classrooms, and the number of responses students make to specific questions. Even though there may be many other topics of discussion during the coaching session, one specific issue may be able to be addressed during the conversation.

Expertise sharing


Instructional coach has a number of strategies in their toolkit, but one of the most important ones is their own experience and expertise, and that's why they are considered expert educators. Considering their experiences and knowledge of what worked for them, as well as what research-based strategies they might be able to share with you, you might be able to learn a thing or two. As teachers progress through the coaching process, it is important for them to feel comfortable and confident that their coach will guide them effectively to reach their goals so that they are able to be more successful. Coaching the development of instructional skills is non-judgemental, disciplined, and confidential throughout the entire process.


Continuity of coaching

A coach follows a coaching cycle when they work with teachers, which involves a series of observations and actions from the beginning to the end of the coaching cycle. It is possible to divide the aspects of the cycle into four general categories, which can be broadly referred to as the planning, assessing, teaching, and reflecting steps.

The coach and teacher will meet to discuss long-term goals as well as possible subgoals that can be achieved as soon as possible during the 'planning' process. Breaking up your goals into smaller steps is one of the best ways to increase the chances that you will be able to accomplish them.

During the early stages of a coaching process, the coaches take note of how students and teachers interact in the classroom. They observe how the teachers are acting and how the students react to the teacher's actions during this period of the coaching process. In his or her feedback, the coach is expected to include both positive and negative feedback after the coaching session.

The coach will provide specific advice to the teacher in regards to how to improve their performance during the 'teaching phase' of the educational process. Some of the resources they may provide to them may provide them with resources they can work on together, or in some cases; they may provide them with a tangible strategy. The teacher first practices using the new strategy in a classroom without students present then receives feedback prior to implementing it in a real lesson, before implementing the new strategy in a real lesson.

It is important that both the coach and the teacher work together during this 'reflecting' stage to discuss the teacher's performance. In the course of the discussion, it may be possible to discuss the results, whether they met their targets, and whether they found the experience helpful. Once they have achieved this, they will move on to the next sub-goal, which will be practiced at the same time as the one they have already achieved. Once again, the coaching cycle will be repeated until the teacher is able to demonstrate that the larger goals have been achieved. 


A coach has the ability to help teachers grow in confidence, skills, and effectiveness as they work towards their goals by providing them with tailored instruction that is tailored to their needs and goals. In terms of teacher retention, as well as student achievement and achievement in the United States, this could have a significant impact on both. The method is, without a doubt, worth trying if you haven't already, and there is no doubt that you will benefit from it.