Getting to the Core of Student Centred Coaching

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Welcome to my first non essential CoETaIL post!
Digging into the core

Digging into the core

Graded’s teaching and learning team follow the core ideas of Diane Sweeney’s student centred coaching (SCC). As the name suggests this coaching model places students in the focus of all coaching conversations and decisions. I recently attended Diane’s SSC conference in Denver and wanted to share some reflections on my learning in order to help my colleagues (and readers) better understand the purpose of instructional coaching in our school.

My personal takeaways were

  • Deeper understanding about how Student Centred Coaching differs from other models 
  • Better strategies and ideas for implementation (and conversations) about the coaching cycle

I decided to dabble in sketchnoting while I was at the conference and found it a neat way to get my thoughts down and make connections between the information that I was gathering and the content that I already had from my two months in the coaching role.

Created by Angemolony

Created by Angemolony

The core practices of this coaching model are:

  1. Setting goals for coaching cycles
  2. Using standards-based learning targets
  3. Using student evidence to co-plan instruction
  4. Organizing coaching through cycles
  5. Co-teaching with a focus on effective instructional practices
  6. Measuring the impact of coaching on student and teacher learning
  7. Partnering with the school leader


To get a better idea about this model it can be helpful to look how it compares to other commonly used coaching models – take a look at the diagram below

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.56.16 PM
As our school moves away from a technology integration coach to a student centred instructional coach it is important that we aim to keep ourselves within the column of student centred coaching. It is a natural part of our transition that we sometimes land in the third column (relationship-driven coaching) and our team believes that this only serves to strengthen our ability to work with teachers with a student centred focus.

I still often find myself switching between a tech coach and a student-centred coach and this conference has helped me mould those two roles together instead of fighting to keep them separate. At the end of the day our teachers are looking to implement technology into their classes as a way to redefine the learning for their students. If we can connect that directly to learning targets then there is no reason why I can’t continue to use my tech skills as a way to build relationships and start conversations with teachers – and then move into full coaching cycles with our students at the centre.

Find out more about the work from Diane Sweeney here.


One comment to “Getting to the Core of Student Centred Coaching”
One comment to “Getting to the Core of Student Centred Coaching”
  1. Thanks for sharing this, Ange. Actually, I have never heard of this model before. It makes great sense to incorporate what is happening on the students’ level—-including data on their progress and feedback from them, to drive the “teacher-coach”-ing process.

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