Your portfolio is organized around the 7 Success Factors for effective coaching programs. All video clips must be submitted as secure YouTube links. All videos must be continuous and unedited except for shortening to meet the length requirement.
All written submissions must be submitted as one text document for each entry with all text pieces for that entry included in it. Size requirements for each written piece are contained herein. All written submissions must be in 12-pt. Times Roman font, double spaced on pages with 1-inch margins at top, bottom, and sides.
The Impact Cycle.
Certified Instructional Coaches effectively and fluently employ the Impact Cycle (as described in Knight, 2017). Coaches need to demonstrate their mastery of the Impact Cycle by including the following artifacts in their certification portfolio:
- A clearly stated PEERS goals
- A video (no more than 10 minutes long) of the instructional coach using the Identify questions with a collaborating teacher to identify the PEERS goal
- A copy of the checklist that the coach and teacher used to describe and observe the implementation of the identified teaching strategy
- A video (no more than 5 minutes long) of the instructional coach using the checklist to describe the identified teaching strategy
- A video (no more than 5 minutes long) of the teacher watching the modeling of the strategy (documenting whatever way the teacher learned the strategy, which might be the coach modeling in the teacher’s classroom with students, the coach modeling without students, the coach co-teaching, the teacher observing another teacher, or the teacher watching a video)
- Video (no more than 5 minutes long) of the teacher implementing the teaching strategy
- Video (no more than 5 minutes long) of the coach and the teacher discussing progress on the PEERS goal
- Video (no more than 5 minutes long) of the coach and the teacher talking when they identify that the goal has been met
- Video (no more than 5 minutes long) from the collaborating teacher’s classroom before the goal is met (e.g., the video a teacher watches to identify the goal)
- Video (no more than 5 minutes long) from the collaborating teacher’s classroom after the goal has been met
Note: Candidates may not submit text in the place of a required video or vice versa.
Certified Instructional Coaches have a complete Instructional Playbook, which describes the teaching strategies the coaches share with teachers to help them hit their goals. (See Knight, 2017, for an example of an Instructional Playbook.) Playbook content may vary for each candidate, but the format must include:
- Playbook contains a one-page listing of strategies in the form of a Table of Contents that is appropriate to the coach’s coaching audience (Table of Contents can be no longer than one page).
Playbook contains a description of each strategy on the Table of Contents (each strategy description should be no longer than one page). That description includes the purpose of the strategy, a description of research supporting the strategy, what the teacher does when using the strategy, and what students do when using the strategy.
Playbook contains sufficient checklists after each one-page description to assist the teacher in implementing the strategy.
Certified Instructional Coaches need to be able to partner with teachers to set goals and to monitor teachers’ progress toward those goals, and that means that coaches must be able to gather data. (A description of the important data that coaches should gather and PEERS goals is included in Knight, 2017.) To demonstrate that they know how to gather data, coaches need to include the following in their portfolios:
- PEERS goals for 10 different teachers, including at least one behavioral goal, one achievement goal, and one attitude goal
- One completed data form for each of the PEERS goals or, if no form was used, a written description of how data was gathered
Note: Be sure to remove school or student names or identifiers from the goal data. Do not use goals for this entry that involve information you do not have permission to share.
Because coaching involves communication, Certified Instructional Coaches must continually engage in improving their communication skills. Coaches can do this by using the reflection forms from The Reflection Guide to Better Conversations (Knight, Knight, & Carlson, 2015) and the Listening and Questioning Effectively checklist (Knight, 2017, p. 82). To demonstrate that they are actively engaged in improving their communication skills, coaches must include the following in their portfolios:
- A clearly stated communication goal for their own personal improvement for two of the 10 Better Conversations Habits (Knight, 2016, p. 17)
- Videos (two videos, no more than 5 minutes long each) of the coach in conversations that the coach watched to improve in each goal area
- A completed observation form that the coach used to observe and reflect on his or attempt to improve in the selected areas of communication. Candidates may use any of the Looking Back, Looking At, or Looking Ahead reflection forms that are available via the Better Conversations’ website, but they must use the same type of form for scoring themselves on both the “Before” and “After” videos for the specific habit they are evaluating.
- A written reflection statement that includes the coach’s thoughts about how he or she is currently communicating and how she or he intends to improve. The reflection document should be no more than 4 pages long.
Understanding Adults and Change.
No matter how much knowledge instructional coaches have, they will not be effective change leaders unless they understand the complexities of helping and working with adults. Certified Instructional Coaches demonstrate that they understand how to interact with adults in ways that don’t engender resistance and must include the following in their portfolios:
- A written reflection statement including the coach’s thoughts about each of the Partnership Principles and how he or she is applying those principles to coaching work (see Knight, 2011). The reflection document should include no more than 2 pages for each Principle.
- Video (no more than 5 minutes long) of the coach in a coaching conversation and completed Looking Back dialogue reflection forms (Knight, Knight, & Carlson, 2015) that demonstrates that the coach engages in dialogue with teachers.
Certified Instructional Coaches are emotionally intelligent, very responsive to teachers, embody a stewardship approach during coaching, are ambitious for improvement, organized, and reliable (see Knight, 2016, chapter 9). In other words, effective coaches are effective leaders, and to demonstrate that they are effective leaders, coaches need to include the following in their portfolios:
- A written purpose statement (no more than one page long) that describes the beliefs and values that guide their work as coaches (This document should clearly state why the coach is doing this work and how he or she makes choices about what to do as a coach.)
Coach demonstrates that he or she manages time effectively to ensure that at least 70% of his or her time is spent working on Impact Cycles with teachers. (Boldface all activities on the calendar that are activities connected to specific Impact Cycle work with teachers.)
Certified Instructional Coaches flourish in systems that support them. When district leaders and, in particular, principals, support instructional coaches, effective coaches succeed. However, when support does not exist, effective coaches may have little or no impact. Therefore, to demonstrate that they are effective leaders, coaches must include the following in their portfolios:
- A list of professional development opportunities that instructional coaches have experienced to develop the 7 success factors outlined in this document (These experiences could be online courses, workshops, coaching for coaches, or other professional development experiences. Each professional development experience must be clearly connected to a specific Success Factor)
- Completed surveys from at least 12 teachers who have set and hit PEERS goals with the help of the instructional coach
- A detailed letter of support from the school principal that summarizes how his or her school is implementing the Partnership Principles, the specific actions that the principal has taken to support the coach, and that the coach has done to enlist leadership support for coaching, and the impact the coach has had on teachers and, most importantly, students
- Knight, J. (2011). Unmistakable impact: A partnership approach for dramatically improving instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
- Knight, J. (2016). Better conversations: Coaching ourselves and each other to be more credible, caring, and connected. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
- Knight, J. (2017). The impact cycle: What instructional coaches should do to foster powerful improvements in teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
- Knight, J., Knight, J.R., & Carlson., C. (2015). The reflection guide to better conversations: Coaching ourselves and each other to be more credible, caring, and connected. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.