In the weeks leading up to our annual conference, Teaching, Learning, Coaching, we’ll be posting interviews with experts who have presented at the conference or those who will be presenting this year. The interviews will surface many different ways of looking at coaching, and like the conference itself, we hope they inspire, educate, and provoke new thinking. We don’t always agree with everything we hear in the interviews, but we are grateful for others’ thinking. We move forward by challenging our beliefs, and we hope you feel challenged too. You can keep up with the interviews by subscribing to this blog.



Michelle Harris taught middle school English and social studies before serving as an instructional coach, Title I coordinator, student manager, and assistant principal at three middle schools, a K-8 school, and a 6-12 IBO school, all in Beaverton, Oregon. A seasoned staff developer, Michelle has presented and keynoted all over the United States, and in Europe and Africa.

Ann Hoffman was one of the first professional developers for University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, as well as one of the first consultants with ICG, and serves as a founding member of the advisory board for the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted and Talented Education at the University of Iowa. She is a recipient of the Gordon R. Alley Partnership Award and the Strategic Instruction Model Leadership Award, both from KU-CRL, as well as the 2017 recipient of the Don Deshler Leadership Award from the Instructional Coaching Group.

Sharon Thomas is a National Board Certified English teacher, instructional coach, student advocate, and writer. Along with her work in ICG workshops, Sharon coordinates the ICG Coaching Certification process and is a consultant for the Touchstones Discussion Project and a Certified SIM Professional Developer in the area of writing. She is the founder of the Cecil County [Maryland] Teacher Leadership Network, and her experience with teacher leadership in school reform was published in Principal Leadership.

Michelle, Ann, and Sharon are all Senior Consultants with Instructional Coaching Group, and we are thrilled that they will be presenting at the Teaching, Learning, Coaching Conference this year!


Jim: How did you get involved with coaching?

Michelle: Well, I became involved in it as I got a job as a literacy coach in Beaverton, Oregon in 2005. I did that for a couple years, and then you came out to train us. We agreed to do the study with you, then they eliminated coaches from our district. There were some us doing kind of pseudo-coaching roles, and you asked us personally if we would continue in the study. That’s really when the most learning happened, in those three years of the study.

Then, we just stayed in touch after that, and you asked me to do a little bit of work for you here and there. I guess it has been two years now since I quit my full-time job and left the district and came to work for you.


Jim: And the studies we did – because you were a big part of Unmistakable Impact. That’s when we first started into this core coaching and a few different things. Then you were in High Impact Instruction. You were trying it out and giving us feedback. We didn’t have that stuff until we started working together. And we had Focus on Teaching. You were a big part of video, and you ended up being in our video course about coaching. And then The Impact Cycle was a result – in part – of our work in Beaverton.

Michelle: Yes, for sure. I think the main three things that we did very differently in those second two years of the study were that we changed the way we set goals by using the Identify questions. We changed the goals from a teacher-centered goal to a student-centered goal. If you remember the first year it was all about “implement this thing,” but we couldn’t tell if it truly improved student achievement. And the third thing was that we used video. So, those were the three big changes we made. We made a lot of changes, but I think if you are looking umbrella-wise, that’s what we did.


Jim: In many ways I would say too that the genesis of the playbook was back then because, I believe, we came up with – didn’t we call it the hot list or something?

Michelle: Yeah, we did. We talked about it. We just didn’t call it that, and we certainly didn’t flesh it out the way that Ann did when she did the training.


Jim: So, the same question for you, Ann.

Ann: Oh wow, you and I go way back. We were two years old when we started, I think, because it was the 1980’s, and we had to have been very young. (laughs)

Both of us were professional developers for the Center for Research on Learning, sharing CRL’s strategies with teachers around the country. In my case, I naively assumed they would be as excited as I was and want to run right back and implement. These strategies worked in my classroom, so why wouldn’t they want to try them? I learned that was certainly not the case! Over the next several years, I worked in districts who were partnering with CRL, coaching SIM teachers and professional developers.

As you began your work, Jim, first with the Partnership Principles and then later with your components of coaching, Conn Thomas, Sue Woodruff, and I began to implement those in our work with teachers. As your research progressed, so did my coaching, using your many iterations over the years. Finding your work impactful and also as a friend and colleague, I began at some point – I can’t remember when – at your request, sharing your work with others. Now I have the honor and privilege of doing that full time.


Jim: I don’t know if people know this, but for my work on partnership, I interviewed a lot of professional developers, and my very first interview was with you. I talked with you and then Conn. So, you have been a big part of the process from the very beginning – literally!

Ann: Yeah, it’s like I’ve said: you and I started when we were two years old, and it’s been an honor to grow up with you! (laughs)


Jim: Yeah, wow ’89! And Sharon, what about you?

Sharon: My first experience with coaching was – I was actually on a committee with my school system where they were deciding what to do about their coaches that they had available to their high schools and middle schools at that time. I was a high school teacher, and they didn’t have official coaching positions for high school teachers. So, the outcome of that committee was that they were going to reshape the coaching program to provide coaching to all three age groups in the system. And in cooperation with you, helping them to shape that program, I ended up requesting the support of a coach with what became identified as a classroom management problem.

I had one of the best coaches ever in humanity! Sherry Eichinger-Wilson. She worked with me on that goal for my 9th grade English class. She not only helped me to improve the way I was supporting kids in that class, but she also helped me to understand what coaching was. Being on that committee, I didn’t really understand what coaching was supposed to be, and her support helped me to see that that might be something that I might want to do some day. But it was kind of vague then. That led me to know you, and then I ended up getting interviewed for a few things – I think mostly Focus on Teaching.


Jim: But there were interviews before. I interviewed you for many different things. There’s you and Sherri talking about coaching which is just legendary – it’s probably been shown to 100,000 people.

You were also a part of High Impact Instruction, but Focus on Teaching was certainly a big part of it. Some of your ideas really shaped that, and in fact I was so inspired by your professionalism that I wanted to write a book about what is it that fires people up. I interviewed you and one other person and never kept going with it, but I was so interested in learning why is it that there are just some people that are just deeply committed to the profession of teaching.

Sharon: Well, Shane Lopez – I think it was you who suggested that I be a part of Shane’s happiness research. Now I look back on it and it seems so long ago, but just the use of voice and the importance of that in coaching.

Then after a few years of thinking, “Oh, maybe I should be a coach someday,” I actually became a coach in my high school system. It was a pilot program where I taught students in the morning and then coached teachers in the afternoon, and it was mainly what I understand now to be implementation support. The system’s hope was for that role to support Common Core implementation. So, there I was with all of my Jim Knight books trying to go in a partnership direction, but the leadership viewed my role as helping to implement strategies with people.

I didn’t have the language to articulate any of this at the time, but now when we talk about those issues with coaches that we work with, I greatly empathize with the lack of role clarity and the varying definitions of what a coach should be because I feel like that was so much a part of my school-based coaching experience. Not knowing exactly – kind of like “which god am I supposed to worship?” when it comes to coaching priorities.

Then, I ended up coming to work with you two years ago and focusing on the professional development of coaches as my full-time role.


Jim: All of you have been writing the book, The Instructional Playbook: The Missing Link for Translating Research into Practice. Why did you do that, and what is the book about? What is your take on the book?

Ann: Well, we started doing this as a workshop. You’ve had this idea for quite a long time, and so we’ve been talking about it and working on it for many years.

Michelle: Because we called it a ‘toolkit’ in the back of The Impact Cycle.

Sharon: Right, yeah.

Ann: And we realized how important it was for coaches to take time to build their instructional playbook so they could not only have clarity for teachers around their explanations, but also so they could quickly share what they know is most impactful to address the student focused goals teachers are setting. Because time is the number one barrier to coaching, having a playbook can make coaching more impactful and more efficient. As we have done professional learning with coaches around this, we began to really pull this idea together. I think what we have learned has been the genesis of the book. Would you guys agree?

Michelle: Yeah, and just the critical nature of having it. I think that’s what stands out to me. Just the importance of coaches having it, that they do the work of putting it together because they are the chief explainer, and how often times we think we know how to explain something when we really don’t.

Ann: And for coaches, they know so much. They have gotten to this position because they have great knowledge. They have had great successes with students, and so it’s like their brain is full of ideas as soon as their teacher expresses a goal. So, how do they organize all of that knowledge in their head, pick some choices that might be most impactful, and then explain it clearly? Because coaches are so knowledgeable, it’s a way to capitalize on what they know.

Sharon: I think one of the things I’ve come to realize or understand about the playbook and why the book about it is going to help a lot of people is just as the Partnership Principles are a paradigm shift for people in a work environment like schools, that working with people as a partner is going to be more effective in making change than telling people or advising people what to do. Likewise, the playbook says to try and keep this resource about strategies and instruction as lean and tight as possible, which is a shift for people when, normally, we are used to giant binders and huge boxes to contain our resources.

Michelle: Yes.

Ann: ‘Curriculum Guides.’

Sharon: Things that end up never being very helpful when you are in that really important situation with your teachers of setting a powerful goal for their kids. The process for how to create that doesn’t have to involve people outside the people that it is going effect: that group of coaches that are going to use it. I think it is going to be really helpful for people to have so they can understand that it is not just about compiling everything you know about the classroom. It is about focusing in on those areas you help people with most often, and within those categories, what are the most helpful, research based, and highest leverage strategies that they can use.

Ann: Yeah, it’s not a teaching bible. Lean and mean. We hope the book will be a resource for coaches. This is not something you just hand to teachers and say, “Oh find something in there. I’m sure something in there will work.” This is really a tool for coaches. 


Jim: You are all instructional coaches, and you share ideas about instructional coaches. So, how do you see instructional coaching as being different to other approaches? What do you see as distinguishing instructional coaching?

Michelle: I think there’s not just one thing. When I think about what distinguishes it, I first think about partnership. The way I explain it when I do training is, “This is the very first thing that Jim wrote about. We have changed so much, but this is one thing that hasn’t changed. It has stood the test of time over 24 years, and if you don’t believe that you are a partner with that teacher, then you are not really an instructional coach. If you want to do it, do it. But don’t call yourself an instructional coach if you are not living in partnership.”

The second thing I think of is: it’s student-focused. It’s 100% student-focused. We are not just telling teachers, “Implement this thing. Do this one thing, and then we’ll talk about it.” It’s, “How do we move kids?” And I don’t see other coaching being that much about kids.

Ann: And I would say that with The Impact Cycle we bring role clarity to coaching. So often I see districts and schools who hire coaches and send them off to coach, and they sprinkle ‘holy coaching water’ on them and say, “go forth and do your good thing” and the coaches are excited about doing this. But, without role clarity it becomes muddy and sometimes it then becomes just having nice conversations. I would also agree with Michelle that it’s honoring the professionalism of the teacher through the Partnership Principles which are truly the foundation of our work. We put the teacher in the driver’s seat and, as you say Jim, we put the teacher in the big chair and we willingly sit in the little chair. That to me is all about treating teachers with dignity and respect and honoring them as individuals who have so much to offer.

Michelle: Otherwise it’s just…

Ann: Telling them what to do.

Michelle: Conversations before those two years that I was a coach, before you trained us – I wasn’t coaching. I was building relationships. I was talking to people. But I wasn’t coaching because we weren’t talking about kids. We weren’t talking about kid-focused goals. We were talking about kids nebulously, but it wasn’t focused the way The Impact Cycle is on coaching.

Sharon: Well, and to tag-team on both of the issues that you guys are talking about there: having the specific three-stage process there. Oh, do I wish I had that when I first started coaching!

Ann: No kidding!

Sharon: My whole life would be different! And I say that all the time about the cooperative learning checklist too. Man, if I could have had that in 1989.

Michelle: Right?

Sharon: Having a thing that tells you, “This is what coaching looks like, and there’s this process that you can follow for it.” It doesn’t have script or anything, but it says, “There are stages, and here’s what those look like.” But the other thing is the respect for the profession.

As somebody who loves teaching, loves teachers, who has made teacher-leadership such a focus of my life, I think one of the most important things that we show in The Impact Cycle workshop is the top-down versus partnership t-chart. The top-down side says that the coach is doing most of the thinking and the learning about what is happening in the classroom, and the partnership side says the teacher is doing most of the thinking and making decisions for the classroom. To me it is such a paradox when we have compelling research saying that the teacher is the reason for what goes down in the classroom in terms of kids learning, and then we typically – as a national system – do not treat them that way. We treat them like the least important person because all the decisions are made for them outside the classroom. So, trying to put the emphasis and the respect on the person who is making the day-to-day decisions, to me, is incredibly important.

Ann: We trust them with our children all day long, but then in the top-down model, we don’t trust them to make decisions. Which just doesn’t make sense and is such a big part of our Partnership Principles.


Jim: What have been some of your key learnings over the past few years?

Sharon: I control nothing. (laughs)

Michelle: My biggest learning is that I am a work in progress through all of this – that I am never as good as I think I am in my head. I watched myself coach just a couple months ago, and I thought, “What is happening?! I am in my 14thyear of coaching, and I still look like bobble-head Michelle.” (laughs) It is so humbling to me to go out and do this embedded work because it reminds me of how much I still have to learn. I think my biggest key learning is that I am never done learning.

Ann: Right, I would agree with that. It is that humility. Like, “Oh my gosh, I may have some expertise, but I am not THIS expert.” It’s that humility. And also, I have grown to appreciate more – though I am always a work in progress on this – the power of curiosity. I learn so much more when I am more curious. It’s that whole reciprocity thing, but I think that I truly have learned more every year from all the people who I have worked with than they have from me.

Sharon: And the reason that I said I control nothing is not only as a coach, but as somebody who is working with coaches in a school system. As a teacher I felt I had a very high level of control, competence, and confidence, and then when I became a coach, I had this other half of my day where I felt like I was stumbling constantly. There were these things that I wanted for these classrooms where I was helping teachers, but I came to understand that I can’t control any of it. I can present good ideas. I can present options for teachers, but it’s not up to me to decide what’s best.

And now that we are working on a more macro level with groups of coaches, groups of administrators, or system leaders, I can’t control what will happen after we leave, after workshops and so forth. I can put forward the best description of the research and our process as possible and try to help people as much as I can, but also understand that I am not there to control them. I’m there to help them understand what we think is a really helpful approach and have them make their own decisions about what they are going to do.

Michelle: When you leave the classroom, you have to be comfortable with the ambiguity. It is no longer your four walls. You have to know that you live in ambiguity for a lot of the work that you are doing, and I think partnership absolutely takes some of the anxiety out of that ambiguity because if you know that you are living in partnership with someone, they are going to be doing what’s best for kids. You know that when you treat them like an equal, when you listen to them, when you give them the space and time of reflection and dialogue, that you are going to reignite the fire under people about why you got into education in the first place. But you also – as a coach – have to know what you are saying. Like, “I don’t have complete control over what they choose, but if I live in partnership, I’m less anxious about that because I’m going to be ok with what they choose.”

I also think that there is so much hideousness in the world that when I do these trainings, it just reminds me that there are so many amazing people out there and they are doing the very best work for all the kids, for my kids, for everyone’s kids. I think I knew that, but working in the school, you tend to focus on the people around you and focus on the people who aren’t doing the work. But these two years have been the best two years of my life in a lot of ways because I am able to go out and be around people who are just doing the absolute best work there is to do, and that’s so energizing to me.

Sharon: And that’s in the face of all kinds of odds.

Michelle: Absolutely. Right, and in the face of people telling them that they can’t.

Ann: And I think deep down even with the most difficult people – everyone wants to get better. Every educator deep down truly wants to do what’s best for kids. We didn’t go into this for the money. And so, I think deep down we all have that desire to get better, to help others get better, and to take out that fear of judgment.

I think the Partnership Principles are truly a gift that we bring to the coaching relationship, and helping coaches do that in their schools with their teachers is one of the most rewarding things I have done.

Michelle: Yeah! I mean it is hard. It is hard travelling, and it is hard doing. But when you are there, you are SO there! There are so many amazing people in the world, and it is just so very heartening to me.


Jim: What is a good metaphor for instructional coaching?

Michelle: My metaphor for instructional coaching is a weeping willow tree, and here is why: when you look at a weeping willow tree, they are typically solid and around forever, even in hurricanes and tornadoes, because the trunks are so big they don’t just bend in half like a lot of other trees do. But when you think of a weeping willow tree, you think of the branches. They are high and also down on the ground, and to me that’s what a coach does, you are solidly standing in the face of people telling you, “You are not in the classroom anymore. What can you possibly know? You can’t tell me what to do. You too shall pass” – but you have depth of knowledge there. You are seeing things from above, but always your branches are reaching the ground so there’s always access to you, you are always available, you’re there, you’re solidly there for people.

Sharon: Mine is a seesaw because that is like a physical representation of dialogue. You can’t really operate it without another person. You are going up and down, but the energy comes when you are both operating it. Try to get on when you are by yourself, and you are not really going anywhere. You are not really going to get much energy or momentum, but it’s the two people coming together, understanding they need each other in terms of being able to rely on each other, and being able to work together that’s productive. That’s when the seesaw is a joyful thing.

So, not that teachers can’t teach without a coach. Certainly teachers are teaching before they have a coach and teaching after their coaching experience, whatever that may be, but the idea that if you want to really have the best possible experience, knowing you’ve got this peer, this partner who can come in and help you to make things different in a way that’s going to be better for the environment, is going to be better for achievement – whatever that is.

Ann: Mine is kind of too mushy maybe, but I think of a loving relationship…any kind between two people…where you want the best for each other. You celebrate each other’s successes; you can let your hair down with one another; you can admit your failures in front of each other, and the other person is there to pick you up. I think coaches do that for teachers, and I think teachers in return, do that for coaches. We should be celebrating each other as we partner to do what is best for kids.


Jim: I like them all. Don’t you think it paints a wonderful picture to hear them all? I think it’s great! Do you have a favorite memory of TLC?

Ann: Yes! My favorite was receiving the Don Deshler Leadership Award from you in 2017. I still shed tears over that moment. I can’t think about it without crying, Jim. It meant more to me than so many things, both because it was coming from you and because it is in Don’s name. Don has had a huge influence on my career, as have you Jim. You have both made a huge impact not only on my career, but on my life, and so that is something that as you can see here now, I can hardly talk about without tearing up. I cherish that honor and am humbled by it.

Michelle: It was a beautiful, beautiful moment. My favorite memory of TLC is the first year that we went, after we were in the study and it was still in the Oread Hotel. We were still so starstruck about just being a part of all of this work, and you asked us to present. We were like, “What!? He wants us to present?!” I mean, we thought, “Oh my god, this cannot possibly be our lives,” and we were so excited to talk about how much we learned in that study and still just unaware of how far-reaching that work was going to be. And you know, ten years later, we are still doing it, and you never know when you are in something how impactful it is going to be. I just remember being beyond excited to be there and to be presenting and that Don stood up in the back of our presentation and just – I mean, I am just still full of pride about the work that we did there, and I still look back and smile about it.


Jim: That’s the presentation where you showed the videos of the coaching conversations and you talked about what you were learning? I mean, that was a powerful presentation. I still remember you talking about shuffling all of the papers while you were talking to Sarah.

Michelle: Oh, it was hideous! (laughs) And I had – you called it a moment of shame because we had no idea what was going to happen with those videos. We were just sending them to Kansas. Then we all stood in this huge long room with all these smarty-pants people with multiple PhDs, and Jim goes, “Ok we’re going to put your coaching videos up, and we’re going to watch them.” And in my head, I am thinking, “Oh my god, please don’t let mine be the first one, please don’t let mine be the first one,” and sure enough… there I am!

It was the video of Michelle Harris coaching Sarah, and not coaching at all. I mean I was talking and shuffling papers and not even turning to her. It was so hideous that I was like, “That can’t be right!” Because I really thought that I was doing a pretty good job!

We all had to do it multiple times, and I remember you asked us to put on sticky notes how we felt during that, and my first sticky note was “sweaty!” That was the most embarrassing, nerve-wracking thing that I had ever done in my entire life, but the learning that came out of it was so over-the-top crazy that it was the coolest thing. I just think that never in my career have I ever learned the way that I learned in that study. I had never, ever, done any learning like that before, so it was crazy powerful, and then to talk about it, I was just so freaking excited. Probably weirdly so to people – like, “She needs to calm down!”


Jim: I remember when I asked the four of you, “Ok. You’ve had thirty days of professional development. What was most important, and how would you start?” We would do video, even though each of you had said that video was intensely stressful.

Michelle: Yeah.

Sharon: Video is agony, but it is worth it.


Jim: Do you have any favorite moments from TLC, Sharon?
Sharon: Well, since I am the newer one to the team, I don’t have as many TLCs to rely on, but I would say the first time that I had presented at TLC. First of all, one of the greatest things about TLC is it’s one of the few places in the world where you can tell people you are an instructional coach, and you don’t have to explain what that is!

I had never had that experience as an instructional coach, and I think that is cool! But you know, we always talk about how great coaches are, just in terms of being really open and lovely people when we go to do workshops and so forth, and I think that having audiences of that concentration – of coaches or colleagues who support them in their systems – I just thought they were just so amazingly open and smiley and ‘all-in.’ Even in my pre-conference session, I was presenting coaching for engagement, and they were packed like sardines into a room that was probably a little too small for the number of people that we wanted in there. The LCD projector was doing its own thing, and it didn’t affect their level of being all in one bit.

Then at the end of the last day of TLC, I presented a session on the Instructional Playbook. It’s at the back forty of the convention center, and I am thinking that people will have gone home and they won’t be able to find me out here. I saw it was standing room only and the place was packed because people are just so anxious to learn more. I think having that kind of environment at TLC is a really wonderful and affirming thing, especially in an area like coaching where you usually feel kind of isolated and are usually one of a handful of people with that job.

It’s easy to feel like people don’t understand your problems and they don’t understand what you do. To have that many people there who can empathize with your role, where you feel like it is about your development when normally you are trying to help other people professionally learn so much all the time, is just a great environment for people.


Jim: So, tell me about what you are going to present at TLC.

Michelle: For pre-con I’m presenting Better Leaders for any system leaders or school leaders.


Jim: You like Better Leaders a lot. What do you like about it?

Michelle: Love it! I feel like Better Leaders is very hopeful and uplifting. It makes people drill down into why they became a leader in the first place, but it also gives them some hope about how they can get better. I love that about it, and I also love it because it is not all me talking about it.

I deliver some information, and I let them go with it. People love talking about themselves and love talking about getting better, and I just have had some really great experiences doing Better Leaders. I love the content. Honestly, it’s my favorite. I love it.

Ann: My pre-conference session is about creating an Instructional Playbook. We will talk about what goes into a playbook and how you go about creating one. We will actually get to do some playing around with it and look at some samples of playbooks others have developed. Since we have been immersed in writing the book, I am very excited to share our work around the why, what, and how of the Instructional Playbook and to also share what other districts have done as they have created their Instructional Playbooks. We have learned so much from these districts who have been willing to partner with us and help us figure out what this work entails. So, I am excited to talk about the Instructional Playbook and just let people get their feet wet with it.

Sharon: My pre-conference session is on coaching evaluation. Questions that we are all asked when we visit different school systems involve the uncertainty of how you evaluate a coach for their job – their job evaluation. So many places use some version of their teacher evaluation or aren’t really sure what to do about it. The issue of evaluation also touches on several of the issues we have come to see are so important in terms of how successful coaching programs have come to be because of not having a shared definition of coaching in the system, or not having role clarity around how the coach should be spending his or her time.

I think it’s going to be a really great opportunity for system leaders – and perhaps coaches as well – to not only come and hear our ideas about that, and which things would be helpful to include in terms of a coaching evaluation, but also to give their feedback about tools that we are preparing for systems to be able to use in that area.


Jim: And basically, it’s the first time anybody outside of our team has been able to see our evaluation tool?

Sharon: That’s right.

Michelle: Cutting edge! I think, for my breakout, we’re going to use what we learned from coaching evaluation for me to do 90 minutes on confidentiality, role clarity, and time. So, there may be pieces of what you are doing, Sharon, that may filter into my breakout. It is What Principals Need to Know, but just about those three things.


Jim: Right. Ann and Sharon, do you know your breakouts?

Ann: My breakout session will be for those who didn’t come to the pre-conference but want to know more about the Instructional Playbook. It will be an overview of what goes into an Instructional Playbook and why and how a Playbook can be a helpful tool for coaches.

Sharon: Mine is PEERS goals. One thing we have seen is coaches asking for more practice with creating PEERS goals and writing PEERS goals, and so we will be focusing on that as a way to help people get clear themselves, and teachers be really clear on what they want the outcome for students to be on the area that they are working on, and how can they make sure that the outcome of the goal that they are working on is as clear as possible to everyone.


Jim: I love what John Campbell says also about goals, he says, “If there’s no goal, it’s just a nice conversation.”

Ann: Mmhmm.

Michelle: Yes.




Here is a list of some people you can expect to see at the Teaching Learning Coaching Conference 2019! Click on each name below to review some of their work.

We hope to see you in Kansas City!


Rachel Lofthouse

Professor of Teacher Education,
Carnegie School of Education


Ta-Nehisi Coates

Distinguished Writer in Residence,
NYU’s Arthur L Carter Journalism Institute

Jamie Almanzan

Equity Leadership Coach,
The Equity Collaborative

Linda Cliatt-Wayman

TED Talk Presenter, Principal,
Strawberry Mansion High School

Kristin Anderson

Founder and CEO,
The Brilliance Project

Ellen & Bruce Eisenberg

Executive Director, Associate Director
PA Institute for Instructional Coaching

Rebecca Frazier


The Joy of Coaching

Michelle Harris

Senior Consultant,

Instructional Coaching Group

Jan Hasbrouck



Ann Hoffman

Senior Consultant,

Instructional Coaching Group

Darnisa Amante

CEO and Co-founder,

The Disruptive Equity Education Project


Kathy Perret


The Coach Approach to School Leadership

John Campbell

Founding Director,

Growth Coaching International

Marshall Goldsmith

Executive Educator, Coach


Jim Knight

Senior Partner,

Instructional Coaching Group

Nathan Lang-Raad

Chief Education Officer,


Nancy Love

Senior Consultant,

Research for Better Teaching

Alisa Simeral

Author, School Consultant


Tricia Skyles

Author, Consultant

Safe and Civil Schools

Bill Sommers

Author, Consultant

Learning Omnivores

Bradley Staats 

Author, Professor

University of NC School of Kenan-Flagler Business School

Sharon Thomas

Senior Consultant,

Instructional Coaching Group


Christian Van Nieuwerburgh

Executive Director,

Growth Coaching International

John Krownapple

Author, Consultant


Tara Martin

Innovative Curriculum Facilitator,

Lawrence Public Schools

Crysta Crum


Bowling Green City Schools