Instructional Coaching Focus Areas

Job-embedded Instructional Coaching refers to the belief that professional development through an instructional coaching BDA cycle. This most successful when it is personalized, teacher driven, part of the ongoing teaching and learning process. In the spirit of growth mindset, we believe that instructional coaching should support each teacher's desire to grow professionally and personally through reflective practice.

Many teachers have identified a clear need for instructional coaching support. Some areas where instructional coaches can offer job-embedded training, professional development and through reflective practice are found below.

  • Canvas and other learning technologies
  • Co-lesson/Co-unit planning
  • Formative and summative assessment planning
  • Developing student engagement strategies
  • Find solutions to general teacher concerns (resources, technology, colleague networking, etc.)
  • Analyze student data together
  • Facilitate customized job-embedded PD for departments/teams/grade levels
  • Help find resources for the classroom
  • New resource implementation
  • Classroom management practices

Additional instructional focus areas where instructional coaches can offer feedback can be found below.


  • Scaffolding of lesson to meet diverse student needs


  • Too fast, too slow?
  • Time spent in each lesson component

Strategic Questioning/Objective

  • Connect to lesson target/objective
  • Assess understanding
  • Stretch student thinking beyond yes/no

Clarity of Presentation

  • Modeling
  • Clarifying
  • Providing clear directions
Student Movement
  • Positive
    • quickly transitioning
    • following directions
    • taking initiative
  • Negative
    • getting out of seat frequently
    • fidgeting
    • interfering with others
Student Engagement
  • Positive
    • volunteering responses
    • on-task student-to-student interaction
    • listening
    • carrying out responsibilities
  • Negative
    • speaking out while off task
    • off-task student-to-student interaction
    • interrupting
    • interfering

Use of Time

  • Transitions from one activity to another
  • Time spent with individual students or small groups
  • Time spent getting lesson/class started

Monitoring/Checks for Understanding

  • Monitoring student progress during independent work time
  • Pauses at appropriate points in lesson to check for student understanding
Participation Strategies
  • Ensure variety of student voices
  • Use of discussion protocols
  • Opportunities for partner or small group collaborative work
Classroom Arrangement
  • Furniture placement
  • Visual supports on walls
  • Environment for learning
  • Provision for multiple uses of space

Material Management

  • student and teacher materials organized to support flow of lesson
  • Handouts are clear, meaningful and appropriate

Instructional Strategies

  • Flipped classroom
  • Project-based learning
  • Inquiry-based learning

Motivating Learners

  • Offering student learning environment choice
  • Offering student assessment choice
  • Badging and Micro-credentials

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