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allier allier is offline
 
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allier
 
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Non-coaching math coach
Old 11-03-2017, 02:30 AM
 
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Our school got a math coach last year, who seems to create his job in any manner he pleases. He works with very few teachers (like 2), does some "consulting" but only if you go to him, and he's not yet working with children (only a few on occasion). We were told he was setting up student groups. Those of us who work with special education students, or others for speech, language, social needs, etc..... had to set up our schedules in September, and we publish them for all to see (as we should). What's up with this person?

Do any of you deal with this stuff? We can't "complain" -- our admin. likes him because of his "contacts" -- whatever that means. Any advice? Or am I left to just venting? Thank you.


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In my experience
Old 11-03-2017, 02:40 AM
 
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You're left just venting. What's worse is when, at the end of the year during the high stakes testing, if he/she takes a few kids a few times for a crash course in math, and some of those students pass, admin will give all the credit to the math coach, and not to the classroom teacher who worked laboriously with those children all year.

(The students that don't pass, that's on the classroom teacher, though.)

Last edited by PrivateEyes; 11-03-2017 at 04:05 AM..
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Yep. Ditto to what Private Eyes said.
Old 11-03-2017, 03:06 AM
 
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You don't even want your kids to go there. Trust me. Because what if he was supposed to be teaching them but there were "important contacts" to be made? Worthless people in education exist. It is sad. And aggravating!
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worked with a coach
Old 11-03-2017, 03:19 AM
 
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I had worked with math coaches before. Based on my interaction and what I've observed, they helped disseminate and appropriate periodic tests. Based on the data they had gathered, they broke some of the results down into standards that were not met. In other words, they helped/modeled interpreting of data for the math teachers. They may act as facilitators of PLC's to get the conversation started on how to best meet those standards that were sticking points.

Sometimes, they might model lessons for teachers. They provide feedback for teachers after some observation but not to act as it relates to evaluations. For new teachers, they may act as mentors as well through things like BTSA. They may work with students but this is rare because they're not assigned any class to teach nor are there for extra help for students. I enjoyed my time with my coaches.

What I described may be evolving. If I were you, I would talk with your "coach" and initiate conversation. In my case and this was a long time ago, I was looking for effective ways to help students factor trinomials and because he had experience in the high school level, he was able to share with me ideas/strategies that worked.

Hmm...may be he was put in that position not for the role I just finished describing per se. I wouldn't expect a lot from this person or may be ask him about these "contacts".
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Math coach
Old 11-03-2017, 04:59 AM
 
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We had several over the years. Sometimes I felt people were placed in coaching positions because they had to find a job for them. One had zero experience with primary grades and was no help. One was more interested in the flavor of the month and tried pushing it down our throats with no actual help.

I learned to smile nicely and say "nope, I'm good. Thanks for the offer."

Mostly they were there to collect data from quarterly assessments that had nothing to do with current curriculum. I would administer assessment, tell kids "just do what you can", turn it in a forget about it. No one ever came back to "help".


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Old 11-03-2017, 08:48 AM
 
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In my retirement I was rehired by my district as a literacy support teacher that has evolved into instructional coaching. What I have found is that many people don't come to me. I think they view needing a coach as a weakness. Those that have reached out to me generally want info on interventions they can use, interpreting running records, etc. I teach/ model the interventions and use the gradual release of responsibility model, being there to support the teacher as he or she begins using the intervention or teaching technique independently. My bosses do not want me taking groups of students because I am there to coach the teachers.

I contact teachers if I sense they may have some questions or if prompted by administration after an observation. But if they don't respond, I can't force myself on them. That would not be a healthy productive working relationship. I also coach new hires. Since I work part time, it may look like I am only working with a few teachers but in reality it goes in a cycle. Right now I am actively coaching just two teachers, but touching base with 4 others that have lesser needs.

So, I guess my point is that in general coaches don't meet with students, but may work with you about students and ensuring their success by supporting you. Reach out to the coach. Who knows? You may find him to be a valuable resource.
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Not my Experience
Old 11-03-2017, 05:17 PM
 
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Cat Woman you sound like a great resource and an actually helpful person.

I have known some great coaches but, I have met some that were just happy to quit being a classroom teacher because they hated it.

The last literacy coach I worked with would actually start conversations/coaching sessions by saying she was so happy to be out of the class room and didn't have to teach any more.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:08 AM
 
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We have several coaches and everyone comments amongst themselves about how the coaches are sitting alone on their computers in their rooms at pretty much any time during the day. I don't understand how people are getting paid for this while the classroom teachers are so busy our heads are spinning. We have kids with needs and it just seems like a huge waste to be paying people who don't seem to do much on a daily basis. It is nice on our professional development days when they plan things. That is a responsibility that has been taken away from the teachers, thankfully, and given to the coaches. Beyond that, I can't see how so many paychecks are justified.
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allier allier is offline
 
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Thank you all.....helpful to vent
Old 11-05-2017, 05:18 PM
 
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Yes, Whiteturtle, this is my experience too. Lots of time sitting in a room & a couple of PDs. I wouldn't have expected much, but we were told that this person was setting up student groups. Although I work in a literacy capacity, I also work with some of these students on math language and concepts, and have taught math before. My colleagues and I were told not to take these kids for math since the coach would be working with them. So frustrating, and so unfair to the students.

Cat Woman - you sound like you did what a coach should do, and I agree, you can't force yourself on teachers if they don't want the help. In this person's case we were specifically told that student groups would be part of the job.

I have tried reaching out, providing lists of my students, what they've needed in the past, and what they might need this year. Nada! However, I will also take Mikhail's suggestion and try reaching out again in a friendly way. Maybe something will register, but I fear Private Eyes is right.

Thank you for listening. It's helpful.

Last edited by allier; 11-05-2017 at 05:23 PM.. Reason: clarify language
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