Cassville schools to add 3 instructional coaches next year

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Coaches will help guide, mentor teachers in the classroom

The Cassville school district will be adding three instructional coaches for the 2017-2018 school year.

Sheila Littlefield and Lisa Schell will focus on grades pre-k through seventh, and Michael Hall will work with grades six through 12. Even though the coaches will be focusing on specific grades, they will be free to assist any teacher at any grade level, said Jill LeCompte, Cassville assistant superintendent.

"The three coaches that were selected by a committee of teachers are all highly qualified with advanced degrees and many years of experience," she said.

Using instructional coaches is a new practice for the district.

"Instructional coaches are persons that coach teachers on effective classroom practices to improve student success," LeCompte said. "These coaches will model lessons while the teachers watch. Coaches can help with the introduction of technology and how to use particular apps or devices for particular lessons. They will watch teachers teach, then give them suggestions for making changes, improvements, additions, or add constructive criticism to the lesson. Coaches can also assist with classroom management strategies.

"During our school improvement and salary/welfare meetings, teachers repeatedly commented about the need for instructional and classroom management support for our non-tenure teachers as well as support for our veteran staff. These coaches can assist staff with the newest and most progressive instructional approaches to use in the classrooms."

LeCompte pointed out that the coaches do not evaluate staff, which is the principal's job.

"Coaches are only there to lend help, assistance and give advice," she said. "The coaches will still be teaching students part of the day, and the rest of the day will be spent with teachers.  Our coaches will also have the responsibility of being mentors to our first-and-second-year teachers that come to our district."

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