Page 65 - Volume 6 - Issue 1 - DBU Journal for K-12 Educational Leadership

Journal of K-12 Educational Research 63 PERCEPTIONS OF THE IMPACT OF INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING ON ONE NORTH TEXAS MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMPUS Sarah Thornton Balarin, EdD Journal of K-12 Educational Research 2022 VOL. 6, ISSUE 1 Introduction With the increasing demands of accountability placed on school administrators, districts are being forced to re-examine the roles of teacher leaders in classroom instruction and overall student learning. Teacher leaders today are increasingly chosen because of their own effectiveness in the classroom. Effective teachers are encouraged to take on leadership roles to help other teachers become more effective. Teachers are being asked to work with professional learning communities (PLCs), analyze data to improve instruction, be reflective of their practices, and share their reflections with the teachers around them in order to create growth for their teams of teaching colleagues (Valdez & Broin, 2015). Although some are incredibly eager to take on a new role, others are left feeling inadequate and lacking the proper training to take this on. Teacher leaders require coaching and support to be effective in their leadership of campus policies, supporting other teachers, and carrying out the school’s vision. The participating district in the current study implemented instructional coaching in 2016 in hopes to support teachers. The positions of instructional coaches were filled only with internal candidates and without a system in place to develop the instructional coaches and define their roles. The instructional coaches were in their new roles for a very short time before they realized and expressed that they needed more training explicitly focused on leadership principles. A leadership development group was developed at one campus in the District to address the gap between expectations of teacher leadership behaviors and their leadership capacity at that time. The leadership development group focused their learning on book study, role play, modeling, and job embedded professional learning. Problem and Purpose Teacher leadership is widely referred to but poorly defined in the literature. School leaders lack common expectations for how these teacher leaders should behave or where exactly they fit into campus operations, decision making, and climate and culture development. Strategies for the leadership development of teachers with unique needs are nearly non-existent (Valdez & Broin, 2015). Because of the lack of consistency in their leadership development and administrators who may not be trained to develop other leaders, these teacher leaders are given little guidance and often underutilized. The purpose of the current study was to understand participants’ perceptions of the experiences they had as instructional coaches being coached explicitly on leadership as part of a leadership development group, and how their experience impacted their leadership. Additionally, the purpose of the current study was to understand the perceptions of teachers concerning how the development of instructional coaches impacted campus culture and climate. The current study included a close examination of the perceptions of instructional coaches as well as those teachers impacted by their leadership.