The focus of the coaching efforts at Athena Middle and High School for the 2011-2012 school year will be on improving the mathematical achievement of both general and special education students, specifically in algebra. Algebra is often considered a gateway for students from all backgrounds to greater opportunities by facilitating achievement in upper level mathematics courses, acceptance into college, and economic equity in the workforce (Ladson-Billings, 1997; Tate & Rousseau, 2002). Unfortunately, algebra is also an area where many Athena students struggle.
As a math coach, I would like to improve the strength of quarter grades, state assessment scores, student engagement, and teacher professional development. Some of my specific coaching objectives are as follows:
- Maximize the passing rate and the growth of algebraic understanding of all students in middle and high school math courses and state assessments
- Maximize the number of all students reaching mastery in middle and high school math courses and state assessments
- Early identification of struggling students
- Identifying strategies to target struggling students
- Using research-based best practices in mathematics instruction
- Integrating technology (SMART boards, clickers, aleks, wikis, calculators, etc.)
- Minimizing transition issues between middle and high school
- Increasing the effectiveness of our AIS programs
I am available in any way possible to help students and teachers to achieve their goals and maximize the effectiveness of the learning process at Athena.
References: Ladson-Billings, G. (1997). It doesn’t add up: African American students’ mathematics achievement. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 28(6), 697-708.
Tate, W., & Rousseau, C. (2002). Access and opportunity: The political and social context of mathematics education. In Handbook of international research in mathematics education, 271-300. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
“Instructional coaching is basically advice and counsel designed too meet the needs of a specific teacher. On-site coaches work one-on-one with teachers to help them understand what data to collect, analyze, and use to improve instruction. Intensive collaboration and planning occur between coach and teacher before, during, and after a teacher’s lesson, to ensure high-quality instruction appropriate to meeting the needs of all the students. Coaches provide regular, ongoing professional development to a school’s entire faculty, which encourages staff members to become part of a community of learning and practice” (Eisenberg, 2010, p. 30).
What Coaching IS
- Observing teachers and providing feedback
- Co-teaching and co-planning with teachers
- Facilitating professional development
- Helping teachers find ways to use data to drive instruction
What Coaching IS NOT
- Acting as a teacher’s aide
- Evaluating teachers
- Working as a substitute teacher
References: Eisenberg, E. (2010). Personalizing professional development: Why instructional coaches make a difference. Education Week, 29(32), 30-31.
Welcome to my blog “Have Your Pi and Eat It Too: Musings of a Math Coach.” I will be writing about my experiences as an instructional math coach at Greece Athena Middle and High Schools in Rochester, New York (a picture of our building is shown below). I have degrees and certificates from Niagara University, Nazareth College, and the University of Rochester in teaching mathematics and special education, school counseling, and leadership. As you could probably tell, I love to learn. I am currently conducting research at the UofR on the most effective ways to deliver math instruction to our lowest achieving students. I wanted to create a blog to inform the Athena community (and others) of the great math instruction and learning experiences taking place in our building and to provide practical strategies to improve math instruction. I hope everyone enjoys this blog.
Please contact me for any reason at firstname.lastname@example.org