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Leading Like a C.O.A.C.H.
5 Strategies for Supporting Teaching and Learning

Foreword by Regie Routman



February 2022 | 192 pages | Corwin

Expand your leadership capacity to help your school reach its potential

All schools have the capacity for schoolwide instructional excellence. Schools with leaders who adopt a coaching stance as part of their practice are more likely to realize this success. Leaders achieve success with their teachers, their students, and their families, not alone.

Leading like a C.O.A.C.H. reframes the approach to schoolwide change from a leader acting alone to a leader working with a community in which each member contributes their strengths and ideas to improving instruction. Renwick, a well-known blogger and writer on literacy and leadership, encourages school leaders to embody five practices: 1. Create confidence through trust; 2. Organize around a priority; 3. Affirm promising practices; 4. Communicate feedback; and 5. Help teachers become leaders and learners. Throughout this practical guide, readers will find

  • Reflective questions
  • Activities
  • Indicators of success
  • Examples of leaders coaching teachers to excellence
  • Wisdom from the field     

This book provides new and veteran leaders with a practical approach and easily adoptable ideas for helping their schools realize their full potential.

 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Foreword by Regie Routman
 
Introduction
The Purpose of This Book

 
My Coaching Journey

 
Reflective Questions

 
 
Chapter 1: Why Should I Lead Like a Coach?
Benefits of Leading Like a Coach

 
Expand on Your Current Identities

 
Shifting Toward a Coaching Stance

 
Reflective Questions

 
 
Chapter 2: How Instructional Walks Help Leaders Adopt a Coaching Stance
Introducing Instructional Walks

 
The Instructional Walk Process

 
From Judging to Learning

 
What Instructional Walks Are Not

 
Reflective Questions

 
 
Chapter 3: Create Confidence Through Trust
Defining Trust

 
Four Conditions for Trust

 
Condition 1: Consistency

 
Condition 2: Compassion

 
Condition 3: Communication

 
Condition 4: Competence

 
Success Indicators for Creating Confidence Through Trust

 
Reflective Questions

 
 
Chapter 4: Organize Around a Priority
Defining a Priority

 
Step 1: Analyze and Understand Your Current Reality

 
Step 2: Examine Your Beliefs About Instruction

 
Step 3: Engage in Focused Professional Learning

 
Step 4: Create Collective Commitments Around Promising Practices

 
Success Indicators for Organizing Around a Priority

 
Reflective Questions

 
 
Chapter 5: Affirm Promising Practices
Four Principles for Initiating Positive Change

 
Principle 1: Adopt an Instructional Framework

 
Principle 2: Learn With Your Faculty

 
Principle 3: Develop Collaborative Learning Communities

 
Principle 4: Institutionalize Promising Practices

 
Success Indicators of Affirming Promising Practices

 
Reflective Questions

 
 
Chapter 6: Communicate Feedback
Defining Feedback

 
Communicating Feedback Through Engagement (vs. Bypass)

 
Differentiating Feedback to Meet Teachers’ Needs

 
Example 6.1: Exploring New Ideas for Classroom Management

 
Example 6.2: How the Task Supports Student Engagement

 
Example 6.3: A Better Way to Assess

 
Success Indicators for Communicating Feedback

 
Reflective Questions

 
 
Chapter 7: Help Teachers Become Leaders and Learners
A Journey to Excellence

 
Example 7.1: Teacher Self-Assessment (Wilmot Elementary School, Jefferson County Public Schools, Denver, Colorado)

 
Example 7.2: Residency Model for Professional Development (Winnipeg School District, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

 
Success Indicators of Helping Teachers Become Leaders and Learners

 
Final Reflective Questions

 
 
Conclusion: What Will Be Your Legacy?
 
References
 
Index

It is a very interesting book that is very needed during this time.  It provides a clear path for effective coaching.

Tanna H Nicely, Executive Principal
Knox County Schools; Blaine, TN

I really liked this book and believe it would be a good tool for administrators who want to grow together or district teams to study how to improve their instructional coaching approach. This book is a good resource for administrators who want to improve their coaching techniques.

Courtney Miller, Founder
Inclusive Teachers Academy, Covina, CA

I love this text. It helps make coaching practicable.

Angela Becton, Advanced Learning Consultant
Kinston, NC

Matt Renwick is the principal we all wish we had and the one we all want to be. His ideas about walking alongside teachers to grow them in the same ways we want them to grow students are just-right advice. He brings the research on trust and collective efficacy to life through concrete ways to operationalize rituals and routines of observation, goal setting, and planning with teachers.

Samantha Bennett
Learning Design Specialist, Instructional Coach and Education Consultant

Matt Renwick makes a compelling case for deeper inquiry and more thoughtful engagement around teacher practice. Full of rich, compelling examples from Matt’s real-world experience, this book will help readers reconnect with their purpose as instructional leaders. Highly recommended.

Justin Baeder
Director of The Principal Center, Author of Now We’re Talking!

Matt Renwick offers readers a rich, practical how-to book supported by current research. This book should be within easy arm’s reach of school administrators wishing to increase their skills of performing their major responsibility: increasing student learning.”

Arthur L. Costa and Robert J. Garmston
Professors Emeriti, California State University, Sacramento, Co-Authors of Cognitive Coaching

Matt Renwick reminds us of a key element of our shared professional leadership work: we can’t do it alone. He keeps us focused on the value of coaching tools and the pillars he references to keep instruction at the center of the work of educational leaders. This book draws on an extensive research base as well as Matt Renwick’s own professional experience to provide an accessible entry point for school leaders as they consider what it means to lead like a coach.

Jason Drysdale
Assistant Superintendent, River East Transcona Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Research is clear: Principals can have a tremendous impact on student success by focusing on job #1: ensuring every student benefits from great teaching in every classroom. Drawing upon his vast experience as a successful leader, Matt Renwick provides compelling insights, practical tools, and real-life examples for how to effect real change in schools. Leading Like a C.O.A.C.H. is a must-read playbook for any principal seeking to improve student outcomes—not by forcing change from outside in, but rather by unleashing it from the inside out through trust, compassion, optimism, and an unrelenting focus on excellence.

Bryan Goodwin
President & CEO, McREL International, Author of Building a Curious School

Renwick unpacks conversations by describing what he said in a coaching situation and then sharing his reasoning for why he chose the actions he took. This book is not just for people who are in the positional role of leader; it is for anyone who wants to develop their leadership capabilities.

Bena Kallick
Co-Director, Institute for Habits of Mind, Co-author of Students at the Center

This is exactly the book educators need to build trust while navigating the tensions in today’s school systems. Leading Like a C.O.A.C.H. will provide you with strategies that humanize leadership and bring joy to the work. This is an excellent book to read with your school teams to build the leadership pipeline essential to sustaining organizational excellence and a positive culture.

Anthony Kim
Founder and CEO, Education Elements, Co-author of The NEW School Rules

Matthew Renwick

Matt Renwick has served in public education for over 20 years. He started as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in a country school outside of Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Matt now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District. See more of his work at https://mattrenwick.com/.  More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071840474
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