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The Essential Guide for Student-Centered Coaching - Book Cover

The Essential Guide for Student-Centered Coaching

What Every K-12 Coach and School Leader Needs to Know

By: Diane R. Sweeney, Leanna Sulzer Harris

Grounded in the latest research and practical experience, this book is the essential guide for practicing Student-Centered Coaching across grade levels and content areas.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781544375359
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2020
  • Page Count: 192
  • Publication date: April 30, 2020

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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Insights, ideas, and inspiration to keep student learning at the center of instructional coaching

Diane Sweeney and Leanna Harris, whose best-selling books have influenced the practice of thousands of K-12 coaches, frame how Student-Centered Coaching serves as an evidence-based model of professional learning that focuses on student outcomes. Shifting the focus from “fixing” teachers to partnering with them to reach goals for student learning takes coaching to the heart of what matters most in schools. The Essential Guide for Student-Centered Coaching includes all-new material that is grounded in the latest research and the authors’ extensive experience in the field of coaching. In it, readers will find

  • An emphasis on how coaching can be asset-based and focused on equity
  • Current research in adult learning and professional development
  • Examples of how to integrate curriculum into coaching cycles
  • Anecdotes that illustrate what Student-Centered Coaching looks like across grade levels and content areas

Designed to accompany Student-Centered Coaching: The Moves (Corwin, 2017) and Leading Student-Centered Coaching (2019), The Essential Guide for Student-Centered Coaching provides the reader with a clear vision for how coaching can promote both teacher and student learning.

"In an honest and heartfelt voice, Diane and Leanna provide guidance and practical advice to help coaches navigate the complexities associated with their role. Diane and Leanna's passion to ensure that student learning stays at the center of improvement work is evident throughout this book as they paint a path of implementation for coaching that will help educators in realizing collective impact."

--Jenni Donohoo, Author and Consultant



Diane R. Sweeney photo

Diane R. Sweeney

Diane Sweeney has been an author and educational consultant since 1999. The author of Moves for Launching a New Year of Student-Centered Coaching (Corwin, 2022), Student-Centered Coaching from a Distance (Corwin, 2021), The Essential Guide for Student-Centered Coaching (Corwin, 2020), Leading Student-Centered Coaching (Corwin, 2018), and Student-Centered Coaching: The Moves (Corwin, 2016), Diane holds a longstanding interest in how adult learning translates to learning in the classroom. Diane holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Denver and a Master’s in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After teaching and coaching in the Denver Public Schools, Diane served as a program officer at the Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC) in Denver. Since then, she has become a respected voice in the field of coaching and professional development.

Leanna Sulzer Harris photo

Leanna Sulzer Harris

Leanna Harris is the author of The Essential Guide for Student-Centered Coaching (Corwin, 2020) and Student-Centered Coaching:The Moves (Corwin, 2016). She has worked as a teacher, coach, and consultant across grades K-12 and currently works with Diane Sweeney Consulting to help schools and districts implement student-centered coaching. Her work is based upon the belief that professional development for teachers is most effective when it is grounded in outcomes for student achievement - for every child, every day.

Leanna is a passionate skier and cyclist. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and three kids.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures


About the Authors


     Why This Book Now?

     Guiding Principles and Core Practices

     The Path to Implementation of Student-Centered Coaching

Chapter 1. Why Student-Centered Coaching Matters

     We Don’t Have Time to Waste

     How Student-Centered Coaching Compares With Other Approaches to Coaching

     Core Practices for Student-Centered Coaching

     Creating an Ecosystem for Professional Learning and Coaching

     Coaching Toward Sustainability

     Connections to the Visible Learning Research

     Lesson From the Field

     Tools and Techniques

     A Final Thought

Chapter 2. Coaching Cycles: An Essential Practice

     What Is a Coaching Cycle?

     Making Time for Coaching Cycles

     What About Curriculum, Programs, and Classroom Management?

     What About Coaching Cycles With Groups?

     Lesson From the Field

     Tools and Techniques

     A Final Thought

Chapter 3. Understanding Our Impact

     Collect Anecdotal Evidence Through Exit Interviews

     Other Ways to Use the Results-Based Coaching Tool

     Monitoring Focus on a Unified Goal

     Lesson From the Field

     Tools and Techniques

     A Final Thought

Chapter 4. Student-Centered Coaching Conversations

     What Does Student-Centered Coaching Sound Like?

     Crafting Conversations That Are Learning Focused

     Providing Strengths-Based Feedback

     Strengths-Based Feedback Within Coaching Cycles

     Questioning and Listening

     Lesson From the Field

     Tools and Techniques

     A Final Thought

Chapter 5. Building a Culture Where Student-Centered Coaching Thrives

     Fostering a Culture of Learning

     Embrace the Mess of Learning, With Every Member of the Community Taking the Stance of Learner

     Use Student Evidence and Data to Drive Decision-Making

     Reflect On and Adjust Practice Based on the Needs of Students

     Use Shared Decision-Making so Teachers’ Voices, Experiences, and Perspectives Are Taken Into Account

     Focus School Improvement Efforts on a Single Goal or Strategy

     Lesson From the Field

     Tools and Techniques

     A Final Thought

Chapter 6. Systems to Make Student-Centered Coaching Happen

     Marketing and Messaging

     Organize the Year Into Coaching Rounds

     Start Small and Gain Momentum

     Consistently Monitor for Impact

     Lesson From the Field

     Tools and Techniques

     A Final Thought

Chapter 7. Supporting and Evaluating Coaches

     First Things First: Hire Effective Coaches

     What to Look For When Hiring Coaches

     Provide Job-Embedded Support Through Coaching Labs

     A Curriculum to Support New Coaches

     Tools and Processes for Evaluating Coaches

     The Role of the District in Supporting Student-Centered Coaching

     Lesson From the Field

     Tools and Techniques

     A Final Thought






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