In-Class Support Coaches mentor teachers in grades 6-8 in science content and effective teaching strategies. In this role, they provide individual assistance to teachers aimed at examining student thinking and classroom instruction. Coaches and teachers work together to plan and deliver lessons, reflect on instructional practice and apply lessons learned. Coaches also work with educators to analyze student assessments such as science notebooks and test scores. The coaching program was initially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. At the end of the grant, the Partner Districts provided the financial support for the coaches, and the Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) provided professional development.
Coaches and teachers meet and work together actively, both inside and outside the classroom. Depending on the needs and interests of the individual teacher, sessions can include consultations, model lessons, co-teaching, feedback on lessons and collaborative review of student work or assessment data. In addition, coaches work with teachers to align in-class support with the instructional goals of the district. Coaches have been supported in their roles through regular professional development sessions with the MISE staff and outside consultants.