Coaching early career teachers in urban elementary schools: A mixed method study
Coaching for urban early career teachers (ECTs) offers promise and aligns with features of effective professional development to support the implementation of evidence-based practices. However, the functional components and key elements of coaching and coach supervision are not well specified in the literature. The goal of the current study was to examine adherence and feasibility of a coaching intervention designed to provide urban ECTs with concentrated support in classroom management and
... management and engaging learners—two instructional domains that are robust predictors of attrition (Ingersoll and Strong in Rev Educ Res 81:201–233, 2011). Coaches (n = 6) worked with ECTs (n = 15) in three urban, high-poverty elementary schools during the 2-year intervention. A mixed-method design was employed, such that qualitative data (i.e., semi-structured interviews) and quantitative data (i.e., adherence measures) were collected concurrently, remained independent during analyses, and were integrated during interpretation (Creswell and Clark in Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, 2007). Findings revealed that ECTs generally received the intended frequency and duration of coaching but with fewer opportunities for post-conferences. Coach supervision, on average, was delivered with intended frequency, with variability across coaches. Thematic analyses highlighted coach provision of emotional and instrumental support, emphasized consistent coaching as critical, and that time was a significant barrier to ECT participation in coaching. Supervision promoted social support among coaches and provided opportunities to adapt the model to ECT needs.