What is an Instructional Coach Mentor?

Before we get into what an Instructional Coach Mentor, let’s look at what an instructional coach is. This position is newer to education over the last 10 years, but seems to have exploded over the last four years! It is a role that is really unique and can vary greatly from school to school, requiring a lot of work to clarify that role to the teachers and educational leaders the coach works with. By our definition, a coach is an instructional leader who partners with educational stakeholders to achieve individual (educator) and common (department/school/district) goals. The question is: who helps the coach achieve their goals? Cue the Instructional Coach Mentor!

Oftentimes, coaches are a team of one. This can feel extremely isolating and overwhelming, especially if you’re the first person in this role for your district or school. One of the best parts of having a team or even one other coach is the ability to collaborate and bounce ideas off one another. And that is why mentorship is such an asset to a coach. Let’s take a look at what a Coach mentor can do for you!

Personalized Professional Development

A mentor is an opportunity for the coach to get 1:1 professional development specific to their current role. This is crucial for them to improve their skill set in a way that is relevant to their current role and to help them adapt to the changing needs of those they support.

Accountability and Goal Setting

Having a mentor is like having a built-in accountability buddy. They will help the coach identify areas of strength and room for growth, set goals around those, and provide resources and support to help the coach advance. The best part? It is all tailored to the specific goals and vision of the school or district they work for! The coach can walk away with measurable results of their growth and progress towards these goals.

Increased Confidence and Empowerment

After working with a mentor, a coach feels better equipped and more capable of doing the job they were hired for! When confidence is increased, it is a sure-fire way to increase the coach’s job satisfaction and retention in the role.

Return on Investment

Because they work with such a large number of educational stakeholders, from classroom teachers to district leaders, Instructional Coaches have a unique vantage point to schools and districts. By investing in a mentorship program for the coach, you can count on their growth making a widespread, systemic impact. This type of investment into a coach can lead to higher quality instruction, an increase in student achievement, a clearer vision of goals for the school or district, and so much more.

A coach needs a coach, too. We invite you to take the time to consider the impact a Coach Mentor could have on your coach’s role, school or district.