A Direct Instruction implementation is a systemic change in the way teachers instruct students. Teachers need to learn a new set of teaching behaviors that involve presenting from a script, pacing a lesson appropriately, correcting students, teaching students to mastery, reinforcing students, and accelerating students. Professional development and support is a vital component of a successful Direct Instruction implementation. The coach/building coordinator is key to effective staff development. Coaches share responsibility for students being successful by assisting the teacher to achieve a classroom environment where all students are learning.
The National Institute for Direct Instruction’s Coaching Series provides a well-developed coaching model that achieves the following goals:
- Focuses on the student
- Trains teachers to achieve student mastery
- Monitors student mastery
- Makes the rate and quality of mastery visible
- Provides schedules and procedures to enable all qualified teachers to achieve mastery
- Celebrates student academic achievement
The Level A manual focuses on teaching coaches how to ensure that basic structural elements are in place in the school and to monitor student performance by reviewing written records. Coaches develop skills in identifying problems based on a review of lesson progress data, student mastery data, and independent work scores. Coaches also learn how to work with teachers to solve problems and follow up after solutions are implemented. As part of the Level A manual, coaches learn the components of how to effectively lead a rehearsal session with a small group of teachers. Key aspects of the structural components of the implementation including materials, physical arrangements in the classroom, scheduling, grouping and placement are addressed.
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