Ready, Set, Coach!

We know from research that it isn’t enough to just put new knowledge or techniques in the hands of teachers. They need support to turn those new ideas into practice. This is why so many programs have made mentor coaching a central component of their professional development effort.

Mentor coaches have many roles and responsibilities and use various approaches including on-site, long-distance and an integrated method. All of these approaches help teachers do their best work with children. In order for coaching to improve teacher practice and student achievement, here are a few considerations:

  • Coaches must develop trusting, collaborative relationships with teachers.
  • Professional goals should be tailored to needs identified by teachers.
  • The approach to learning should be collaborative and inquiry-based.
  • Feedback should be content-specific in order to sustain partnerships.
  • The coaches’ role must remain supportive, not evaluative.

Mentor coaching should include activities such as:

  • Creating, implementing and reviewing goals for teachers to achieve through the mentor coaching process;
  • Observing teachers and providing feedback;
  • Sending video clips to teachers to review along with guided questions to answer;
  • Discussing the video clips and activities with teachers;
  • Providing the teachers with ongoing consultation and support.

Are you interested in a strengths-based approach to support teachers in becoming more effective in their interactions to improve children’s outcomes? Our mentor coaching services are based on the principles of practice-based coaching. We also offer a “Train the Trainer” approach by working with your Education Coordinator or other Management staff – to give them the tools and support to provide effective mentor coaching services to teachers.

Contact us at (704) 451-3255 or email us at to discuss your mentor coaching needs. Our mentor coaching services provides teachers with the guidance and support that they need to implement best practices as it pertains to teaching as well as high CLASS scores.

A Full Community Assessment: Your Essential Planning Document

A full Community Assessment will provide you with all of the data that you need to make critical programmatic decisions.  Examples of these programmatic decisions are:

  • Determining recruitment areas and selection criteria;
  • Selecting program options;
  • Determining the type of content area services that are most needed;
  • Creating long-range and short-range program goals and objectives;
  • Determining available community resources to support family stability.

Consider the following when creating your program’s Community Assessment.

  1. Collect a wide variety of data. There is a wealth of data available. Externally, there is the Census Bureau, State and County Departments of Health, American Community Survey, Kids Count Data Center, American FactFinder, State Data Centers, United Way as well as local school districts and early intervention programs, just to name a few.  Internally, there is your PIR, Annual Report, wait list and list of community partners. Surfing the Net, making phone calls and conducting surveys of your parents, staff, Policy Council, Board of Directors and community partners will yield a great deal of valuable data.
  2. Look for trends. When you are collecting current data, also gather information from recent years. This will give you an opportunity to compare data. By aggregating and analyzing the information, you will be able to identify key findings and trends. This will provide you with the information that you need to make critical programmatic decisions.
  3. Create a user-friendly format. Be sure that your community assessment is a document that is easy to read. It should also be user-friendly so that you can find needed information quickly. Include a combination of graphs and charts as well as text. With each graph, add a “Key Finding” that describes the data. After each major section, include a “Highlights and Considerations” section tht summarizes the key information. This will allow you to reference your Community Assessment frequently throughout the year.

We create Full Community Assessments that include all of the required items in the Head Start Program Performance Standards as well as any additional data that you request. If you need help creating a Community Assessment, give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at to discuss your needs.