Instructional Coaching for ESL/EFL Teachers

Congratulations on taking a step towards developing as an ESL/EFL teaching professional.

I have often referred to ESL/EFL teaching as the “best job in the world”. My goal after 20 years of ESL/EFL teaching (including 7 years in Hong Kong) is to assist new teachers in the field. Based on my own personal experience as a new teacher in 1995, my experience as a TESL/TESOL trainer and the experience of other new ESL/EFL teachers, completing a TESL/TESOL program does not necessarily mean that we are all ready for the classroom. Instructional Coaching is one way to further develop your teaching skills.

Coaching is a relatively new area for ESL/EFL teachers, and has been growing over the past few years. My role as your Instructional Coach is to work with you to share research-based methods to help become a more effective ESL/EFL teacher.

Teaching is complex and complicated. It is important to remember that good teachers develop over time. Despite the complexity of teaching, the good news is that teaching skills can be developed. Sometimes a few changes or new techniques can make all the difference.

I can help you with in class instruction, lesson planning and materials development (including test preparation).

The Benefits of Coaching

Your coaching sessions are geared specifically to your own needs and goals so the benefits are just for you. Research suggests that ESL/EFL teachers who were coached reported that:

- they enjoyed the fact that they can work with a coach without the feeling of being evaluated

- they felt free to try new things and make mistakes in the classroom without fear of judgment

The Coaching Process

The process of coaching generally begins with a conversation where we talk about the possibility of working together.

We will talk about what the coaching sessions may look like based on your own goals to become a more effective ESL/EFL teacher.

We will decide on the approach for reviewing lessons, if feedback on actual teaching is a goal (videotaped lessons can be sent).The Observational Took will be sent in advance.

Reflection is a key component of developing as a teaching professional.This is an important part of the learning process.

How are the Sessions Arranged?

The wonders of technology allow us to share documents and videos as well as chat in real time.SKYPE works well in most parts of the world, so this would be a preferred way for us to communicate.My schedule is very flexible so even if we are on different continents, we will be able to find a time that is suitable for both of us.

How do we Prepare for Coaching?

I believe that the most aspect of coaching is getting mentally ready to receive feedback.I would say that 99% of teacher-trainees have responded well with feedback however there are always a small percentage of teacher-trainees that view feedback as negative and critical.Remember that the feedback relates to your teaching, and not to you as a person.These are two very different things.

Here are some good examples from three former TESL students:

Student A

Patrice is kind, patient, detail-oriented and very knowledgeable. She spent hours correcting our work in detail. Her support was beyond essential and the knowledge and resources she shared with us are priceless. Her teaching demeanor with all students is impressive which makes her a great role model for all future teachers!

Student B

I feel there is so much to remember in a lesson in terms of how to organize, what questions to ask, when to ask, etc....I feel jumbled.I appreciate your feedback--it is so sensible and valuable.I know I have great deal to learn and trust it will come more naturally in a real-life setting and in time. I value your insight as you have practical and beneficial comments that promote positive change.Thank you again for all your efforts to help me improve.

Student C

Your criticism of my teaching seems to be negative and critical.I am just about the finish my TESL program and I don’t feel ready.

It is crucial that before we start the coaching process, and for coaching to be effective, that you feel ready for feedback.

I highly recommend that you read Mindset, by Dr. Carol Dweck.Her work in the area of mindsets has greatly influenced my teaching and all aspects of my life outside the classroom as well.

The fee for 2 hours of personalized, one-on-one instructional coaching is $60 U.S. for 2 hours.  Sign up and start as soon as you are ready!

I look forward to working with you! Patrice