Emily O'Connell

The way I teach has dramatically changed since beginning my work with an Instructional Coach at Benton Middle School/High School. The instructional coaches have been such a great resource for me. With the grind of the fast-paced day, an instructional coach has supported me on a spectrum of things from quick questions and tasks to thought-provoking and intentional planning. I have used their range of support with technical issues and they’ve helped me find resources to use in my class to support my instruction. They have encouraged me to reflect on my teaching practices and ask the hard questions to better me as a teacher and increase the quality of my instruction for my students.

 Teaching can at times be isolating, especially when you are a singleton in your content and grade level or your schedules do not align with your peers.  Prior to the opportunities of working with an instructional coach, it was difficult for me to make time to be reflective, collaborative and often left discouraged when I couldn’t figure out how to resolve a technology issue. Having a scheduled time to meet each week with an instructional coach to work through a goal during a coaching cycle has been invaluable to me. It has allowed me to become more confident and intentional in all aspects of teaching. It requires me to slow down and really think about where I am at and where I want to go in my instruction to create meaningful and rigorous lessons for my students.