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  • Lee University

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    (423) 614-8159
    Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Teaching Coaches at Lee University

    The Goal


    Teaching coaches are asked, as colleagues, to aid individual professors who are seeking to better their own classroom instruction. This service will be conducted outside the standard governing and assessment structure of university administration (i.e., department chair, dean, vice-president for academic affairs, and president). This unique program will serve as a non-threatening and non-evaluative means to create dialogue and guidance for professors as they continue to develop their classroom skills and methodologies. The coaching program is expected to extend through one academic year. It will be conducted in strict confidentiality. While some general steps in the process have been listed below, the action plan will be devised primarily by the instructor who is seeking assistance.

    The Process

    1. The professor will contact the coordinator or the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and request this service.
    2. The professor will communicate with the coordinator of the teaching coaches or Director of the CTE concerning the initial areas and ideas for improvement.
    3. The professor will be assigned two coaches based on initial responses.
    4. The professor will write a brief summary/review of their teaching strengths and weaknesses based on their teaching evaluations.
    5. The professor will meet with the teaching coaches to expound on the review with them as well as examine other pertinent course materials. They will also discuss the options available in devising an action plan.
    6. The professor and the teaching coaches will plan at least one class to be observed and a time to meet after the class for discussion and reflection.
    7. The professor will create an action plan based on his/her strengths and weaknesses as well as the first observation and dialogue. The action plan will state what the teacher hopes to improve during the academic year.
    8. The professor and the teaching coaches will continue their observations/activities and discussions during the academic year.
    9. The professor, at the conclusion of the academic year, will have a final meeting with the coaches to discuss how the process aligned with their expectations and how it was helpful to their teaching.

    Possible Activities for the Action Plan

    Options include but are not limited to...

    1. Planning the style of observations and discussions (i.e., the number of observations, who will observe, when discussions of the teaching sessions will be held, etc.)
    2. Evaluating important pedagogical documents such as syllabi or lesson plans.
    3. Observing the teaching coaches or other veteran teachers in their classrooms.
    4. Journaling as a critical reflection of classroom teaching sessions
    5. Reading suggested text(s) and incorporating ideas into teaching
    6. Video-taping a class or classes and providing a self-critique
    7. Allowing teaching coaches to speak briefly with classes to discuss teaching