LITERACY COACHES & SPECIALISTS
The position of Literacy Coach was developed and implemented to provide the human resources for professional development for teachers in the area of literacy. Assigning a Literacy Coach to each building enables teachers to engage in job-embedded professional development, that is, professional development that can take place during the day within the context of teachers’ daily work. For this reason, one of the most important functions of a Literacy Coach is to demonstrate various literacy teaching strategies within classrooms, to observe teachers trying out new strategies, and to provide feedback to teachers as they work to improve their literacy teaching from a balanced, comprehensive literacy framework. Their primary function is to interact with classroom teachers to improve the quality of literacy teaching and learning. To continue providing the highest quality of literacy training, Literacy Coaches participate in regular, required training sessions as part of their regular job assignments.
The MPS Literacy Specialists provide leadership for the Literacy Coaches. Each Literacy Specialist is responsible for a group of Literacy Coaches and works directly with them to facilitate the implementation of this concept of professional development. In addition, the Literacy Specialists provide ongoing professional development for the Literacy Coaches at regularly scheduled training sessions. These sessions include a range of topics appropriate to the function of Literacy Coaches across all levels from K-12.
Literacy Coaches and Literacy Specialists are an important example of what it means to build a professional learning community in each school. Literacy Coaches are intended to be staff members whose work is dedicated to improving the quality of literacy teaching in every building; that is, they coach teachers to improve the quality of their literacy teaching practice. The concept of coaching as a fundamental professional development strategy across the district has been extended with the introduction of coaches for each principal in MPS.