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Content-Focused Coaching: Transforming Mathematics Lessons

Lucy West

What kind of supports would keep teachers well equipped to help all of their students succeed? What if these same supports kept teachers energized, passionate, and informed about their fields? Content-Focused Coaching offers just such a sustaining system. CFC is a long-range professional development practice in which coaches work individually or with groups of classroom teachers to design, implement, and reflect on rigorous, standards-based lessons that promote student learning. Authored by two educators closely involved with the design of CFC, this book is perfect for K-8 staff developers, teacher leaders, administrators, and others interested in improving mathematics education.

Lucy West and Fritz Staub explain the general tenets of CFC and the fundamental foundations upon which it rests. Then they provide a wealth of examples of coaching in action in New York City’s Community School District #2, a district known nationally for its progressive, innovative, and rigorous focus on professional development. To give readers a richer picture of what CFC entails, the three accompanying CD-ROMs contain extensive video footage of coaching sessions, including the preconference, lesson, and postconference. Full transcripts of the video segments can be used with the book or as independent tools for study groups.

Improve mathematics education. Rekindle teachers’ passions for their profession. Read West and Staub and implement Content-Focused Coaching in your school or district..

“If education is to be the learning profession, then we must walk the walk of learners. The bottom line is not perfection, constant success, and high test scores. The bottom line is creating a culture in which learning, innovation, and collaboration are the norms-a learning culture. When adults in schools create such environments, children will thrive.”

-Lucy West and Antonia Cameron

How can teacher leaders cultivate an adult learning environment that will upgrade teaching capacity system-wide, and ultimately improve student learning in every classroom? Lucy West and Toni Cameron turn decades of experience designing and implementing coaching initiatives into a practical resource for transforming school culture and inspiring true learning at every level.

Agents of Change provides coaches, administrators, and teacher leaders with specific techniques, tools, and strategies for working with individual classroom teachers to plan and co-teach lessons, reflect on them afterwards, and find evidence of student learning. Lucy and Toni argue that when we infuse rich learning conversations into the professional discourse via coaching, study lessons, and regular meeting times for professionals to work collaboratively, we’re able to examine what it takes on a day to day basis to reach every student in our classrooms. The transformative potential of content coaching to improve both teacher and student learning on a school-wide level has never been more clear.

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