The Essential Tool: Peer Coaches

Peer Coaches know more than just instruction or technology, they understand classroom management, lesson planning and structure, instructional strategies and pedagogy, and formative and summative assessment.

Coaches understand best practices in technology integration to assist teachers to enrich and enhance student learning. Teachers benefit from a model where they can exchange ideas, tips, and techniques, instead of working in isolation. They have a support system that helps them work through best practices and model change. Professional development becomes individual and personal, fulfilling the needs of the individual teacher. As teacher’s skills develop and their needs change, the professional development transforms so that growth can continue. Best of all it models what students need to learn, collaboration skills and problem solving.

Creating a learning community with coaching can help teachers feel supported and willing to engage with and help each other. When teachers create relationships with other educators and link to resources, whether they are online or in their school, they are creating a professional learning network or PLN. What they have is a powerful resource to work on improving their teaching, by sharing learning strategies and even lesson plans. These networks encourage growth, help improving teaching and increase student learning.

To understand the 3 C’s of a PLN, watch the video below:



Beglau, M., Craig-Hare, J., Foltos, L., Gann, K., James, J., Jobe, H., … & Smith, B. (2011). Technology, coaching, and community: Power partners for improved professional development in primary and secondary education. Washington DC: ISTE.

Foltos, L. (2013). Peer coaching: Unlocking the power of collaboration. Corwin Press. Chapter 9 & 10

[Tara B Bosma]. (2013, October 15).Professional Learning Networks for Teachers . [Video File]. Retrieved from

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1 thought on “The Essential Tool: Peer Coaches

  1. PLN’s can be a really powerful professional learning tool and support network. The 3 C’s also seemed so critical for teachers who join a PLN to understand. Are there PLN’s that seem particularly powerful for you and your work.

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