Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an instructional coach?
  2. How do instructional coaches fit into the ACPS organizational model?
  3. How does coaching fit into the ACPS professional development model?
  4. What can I expect from a coach?
  5. Who can work with a coach?
  6. What is the role of a lead coach?


  1. An instructional coach is, above all, a teacher who partners with teachers in meeting their professional goals. Instructional coaches work side-by-side with teachers planning, co-teaching, and providing feedback to meet the needs of students.
  2. Instructional coaches are school-based but centrally-managed. They work in "clusters" or groups in order to foster the spread of best practices within and across schools. Coaches are paid on the teacher salary schedule and their role is nonevaluative.
  3. Research shows that sustainable, job-embedded professional development has a greater impact on instructional practices than one-time events. By connecting with a teacher within the context of his or her classroom, an instructional coach can be the link between knowing and doing: the partner that promotes the transfer of a teacher's ideas into practice. Coaches are considered a one component of the complete ACPS professional learning model​.
  4. Think of a coach as another set of eyes, ears and hands in the classroom, as well as a reflective partner in your practice.  Coaches can co-plan, co-teach, facilitate lesson study, model lessons, analyze student work, problem solve, and much more.  Click here to see more details about "What To Expect From a Coach." Feel free to contact a coach in person or via email. We are here to work with you!
  5. Any teacher can work with a coach! Both veteran and novice teachers work with coaches to improve their practice.
  6. The lead instructional coaches collaboratively lead the instructional coaching model.  Each lead coach supervises a group of four to six instructional coaches, works closely with building principals within his or her cluster, and keeps the model's mission of partnership work with teachers at the forefront.  In addition, each lead instructional coach facilitates a content-area vertical team.  Their varied role means that you may see them at your school in a variety of settings.