A day in the life of an instructional coach


Austin Bryner, Reporter

Many schools around have instructional coaches, and Big Spring does as well in the form of Nicole Donato, but what does an instruction coach actually do?

Throughout Donato’s regular day of work she does many different things. Sometime she will meet with teachers during the day. “When meeting with teachers, my goal is to support them and give them instructional practices to use in the classroom.” said Donato. During those meetings, sometimes she will work with them on developing projects for students and also helping to create rubrics. Throughout her day, she sometimes will visit classrooms. Donato said, “I love doing classroom visits because I am able to see the students learning, as well as doing a variety of different activities.” She likes that she is able to talk to the students about what they are doing and have them explain it to her. “One of my favorite classroom visits was going to the wood tech room and having sophomore Darren Neidigh teach me how to use a lathe,” said Donato. When visiting classrooms, she will also give feedback to teachers on what the students are doing and other ideas of things to do next time, as well as questions for teachers to ask students to help students reflect on what they are learning more.

Also throughout her day Donato helps develop resources for teachers. “I try and read a lot of professional books to try and read to learn more to become more prepared for challenges that teachers come to me with so I am able to give them back many options to help,” said Donato. Donato will also read on other platforms to help with coming up with new ideas of things to use in the classroom. She also will help teachers get different ideas instead of all teachers doing the same thing. Donato will also create examples of rubrics, graphic organizers, higher level questions, and performance tasks to share with teachers as models to help them create their own.

Also throughout her day, she will work with teachers on formative and summative assessments and also helps to analyze the data and results. Donato and the teachers then uses those results to help make changes to instruction and curriculum. Sometimes Donato may even go into to classrooms to teach model lessons, and or will co-teach with teachers. When first getting this job, Donato was a little scared that she might have to know all these things that she didn’t know much about but really only needed to do what she is now doing. All these things are just in the normal day of work for Donato as the instructional coach here at Big Spring High School.