Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teachers and Coaches


Killion, J. & Harrison, C. (2006). Taking the lead: New Roles for Teachers and School-based Coaches. Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council

Killion & Harrison are both past presidents of the National Staff Development Council, and both are still very active in this organization. They are very respected staff development leaders who have led district efforts, worked as and with district administrators, and now act as consultants across the country. This book speaks very well to school leaders and would be useful in settings where coaches are being implemented across several content areas including literacy on a K-12 basis. The main body of the text is very clear and no nonsense - this does not read like a typical book on literacy coaching! The more catching, human-interest parts of the book are in the boxes that contain good examples. Part 1 of the book devotes a chapter to each of the 9 roles they see coaches fulfilling: resource provider, data coach, curriculum specialist, instructional specialist, classroom supporter, mentor, learning facilitator, school leader catalyst for change, and learner. Part 2 explains the nuts and bolts of implementing a school-based coaching program with chapters devoted to the details that a district must put in place at each level: interviews, district supports, school supports, coach day-to-day work, evaluation of the coaching program, trouble-shooting (excellent chart), and possibilities and pitfalls.
The book comes with a CD of tools that can be easily opened and used; they can also be edited to customized to one's particular needs. Very helpful will be the Innovation Configurations for School-based Staff Developers that are an appendix to the book and also on the CD. A configuration map is a means of describing what a particular educational innovation looks like when it is fully implemented. Included in the configuration map for school-based staff developers are these outcomes for their work: structures for learning communities; culture that supports ongoing team-based professional learning; use of resources; data-driven decision-making; contributions to formulative and summative evaluation; research-based instructional strategies; professional development that aligns with school improvement goals for student achievement; application of knowledge about teacher development in design of professional learning; reinforcement of collaboration and trust; preparation of all educators to uphold equity; quality teaching; and family involvement. This book is comprehensive and helpful to coaches across content disciplines.