Professional Learning Opportunities


"...[T]hese leaders read widely, participate in learning communities, attend workshops and conferences, and model career-long learning by making their learning visible to others."

- NSCD, 2008

The PRIME leadership document indicates that "quality teaching requires collegial interchange within the norm of professional learning communities" (PRIME Leadership Framework). The need for collegial interchange extends to specialists, coaches and leaders of coaching programs.

Specialists serving in coaching roles should study coaching strategies that foster growth in mathematics teachers. They should seek opportunities to deepen their own mathematics knowledge, enhance their pedagogical knowledge, and refine their interpersonal skills to build stronger relationships with teachers. They can benefit from collaborating with other individuals in their field, which often includes the need to work with coaches from other schools, districts, or states.

Leaders of coaching programs also need to be part of a learning community. From such interactions, they deepen and refine their understanding of both their evolving roles and responsibilities and those of their specialists and coaches. Collaboration with other leaders helps them to internalize a clearer vision of the desired results for their districts. Leaders should also ensure that their specialists or coaches have appropriate and ongoing opportunities for growth and development.

Coaches and leaders can further their knowledge and understanding of the coaching roles and responsibilities through professional learning modules, conferences and workshops, or university courses. Click on the tabs above to explore one or all of these options.

Professional learning modules: Materials are available in the form of online presentations (webinars), downloadable documents, and/or multimedia presentations. These modules allow coaches and leaders to tailor learning experiences for themselves. Some of these materials can be used by leaders to conduct professional learning opportunities for their specialists or coaches.

Conferences and workshops: Links to conferences and workshops designed for specialists, coaches, and leaders are provided, including the Coaching Strand of the NCSM Annual Conference.

Graduate Degree Programs: Some universities offer graduate degree programs for mathematics specialists. This tab links directly to a number of these programs at the Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Leaders Project website.

Mathematics Specialist Certification/Endorsements: Many states have Mathematics Specialist Certification/Endorsements. This tab links directly to a number of these certificates at the Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Leaders Project website.

Local Opportunities: This tab take you to your Regional NCSM page where you can check your local calendar for upcoming events.

"To be well prepared for this level of support, collaboration, and guidance, a coach needs to understand her role deeply and engage frequently in opportunities that effectively build the knowledge that is required for enacting that role."

- Morse, 2009