ISTE For Coaches -Developing Coaching Skills

ISTE-C Standard 1: Visionary Leadership
d. Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage the change process in schools and classrooms

Standard 2: Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences

Inquiry Question:
How can you build positive and comfortable relationship with the teachers who are not good at technology even resistant to technology in the coaching?

Subtle and substantial challenges to coach veteran teachers

Veteran teachers are highly experienced with highly structured teaching methods for years. They understand students and know how to create engaging and motivating lessons. Building rapport and comfort is the key to the success of coaching. 

Admire and respect their teaching

Don’t give the impression that your coaching goal is to change or uproot the years of work they have done. Observe the classes to gain valuable insights to offer explicit direction for future coaching.  

Ask for the expectation

After observing the classes, engage in conversation about one specific lesson to learn how the teacher came up with the ideas for it and ask them what they hope students will remember about the lesson 10 years later to deepen the conversation to understand their expectations. 


Put the heart into the veteran teacher’s sharing without interrupt. Paraphing what the teacher said to clarify your understanding correctly and show your full respect. Look for the points to make suggestions and ideas to improve learning activities using appropriate technology which can meet the teacher’s expectations and discuss the planning with the teacher. 

Provide a specific strategy to improve student learning

Teach a small group of students with technology embedded for a specific lesson and show the veteran teacher the improvement the technology made. Get feedback from the teacher in time to know what he is willing to do for the further step. 

Break barriers for coaching reluctant teachers

Reason for reluctant

The group of teachers who are reluctant to accept piloting technology in classes are not good at technology and too vulnerable and negative to take any risks. A positive and supportive relationship is the key to successful coaching.

SAMR framework: focus on S

For the tech coach, the SAMR framework is the clear guidance for technology integration. For coaching the reluctant teachers, the coach needs to focus on Substitution more to build capacity to use digital tools, solve problems, and get through challenges to raise teachers’ confidence and empower them on leveraging technology into classes to enhance student learning.  

Be transparent and honest

Be open and honest to the coached teachers about the potential risks they will meet. Have the teachers understand the lesson plan might need to be re-designed and re-implemented because of some unexpected factors. Share with the teachers the stories of the failures and success of coaching to build trust between each other. 

Coaching is the activity of collaboration and communication in which the relationship is the key factor can catalyze the success and also the failure. Coaching with the veteran and reluctant teachers is significantly different from the technology euthanasic teachers. The coach needs to consider the teachers’ preferences and characteristics to determine the deliverance and set coaching norms. And assessment based on data of improvement will be another catalyst to provoke the willing for long-term coaching.


  1. Grafwallner, P. (2017). Coaching the Veteran Teacher. Retrieve from:
  2. Collet, V. (2018). Breaking Down the Coaching Barriers. Retrieve from:
  3. Paschal, A. (2018). 5 Ways to Build a Trusting Coaching Relationship. Retrieve from:

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