Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:54 AM

I will be a science instructional coach in the near future. I want to make sure that I am prepared to help teachers and not just give them more work to do. Could you take a moment to answer some or all of these questions so I can start preparing myself? Please add any more comments that you think would help an instructional coach help you. Thank you.


  • What assistance do you need with implementing NGSS?

  • What are your challenges/frustrations implementing NGSS?

  • What resources would help you implement NGSS more efficiently?

  • If you had a virtual personal assistant who was certified in your subject area, what jobs would you give them? (Think of things you really want to get to during the school year but just don't have the time)

  • What online resources do you use for help?

  • What do you find yourself “Googling”?


Margaret O'Sullivan
Margaret O'Sullivan
140 Activity Points

Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:21 PM

Margaret, I have worked as an elementary STEM Master Teacher for the past three years and currently I am a lead teacher who helps teachers with curriculum and models lessons. I have worked at 5 different elementary schools in a rotation. The majority of what I learned was that many of teachers are resistant to outside help until they trust that you are not going to tattle on them to administration. I learned to observe for a few weeks and lending a hand to whatever the teacher was doing. I helped them with classroom management and established a relationship with them. Then we discussed their lesson plans and planning ahead. Many times there was an issue of not having materials to conduct experiments. (I would borrow microscopes or ask science supervisors to order some low cost items. I purchased a lot of low cost materials out of my own pocket.)
The teachers were overwhelmed with all of the curriculum changes so I printed out posters with the NGSS and laminated them to post in the classroom. As we discussed lessons I would remind them of the new standards and show them how they connected to the grade level standards and went into more detail.
Most teachers front load their lessons and feel very uncomfortable allowing students to conduct experiments before discussing vocabulary and reading about the phenomena. When I model lessons, I start with the experiment and then go back to it a few days later to find out what variable students wish to change. I posted experiments, lab sheets, engineering process design, and materials lists to our local Blackboard and still teachers did not look them up or google any information initially. They wanted me to do it all for them, including writing their lesson plans. There a few instances where I actually did write some lesson plans. I felt I needed to so that the teacher could grasp how the lesson should flow and how much time each element of the lesson should take.

I use http://ngss.nsta.org/ and Picture Perfect Science Lessons book series from NSTA.

When I model lessons, I have a feedback sheet that teachers complete after the lesson. I also make a schedule for each week and keep that in a binder as documentation of who I helped, when I helped, and what content was covered.

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
83456 Activity Points

Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:56 PM

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my NSTA post so detailed. I
really appreciate it and the information is helpful. I also appreciate all
the work you are putting in to help out your teachers. I think NGSS is an
important shift in the traditional model of teaching science and worth
getting done correctly. Thanks again and hope you have a good rest of the
school year,

Margaret O'Sullivan
Margaret O'Sullivan
140 Activity Points

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