Coaching for EL Education

Focus Area: EL Education

CInstructional Coaches, LLeaders, TTeachers

Pathway: Ownership

Available Now


Our coaching methodology centers on the principles of action research, and job-embedded best practices to provide the most personalized and differentiated approach to meet the needs of our participants.  This professional learning is designed to support each participant with what they need, not a one-size-fit all approach.  In curriculum implementation, the needs of educators vary greatly based on their experience, implementation level, and mindsets.  Our EL Education coaches use the “Try, Measure, Learn” approach to encourage narrow, actionable shifts as they refine their knowledge of the curriculum, make formative decisions around student learning progress, and build their own student centered literacy skills. These areas, and others, fall into three key aspects of coaching around EL Education:  Content, Craft, and Instructional Leadership.

Each of the bulleted areas below represents a potential ‘path’ that participants may take with their coach in these 3 areas.  This level of focus ensures that there are opportunities to reflect on participant’s growth while still being flexible and attentive to many needs.  


  • Materials: How are the materials laid out, and how do I navigate them for planning and use?
  • Structure: What is the structure of the Modules in the curriculum and what is the purpose of each section?
  • Learning Targets: How does a given activity support the learning targets?
  • Looking Ahead: What are the key ideas and goals of an upcoming unit and how does learning build over time?
  • Internalizing: How can I internalize and plan a lesson efficiently?
  • Components: What are the components of Skills/All Blocks and how does each support student growth?
  • Assessments: How do I use the assessments to understand what students are able to do with the content?
  • Support: How do we use suggested scaffolds to support all students to be able to access the learning?


  • Skills Block: How do we differentiate phonics instruction to meet developing foundational skills? 
  • Discourse: How do we structure and deepen discourse using protocols and questions to promote, not just assess, learning?
  • CFU: How do we use Total Participation Techniques and checks for understanding to support progress on learning targets?
  • Ownership: How can we anticipate and monitor understanding as students do the heavy lifting in a standards-based approach?
  • Culture: How do we foster and support a culture of grappling? 
  • Protocols: How do we plan and establish clear routines and expectations through protocols?
  • Formative: How do we use data to differentiate instruction and manage pace? 

Instructional Leadership

  • Content: How do we build our own knowledge of the curriculum and its components to better understand how to support teachers?
  • Craft: What are some of the moves and strategies that support teachers to deliver the curriculum successfully?
  • Building Collaborative PLCs: How do we build a collaborative professional learning environment for surfacing shared challenges and opportunities with the curriculum?
  • Shared Planning: How can we establish cyclical, targeted, and shared planning with teachers at the module, unit, and lesson level?
  • Analyzing Data: How do we identify artifacts and data that help us to make decisions about where support is needed?
  • Observation and Feedback: How do we create supportive and efficient cycles of observation and feedback on implementation?


This coaching model and support was developed for teachers, instructional coaches, and teacher and school leaders implementing the EL Education curriculum. 


  • Bi-weekly, 30 Minute virtual session scheduled directly with a BetterLesson Coach
  • 4 Session Coaching Packs around one topic (tied to a virtual workshop) or Targeted (half-year) and Unlimited Coaching with flexibility is available
  • Participants will need a computer with a camera, microphone, and register for access with the BetterLesson Lab


Because coaching is personalized, participants will move through awareness of the curriculum, to understanding and application, to ownership.  Curriculum coaching usually moves from support with materials, to support with content, to support with craft, but not always in that order.

Learning Experience

We have seen that common challenges in a standards-based, student-centered curriculum include pacing, assessing mastery, supporting student independence, and structuring discourse.  We believe that the only way to support implementation for teachers and leaders is to prioritize both content and craft support, as these ideas are interwoven and connected.  For example, pacing challenges may arise from a need to understand how skills spiral throughout and across Modules and/or structuring protocols effectively with clear routines and expectations.  In supporting participants with implementation of the EL Curriculum, certain Design Principles guide our work.  These principles serve as undercurrents to the type of support and coaching we aim to provide:

  1. Honoring that implementation of a curriculum is among the most challenging things that educators do requires empathy and understanding.
  2. Cyclical:  Because support can be needed across multiple areas at once, we will strive to be flexible but also ensure we are returning to key paths or themes to ensure reflection and learning after a ‘try’
  3. Minimizing Asks: Trying a new curriculum with all new materials requires we minimize and narrow the things that they try, and reduce any barriers to meeting, documentation, etc of our support