Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching — A Partnership Between the Annenberg Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Jan 2018 PLO Left Attendees “Energized” PDF Print E-mail

Instructional coaches, district administrators, other school leaders, PIIC Mentors, and Regional Mentor Coordinators (RMC’s) from around the state came to the Penn Stater Conference Center for PIIC’s latest Professional Learning Opportunity (PLO) that took place January 8-10, 2018.  

The event kicked off on January 8th at noon with PIIC Executive Director, Ellen Eisenberg, welcoming the attendees.   After the guests were welcomed and engaged in table talk, new PIIC participants attended Coaching 101.5 facilitated by PIIC Executive Director, Ellen Eisenberg.   This required session helps coaches new to PIIC learn about the PIIC Instructional Coaching Model.  Veterans attended one of five pre-selected breakout sessions.  These sessions were centered around one-on-one and small group coaching:

·         BDA – More than Meets the Eye! facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Diane McGaffic and Donette Porter;    

·         Coaching in the Co-Taught Classroom: 3 people = 1 on 1 facilitated by Chris Caton       and IU PIIC Mentor Heather Moschetta;  

·         Coaching Out of Your Element facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Mike Zwanch, Sondra Humenansky, and Scott Snyder;    

·         Maximizing Coaching Opportunities on a Part-Time Schedule facilitated by Hollidaysburg Area SD Instructional Coaches Tricia Rosas and Nicole Beauchamp, and IU PIIC Mentor Jen Herncane;

·         Adult Retreat: Designing Learning Opportunities for Adults facilitated by School District of Springfield Township Instructional Coach Miriam Guarracino and Spring-Ford Township School District Instructional Coach Megan Wilmarth.

After a short break, participants attended Beyond Basic Literacy…Disciplinary Literacy:  A Vital Component for College and Career Readiness, a general session facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Heather Moschetta, Scott Snyder, and Sondra Humenansky.  Day 1 closed with participants sitting with their IU’s and processing their learnings with “Questions on my mind.”

Having finished their first day of conference activities, participants proceeded to the reception and dinner.  Special guest speakers were Instructional Coaches Sharon Deiling, Keri Harrington, Julie Storm, and Rachel Kutney, and Superintendent Mr. Fred Foster.  

On Day 2, coaches attended one of six pre-selected breakout sessions.  These sessions were centered around collecting, analyzing, and using data:

·         Taking Action: Using Data to Drive Coaching Conversations facilitated by IU PIIC Mentor Donette Porter and educational consultant Amy Walker;

·         Coaching Teachers to Use the “F” Word facilitate by Huntingdon SD Instructional Coaches Heather Border and Lisa Drake, and IU PIIC Mentor Alicia Hull;

·         What Does the Coach do During Instruction? facilitated by educational consultant        Kathleen Eich, and IU PIIC Mentos Andy Gavalis, and Missy Petrilak;

·         Coaching Like Sherlock facilitated by Boyertown Area SD Instructional Coach Jennifer Joyce, and IU PIIC Mentor Gail Porrazzo;

·         Growing Instructional Learning Visits to Teacher Agency facilitated by Exeter School District Instructional Coach Karen DeNunzio;  

·         Creation Station: What Do Your Administrators and School Board Need to Know facilitated by Instructional Coaches Ron Kelm, Renee McQuown, and Greg Hubler, and IU PIIC Mentors Lori Ceremuga and Diane Hubona.

After a break, next on the agenda were the concurrent sessions: Tools for Coaching Disciplinary Literacy, a follow up to the previous day’s general session facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors and educational consultants.  Participants then attended their third pre-selected breakout session.  These sessions were centered around using evidence-based literacy practices:

·         Coaching Through Graphic Novels: Reaching Out to Reluctant Readers facilitated by Homer Center Instructional Coach Suzanne Mateer and IU PIIC Mentor Jeremy Gabborin;

·         What’s the Buzz? To Literacy and Beyond (Reality)! Coaching to Increase Content Knowledge and Literacy Skills with Virtual Reality  facilitated by Annville-Cleona SD Instructional Coach Keith Royer, Manheim Township SD Instructional Coach Megan Smith, and IU PIIC Mentor Terri Lewis;

·         Engage Your Teachers – And Coach Them to Engage Their Students – with Sketchnote    facilitated by Valley Grove SD Instructional Coach Thea Wheeling, and IU PIIC Mentors Teri Everett and Suzanne Reed;

·         Academic Discourse: Coaching the Use of Spider-Web Discussions, Literature Circles and Socratic Seminar facilitated by IU PIIC Mentor Diane Hubona and Instructional Coach Stacy Ricciotti;

·         The Sensational, Sustainable Six facilitated by Altoona Area HS  Instructional Coaches    Michael Baker and Kelli Livermore;

·         The Deliberate Analysis facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Chris Mitcheltree, Teri Everett, Alicia Hull, and Jen Herncane.   

The day ended with IU team time (an opportunity for IU groups to reflect together on their new learnings) and mentor reflection (an opportunity to process information and plan for future use).

After a brief agenda review, Day 3 began with participants attending their fourth pre-selected breakout session.  These sessions were centered around supporting reflective and non-evaluative practice:

·         Is “Non-Evaluative Feedback” an Oxymoron? facilitated by educational consultant   Kathleen Eich and IU PIIC Mentor Chris Mitcheltree;

·         The Power of Conversation 1.0 facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Amber Molloy and Jamie Pitcavage;   

·         Self-paced Professional Development: A One-on-one-derland Awaits! facilitated by    Altoona Area SD Instructional Coaches Keri Harrington and Julie Storm, and IU PIIC Mentor Jen Herncane;

·         Listening with Curiosity Leads to Powerful Coaching Questions facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Gail Porrazzo and Janine Presloid;

·         Jiminy Cricket, the looking glass, and our own reflections facilitated by Bristol Township SD Instructional Coach Jon Craig, and IU PIIC Mentor Carol Adams;

·         Hold Onto Your Many Hats!  facilitated by Instructional Coach Lauren Sargent and IU PIIC Mentor Brooke Beiter.    

So that participants could continue their conversations, the day continued with the Afterthoughts sessionsTopics discussed during the Afterthoughts session were developed by participants and were intended to provide additional opportunities for those who didn’t attend a particular session to engage in conversations that took place during the first two days of the PLO.  Participants then ended their day with independent reflections, IU team time, and more mentor reflections. 

Feedback from the PLO was positive:

“It was inspiring to see so many educators getting together and trying to help one another and build each other up. I left energized!” – Instructional Coach

“I brought 2 new coaches and they were in awe. Watching them feel more comfortable and empowered to move forward in their roles as instructional coaches was inspiring. The PLO also empowered me to find better paths to lead to keep the momentum going in my IU.” – Instructional Coach


You can read more feedback from this PLO on the Testimonials page.  The PLO agenda is available on our Past Professional Learning Opportunities page.  You can also find photos from the event in the PIIC Photo Gallery.  Our next PIIC Professional Development will be May 14th – 16th at the Penn Stater Conference Center.  For more information, visit our Events Page or contact your IU PIIC Mentor.