Educational Instructional Lead Teachers Perceptions on Improving Teacher Quality
Maryam Thomas, Sunddip Panesar-Aguilar, Michelle McCraney, Chris Cale

Abstract
Research suggests that instructional coaching enhances a teacher’s instructional quality, thereby improving students’ chances for academic success. Instructional Lead Teachers (ILTs) are positioned within a Northeastern school district to improve instructional quality via a coaching paradigm; however, it is unclear how ILTs influence teachers’ instructional practices. The purpose of this bounded multi-site qualitative case study was to explore the perspectives of ILTs regarding their instructional support responsibilities and practices in improving instructional quality. Grounded in Bandura’s social cognitive theory, the research questions addressed ILT perspectives of their influence on teachers’ instructional practices and identified supports ILTs need to increase their effectiveness. Ten ILTs, who served in middle schools, participated in semi-structured interviews and 4 were selected for observations. Data were thematically analyzed using open and axial coding. ILTs believed they served as an authority to provide instructional support, their work was essential to improve student achievement, coaching strategies changed teachers’ classroom management skills, and no instructional duties interfered with their coaching responsibilities. They identified support from administration, structure for the position, and more training are needed to be effective ILTs. The results of the study were used to create a coaching structure and 3-day professional development designed to address the specific needs of ILTs. These endeavors may contribute to positive social change by helping district administrators provide ILTs with the structure and training needed to effectively influence teacher practice, thus improving the educational outcomes of students.

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