Humanizing Literacy Coaching



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The Humanity of Literacy Coaching

Literacy coaching has the potential to center humanizing professional learning pedagogies–promoting equity, disrupting oppression, and recognizing the complex humanity of teachers. This potential can be realized through the use of deep reflection to support teachers’ awareness of what guides their behavior and further strengthened by complex supportive relationships with literacy coaches. These humanizing coaching practices not only re-humanize teachers but can influence changes to literacy instruction. Yet, humanizing approaches are often overtaken by more behavioristic approaches in literacy coaching models and the urgency of pandemic-related acceleration pervading schools. In this article, I share the findings of a case study in which I, as a literacy coach, explored the relationship between elements of a humanizing model of literacy coaching, including complex relational and reflective work, and a teacher’s willingness to change her literacy instruction. Implications are shared on the potential of utilizing a conceptual framework guided by Maslow’s (1943) theory of humanism and Korthagen's (2004) onion model could influence teachers' willingness to change and humanize professional learning.

The Collaborative Literacy Coaching Framework for Transformation

Literacy coaching is professional learning designed to provide teachers with supportive partnerships as they enhance their instruction (L’Allier et al., 2010). However, this enhancement requires teachers to make changes to long-standing practices. To prepare for change, teachers must have the psychological safety and time to explore their beliefs, values, and identities and how these factors influence their willingness to change (Dewey, 1933). Literacy coaches can prepare teachers for this work by using The Collaborative Literacy Coaching Framework for Transformation, which focuses on the cultivation of relationships, the examination of intrapersonal factors, the acknowledgment of their instructional impact, and the need to plan for change. I will share the framework and the stories of three teachers who were better prepared for change while working within it.



literacy coaching, professional learning, humanizing pedagogies