TAMPA, Fla. — Teachers are back to being students at Adams Middle School in Tampa, at least for one period out of the day.  The principal at the school implemented daily teacher coaching sessions this year, allowing teachers to coach each other and grow together.

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Deirdre Johnson’s students during our visit were quite a bit older than her usual sixth, seventh and eighth graders. 

“Let’s make sure we’re collaborating with each other, so that we can get ideas off of each other,” said Johnson, who is a literacy coach at the school.

She also leads teacher coaching sessions.

Every day, teachers come in for one of their planning periods to collaborate with each other. This day, they’re working on lesson plans.

“Usually when we lesson plan, we plan in isolation, but when we have these moments like this, they can bounce ideas off of us, they can bounce ideas off each other, so we know two people doing something is always going to be better than one,” Johnson said.

The teacher coaching sessions are a program principal Nishira Mitchell started. 

“I need you to think about in your planning what you’re doing with those kids. Uou’ve got to be very specific and granular, especially when you know that this is where my kid’s get a little froggy,” Mitchell said as she coached one of her teachers.

The teacher coaching sessions are a program principal Nishira Mitchell started. (Fallon Silcox/Spectrum Bay News 9) 

Mitchell says since Adams Middle is a Title I, transformation school, it receives extra federal funding, and she’s using part of that money to fund the teacher coaching sessions, giving teachers an extra planning period each day to attend.

“I’m always looking for ways to eliminate barriers and support my teachers in number one, staying at Adams, and number two impacting student achievement and then looking at how they feel about coming to work every day,” she said.

Mitchell and Johnson have worked together for many years. They came to Adams together, and say these coaching sessions are proving to be a success, for all students here — including the teachers. 

Mitchell says since implementing the daily teacher coaching sessions this school year, she hasn’t had any teachers quit, which usually happens a lot during the first few weeks of school, and she says attendance is also excellent.