Suggested Reading to Prepare for an Instructional Coach Interview

 Suggested Reading to Prepare for an Instructional Coach Interview

Wondering how you can prepare for a job or interview in instructional coaching?

These are a few suggested reading authors and topics as you begin to learn more about instructional coaching and adult learning. I have learned so much about being an instructional coach through reading about education, leadership, and coaching itself. I’m sharing some of the best instructional coaching books that helped me the most, from before I started through my first few years as an instructional coach.

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What to look for in this post:
What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
The Art of Coaching by Elena Aguilar
Drive by Daniel Pink
Better Conversations by Jim Knight
Mindset by Carol Dweck

If you prefer to hear me talk through this, here is a video featuring all of this content:

[1:00] What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker

I believe that not all great teachers have to be instructional coaches, but all great instructional coaches have to be great teachers. So, your path to being an instructional coach begins while you are still in the classroom. In order to become an instructional coach, you need to be the best teacher you can be.

I absolutely love the book, What Great Teachers Do Differently. It is a quick and powerful read by Todd Whitaker, and it covers things like high standards, the value of planning, building relationships, dealing with behavior issues in the classroom, and making sure we always focus on students first. It covers a bit of everything, and it’s helpful because as an instructional coach, you are striving to help teachers be excellent teachers.

[2:22] The Art of Coaching by Elena Aguilar

This is the first book I ever read about coaching, and it contains one of my all-time favorite quotes: “You can’t help someone if you think that they suck.” I remember reading that, underlining it, and writing ‘ouch!!!’ - I also circled it a whole bunch of times.

I’ll admit, I did not appreciate The Art of Coaching as much as I should have on my first read-through. My first impression was that it was too mushy; too emotional. The longer I coach, however, the more value I find in this book. What we do as coaches truly is emotion-based work, and Elena Aguilar taps into this beautifully.

In addition, the book is a helpful step-by-step guide for getting started with coaching. It helped me to understand what kind of coach I wanted to be, and there are lots of little golden nuggets to enjoy.

Quote: "You can't help someone if you think that they suck." - Elena Aguilar, author of The Art of Coaching

[4:01] Drive by Daniel Pink

This book touches on education, but it is not strictly an education book. I love reading books about business, psychology, and leadership, that are not specific to education. Drive by Daniel Pink is about a body of research surrounding motivation. It turns out that, in most cases, rewards and consequences are less impactful on motivation than giving people autonomy, mastery, and purpose. It’s a good read both through the lens of a coach working with teachers, as well as the lens of a teacher working with students.

[4:50] Better Conversations by Jim Knight

Jim Knight is the king of instructional coaching, and he has written so many great books. Better Conversations is a great pick when you’re first getting started, because this book zooms in with a laser focus on training yourself to be better in your instructional coaching conversations. It includes insight and tips for listening with empathy, building trust and connection with teachers, and asking better questions. These are some of the most important qualities that a coach needs to possess, so it is a great idea to build capacity in these areas.

[6:04] Mindset by Carol Dweck

The last book on my list is Mindset by Carol Dweck. She is the one who coined the phrases “growth mindset” and “fixed mindset”, which are all the range in education. This is another psychology book that applies to students and teachers. It’s not written specifically to target education, but a couple chapters address the implications for schooling. It can get a bit dense at times, but it is worth a read.

Books to Prepare for Instructional Coaching Interviews: What Great Teachers Do Differently, The Art of Coaching, Drive, Better Conversations, Mindset

[7:20] Prepare for an instructional coaching interview

One final thing I want to recommend is that, if you read any of these books, take notes and hang onto them as a reference. When you are preparing for instructional coaching interviews, those little notes, thoughts, and scribbles will be helpful.

Instructional Coaching Book Suggestions - images of the books described in this post about suggested reading to prepare for an instructional coach interview

Looking for more instructional coaching resources?

You can join our monthly instructional coaching email list for free resources and tips.
My Instructional Coaching Time Tracking Tool is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Check out these related posts:
Instructional Coach Interview Tips
7 Tips for Becoming an Instructional Coach
What Are the Instructional Coaching Requirements?
Instructional Coaching in 5 Words
4 Tips for a New Instructional Coach

Check out these related YouTube videos:
How to Become an Instructional Coach: Definition & Qualifications
7 Tips for How to Become an Instructional Coach
How to Prepare for an Instructional Coach Interview
Instructional Coaching Video Playlist

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