Partner Voices: Bedford County Schools
Instructional coaches from Bedford County Schools, a rural district in Tennessee, share what it’s been like engaging with Instruction Partners as they provide tailored coaching for teachers implementing a new early literacy curriculum.
Watch and read their story below.
After adopting a literacy curriculum in the spring of 2020, Bedford County leaders teamed up with Instruction Partners to help their coaches provide tailored support for teachers implementing the new curriculum. “I think the walkthrough for me was very eye-opening as far as implementing this first year of the new curriculum, especially with our K–2 teachers,” says Kristie Caldwell, an instructional coach in Bedford County. “Even though I had been planning a lot with the teachers, what we discovered in the walkthrough was that we still had some things that were just missing that we needed to hone in on. Being aware of what was happening was the first step.”
The partnership has allowed for ongoing, collaborative learning among the Bedford County instructional coaches. “It’s been nice to be supported as a coach, because sometimes we can be a little island because there’s only one coach in each school,” Caldwell shares. “Year one implementation is tough,” adds Lee Ann Butts, a district instructional coach. “The ongoing partnership that we have had with Instruction Partners has been really such a valuable experience. It has helped us to be able to step back and to look into the curriculum and have a better understanding ourselves.”
The Bedford team is creating a brave professional learning space by modeling vulnerability and risk taking for their teachers through their work with Instruction Partners. “I think you have to be vulnerable, your teachers have to be vulnerable,” says Caldwell. “You just have to get in there and work together and don’t expect it to be just all nice and neat. It’s okay if it’s messy. I think this experience has made me a more tenacious coach. I am ready to tackle whatever problem there is and I feel like we can make it better.”
After one year of implementation, teachers have embraced the new curriculum and are meeting instructional targets. Caldwell reports, “ Our teachers are fully following the curriculum. They know the purpose of each part of the lesson, and they pull in all of the universal access for it so that all of our students can be successful. And it’s made such a difference in their planning.”
With high-quality materials successfully implemented, Instruction Partners is helping the Bedford team focus on improving student learning outcomes. “It’s been a difficult year in our world, and we have had ongoing support that really was invaluable,” reflects Butts. “Summing up, we all remember what our purpose is, what our “Why” is, and as long as we keep that at our central core, then we’re going to be successful. Instruction Partners has helped us to develop that.”