Last Friday, 20 or so of us got together to talk about what it means to be a K-6 school-based math leader.
One of the first things we discovered was just how many different ways the job of "math coach" could be defined not to mention the variety of different job titles that are used by school districts.
Regardless of all the differences the one common theme that everyone agreed upon is that working with teachers in their classrooms is the most effective way to improve the quality of math instruction students receive. Being a "guide on the side" so to speak is probably the most effective way of helping teachers develop their mathematical understanding as well as improving their pedagogical skills. There is, however, no clear model that works better than any other. It would appear that whichever model is used the key to success is time. In other words, the implementation of a math coach within the structure of a school takes time for it to be effective as described in this study by Campbell and Malkus.
The study is one of the resources included on the new Math Leadership webpage I have created to be used as a resource by school-based math leaders