An Exploration of Middle School Literacy Coaching Across the United States




Calo, Kristine Miller

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This study explores the roles and responsibilities of middle school literacy coaches around the United States, specifically looking at how these coaches work with content-area teachers to support students' comprehension of multiple texts. A survey was mailed to 125 randomly selected middle school literacy coaches across the continental United States. Interviews were used to gather information about the roles, responsibilities, and experiences of literacy coaches. Seven coaches representing different regions of the country were interviewed to gain a deeper understanding of what literacy coaching at the middle school level actually looks like in schools and districts across the country. All interviewees were experienced educators, having been in education for 10 to 30 years. The findings from this study indicate that the roles and responsibilities of middle school literacy coaches are diverse and multifaceted, and currently there is not one consistent view of literacy coaching at this level. Instead, the roles and responsibilities fall along a continuum, influenced by the school and community contexts within which coaches work and the experiences and backgrounds of each individual coach. Satisfaction with various job aspects also was explored. The prediction of literacy coaches' satisfaction with teacher support by satisfaction with principal support and conferencing with teachers was found to be statistically significant. Recommendations to principals, district administrators, and schools of education for providing support to middle school literacy coaches are included. Advice from current middle school literacy coaches to future literacy coaches also is discussed.



Literacy, Literacy coaching, Middle school, Comprehension, Multiple texts, Professional development