The Coaching Cycle and Time Management

Establishing trust when starting a coaching relationship is key before all else but once this trust has been built and the framework is sturdy, what does the cycle of implementation and learning look like as well as the wrap up and reflection? Diane Sweeney has created the Results Based Coaching Tool (click link to have access to the template!) to help educators and coaches plan the cycle of learning from a student based perspective.  Key elements of this cycle are:

  • Pre and Post Assess to Identify Growth Across a Coaching Cycle
  • Understand How the Teacher and Coach Grew by using Exit Questions
  • Plan for Students Who Didn’t Meet the Goal

Using the Results Based Coaching Tool combined with the general cycle framework provided by Corwin, can help give the educator and coach a sequence of steps to follow to help stay on track.  In addition, providing time for the coach and teacher to reflect before they start the next cycle with the new learning and ideas they gained together will help to deepen the coaching relationship and in turn deepen student learning – especially for teachers who are new to having a coach and for a coach that is new to coaching.

Corwin – A Sage Publishing Group
Example of coaching cycle – Corwin – A Sage Publish Group 

While researching this topic, there was a variety of ideas of how long coaching cycles generally are. Of course, this depends on the goals, desired outcomes and bumps along the way.  This led me to think more about the time management skills that are necessary for coaches to set up a successful coaching cycle and for the cycle to be implemented in full. Time is of the essence when it comes to anything in education because a lack of time (and efficiency) can quickly erode good intentions and exciting ideas and instead, cause a break down between the planning process and actual implementation. A key digital tool that seemed to be important is an easy to use online/collaborative calendar to help all parties plan accordingly with the hectic schedules that are part of teaching and coaching. Nicole Turner maps out a way to manage time more efficiently in her blog post, Time Management for Instructional Coaches ~ What Should I be doing?. Big takes aways she mentions are:

  • Weekly reflections and goal setting
  • Making a calendar and schedule that takes into account all parties and easy access
  • Staying organized – using tracker sheets to organize who you meet with, what you talk about and the many notes you gather as a coach

These may seem like simple steps but coaches can quickly get overwhelmed, especially when they are meeting with multiple teachers or teams. Thinking through HOW you will do the steps above before starting the coaching relationship will help a coach be ready from day one and builds trust right away with who you are working with by showing them you are on top of the logistics so they do not have to be. 

Having a clear cycle explicitly in place and a time management system planned out, will help coaches to better meet ISTE Standard 2f. Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences because everyone will be starting the coaching relationship from a clear and concise starting point.  This seems especially important when working with teachers who may be resistant to coaching. If the cycle and planning of time is a framework that takes into account the life of a teacher being coached, then the teacher will feel understood and be able to have input where they want but not have to be heavily involved in the logistics, which can result in ‘just another thing I don’t have time to do’. From this established starting point, the coaching sessions have the opportunity to dig into revising and strengthening lessons so that planning can be innovative and student-based…and realistic and doable! 


Corwin. Coaching Cycle, What Does It Look Like? Retrieved from 

Sweeney, Diane. (Oct. 28, 2018). Measuring the Impact of Coaching Cycles. Retrieved from

Turner, Nicole (Feb. 19, 2019). Simply Coaching and Teaching. Time Management for Instructional Coaches –  What should I be doing?. Retrieved from

4 Replies to “The Coaching Cycle and Time Management”

  1. The coaching cycle video was extremely valuable because it put student learning at the center of the work of the coach and learning partner. Coaches often talk about the need to respect time, and get the most value for the time spent collaborating. The tools you introduced seem like they should be valuable to maximizing time.

  2. Christine, I really appreciate you covering this topic. I have been so focused on the individual coaching relationship, I haven’t lifted my head high enough to look beyond to what comes next. I like the idea of planning for a long-term coaching relationship. This would allow coaching partners to not worry so much about trying to cover too much in the first cycle. I also appreciate the pre- and post assessment ideas. These could be used to convince teachers and administration of the effectiveness of coaching, if they were in doubt. I also like the explicit planning for students who were not able to reach the goals that were set. I’m sure teachers would appreciate having a partner in planning how to not let these kids fall behind. Finally, I think the idea of mapping everything out via a shared calendar would be a relief for teachers. They can see what is in store so it doesn’t seem like an unknown commitment.

  3. Christine, I love this post. It seems very relevant to our current realities in teaching. I appreciated the coaching cycle video and how the coach teaches and plans with the teacher. I think this is such a dynamic shift that is starting to happen in the coaching realm. Thank you for explaining the coaching cycle better to me and providing resources to help facilitate a coaching partnership over the cycle.

  4. Christine- This blog post is so informative! I appreciate the template you mentioned in the first paragraph that provides educators and coaches with a results based coaching tool. I also liked the idea of having a sequence or list of steps to follow in order for both the coach and the educator to ensure they are staying on the right track to accomplish their goals. You did a great job also covering the importance of time management and identifying different solutions to try to stay connected throughout the process. Thank you for sharing your research and resources on the coaching cycle!

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