Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching (PIIC) is to support instructional coaching, which helps teachers strengthen instructional practice, increase student engagement, and improve student learning. PIIC works to build teacher capacity as a means of increasing student engagement and improving student achievement.

PIIC defines an instructional coach as someone whose chief professional responsibility is to bring evidence-based practices into classrooms by working with teachers and other school leaders.

PIIC’s model of effective coaching to assist teachers in classrooms is based upon these core elements:

  • PIIC advocates one-on-one and small group support for teachers, coaches, and school leaders using the Before, During, and After (BDA) cycle of consultation
  • PIIC focuses on collecting, analyzing, and using data to identify student needs; assess changes in classroom instructional practice; and measure student progress
  • PIIC emphasizes the use of evidence-based literacy practices and research based instructional techniques
  • PIIC supports reflective and non-evaluative practices

Design Principles

One-On-One and Small Group Instructional Coaching

  • School-based
  • Mutually supportive and confidential
  • Collaborative problem solving and partnership building
  • Supported by a mentor, the “coach’s coach”

Evidence-Based Literacy Practices and Instructional Techniques

  • Implementation across all content areas
  • Ongoing job-embedded professional development
  • Establishment of professional learning communities (study groups)
  • Tied to standards, research, best practices, and student achievement

What Do We Teach Coaches to Do?

Coaches work with teachers, school leaders, other coaches and mentors to:

  • Identify strategies for working with adult learners
  • Help teachers re-focus time on task
  • Co-teach, model, demonstrate units of study with teachers
  • Co-facilitate school wide/district/IU wide professional learning
  • Foster cross district/cross IU visitations
  • Engage in peer coaching
  • Plan and facilitate study groups

How Do Coaches Coach?

Coaches work one-on-one, in small groups, and in whole faculty groups in schools, districts, and intermediate units with teachers and school leaders to implement the PIIC model around:

  • Using the BDA cycle of planning, assessment, and reflection
  • Literacy based strategies from the Personal Learning Network (PLN) framework and other evidence-based literacy frameworks
  • Using formative and summative assessments to guide classroom instruction
  • Designing strategies for increasing student engagement and improving student achievement
  • Promoting an understanding of the Pennsylvania Standards-Aligned System, 21st century skills and the resiliency approach to student learning
  • The partnership principles and the gradual release of responsibility


PIIC Website

Visit the Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching website for more information.


PIIC Services at IU1

For details about PIIC-related services offered by IU1, please contact:

Breanne Scears
Instructional Support Specialist and Technology Integrator
724-938-3241 ext. 398
breanne.scears@iu1.org