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STEM Goes Rural Coaching Model


The STEM Goes Rural coaching model is developmental.  As shown, in Table 1 below, it begins in the spring of the fellows’ first year in the program and concludes after three years of induction. 

STEM Goes Rural Coaching Model










Year 2      

1.  Develop general teaching and classroom management skills

2.  Develop networking skills

2 credit, 2 semester  seminar

Also complete MS

PU seminar instructor and PU academic faculty advisers

II  Discipline-Specific Induction

Year 3

Enhance  discipline specific teaching skills

PU Content Coaches


Professional Development opportunities

Year 4

Self-directed professional development awards

Fellows and PU Coaching Coordinator

Phase I:  Growth as a Reflective Practitioner - Year Two of SGR, First Year of Teaching

The focus of the coaching model during Year Two is on developing general teaching skills. Reflective practitioners are constantly thinking about the learning of their students, the classroom environment, and their own teaching performances. They are creatively designing ways to ensure continuous improvement for themselves and their students.  During this first year of teaching, our coaching model provides fellows with emotional and instructional support through a year-long, 2 credit, distance education seminar called the First Year Teaching Seminar I and II. This seminar has been redesigned in the 2012-2013 academic year with an emphasis on developing reflective practitioner skills.  Coaching support is provided by the instructor of this seminar and focuses on building fellow confidence and general instructional skills. In addition, fellows will be engaged in distance mentoring with the other members of their cohort. Completion of the Master’s Degree takes place during the summer after the first year of teaching. Early communication between fellows and PU Academic Faculty advisers has been facilitated through the First Year Teaching Seminar I and II.

Phase II:  Discipline-Specific Induction – Year Three of SGR, Second Year of Teaching

As fellows begin their second year of teaching, they have completed their Master’s degree from Purdue University and have grown as instructors. During the third year of the program and the second year of teaching, Purdue provides advanced and individualized mentoring in discipline-specific instructional skills.  Coaches for this second year of teaching are teachers in the STEM disciplines who work one on one with fellows in analyzing videotaped lessons, providing demonstration lessons online and/or live, and building fellow content pedagogical skills.  Coaches will communicate with fellows through distance technologies that work in isolated rural settings.  Videotaped lessons are uploaded to the web where they can be self-critiqued and critiqued by coaches and other fellows.  Distance network mentoring continues among the fellows.

Phase III:  Self-Directed Professional Growth – Year Four of SGR, Third Year of Teaching

During the third year of teaching, fellows begin a process that will continue for the rest of their lives, i.e. designing their own professional development experiences. They can apply for a grant of $500 to fund professional development activities they select from a menu of possibilities. The possibilities include continuing to work with their disciplinary coaches from the prior year; participating in national programs like National Board Certification, Take One!, National Science Teachers Association New Science Teaching Academy Fellowship; designing an individualized professional development plan; or working on a long-term project in their school/community setting.