Beginning Teacher Development & Support
Teacher Leadership, Coaching and Communication


Teacher Leadership for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools includes leadership and coaching professional development and support opportunities for classroom teacher leaders as well as teacher level support personnel.  Teacher leader support personnel includes facilitators, coaches, coordinators, and central office specialists. 

Instructional Coaching and Communication

Instructional Coaches partner with teachers to help them incorporate research-based instructional practices into their teaching. They are skilled communicators, or relationship builders, with a repertoire of excellent communication skills that enable them to empathize, listen, and build trusting relationships. Instructional Coaches also encourage and support teachers’ reflection about their classroom practices. Thus, they must be skilled at unpacking their collaborating teachers’ professional goals so that they can help them create a plan for realizing those goals, all with a focus on improving instruction.   Instructional Coaches deeply understand many scientifically proven instructional practices. They focus on a broader range of instructional issues, which might include classroom management, content enhancement, specific teaching practices, formative assessment, or other proven ways to improve instruction. In addition, they help teachers choose appropriate approaches to teaching for the different kinds of learning students are experiencing. They frequently model practices in the classroom, observe teachers, and engage in supportive, dialogical conversations with them about what they observed. An Instructional Coach, in other words, partners with teachers so they can choose and implement research-based interventions to help students learn more effectively.  Knight, J. (2009). Coaching: Approaches and Perspectives.  Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press. 


CMS Courses to Support Your Conversations 


Supportive Interaction 


This 2-day Supportive Interaction course provides an understanding of how and when to use coaching, collaborating, and consulting while supporting other professionals. The focus on the three stances includes appropriate language, sentence stems, and strategies for accessing growth potential in the protégé. There are opportunities to practice the new strategies, language and stems while interacting in your professional context. Furthermore, participants learn how to identify the protégé's goals while focusing on improving instruction. This course allows for reflection on the coaching process professionally, personally and as an observer. Supportive Interaction is designed for facilitators, coaches, administrators, mentors, or other educators working with adults in a supportive role. During day 2 you will discuss a plan for the facilitator to visit you in your building to observe you having a coaching conversation and will then coach you around that conversation.  


Crucial Conversations


Crucial Conversations is a two-day course that teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics at all levels of your school and community. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you'll begin to surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment. Benefits of Crucial Conversations include an increase in productivity, quality, teamwork, relationships, performance, and efficiency. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to engage in extensive in-class practice, group participation, and personal reflection as the Crucial Conversation skills are explored and mastered. Crucial Conversations is intended for facilitators, coaches, administrators, mentors, and teachers; almost anyone looking to be more effective when having difficult conversations. 


Crucial Accountability 


Crucial Accountability is a one-day course that teaches a step-by-step process for enhancing accountability, improving performance, and ensuring execution. By learning how to talk about violated expectations in a way that solves problems while improving relationships, you'll improve individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. Crucial Accountability is intended for administrators or team leads who hold others accountable in a building or PLC environment. Crucial Conversations is a pre-requisite for this course.




Influencer Training provides the skills you need to change the behavior of others. The course is highly effective for those without formal authority as well as emerging leaders. Influencer provides opportunities to learn how to identify high-leverage behaviors, diagnose the real causes behind behavior problems, effectively motivate and enable others, and create behavior-change strategies that yield rapid, lasting results.A combination of live training, compelling videos, and a written toolkit will be utilized. Participants will engage in extensive in-class practice, group discussions, and personal planning.



The vision of the Teacher Professional Development Department
is that every CMS student has a highly effective teacher. 
 Our mission is to improve teaching and learning in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools through research-based professional learning that is aligned with the district's strategic goals.