Seth Folkenroth

School: Ann Richards Middle School
Class: 8th grade US History
Experience: 3 years

In order to enact immediate change on student achievement in DISD, I believe we need to have high-quality instructional coaches within our schools. Previously, I have worked in a district in which we did not have instructional coaches, and operated on a “sink or swim” method with very little guidance and support. Many teachers in that district were unable to be successful because they lacked any support, feedback or development. After working as an instructional coach with Teach for America this summer, I recognized the benefits of effective instructional coaches for teachers, and the impact they can have on student achievement. In order to allow coaches to properly support teachers, we need to cap the number of teachers they support to a manageable number, create meaningful professional development sessions, and allow time for instructional coaches and their teachers to build a level of trust with each other. I am a firm believer in the idea that in order to see growth in student achievement we need to have effective leaders on every level, and this starts with having effective coaches supporting teachers in their classroom.

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