Session Recap: Coaching Without Crying, A K-12 Approach to Video Coaching

Session Recap: Coaching Without Crying, A K-12 Approach to Video Coaching

In one of the sessions from the 2023 ReAction Virtual Conference, Taylor Ellis, Chief Academic Officer at Scholarship Prep, shares valuable insights on using video coaching to support teachers. Ellis highlights the importance of video coaching, the components of effective video coaching, and practical strategies for implementing this approach. With a focus on clarity, consistency, and collaboration, Ellis provides a comprehensive framework for successful video coaching in K-12 education.

Why Use Video Coaching?

Ellis begins by explaining the effectiveness of video coaching in improving teaching practice. Referencing research conducted by Harvard, she emphasizes how video-based coaching fosters personal reflection and structured collaboration, overcoming the barriers of isolated professional development. Video coaching allows teachers and coaches to analyze classroom interactions objectively, creating a shared understanding of instructional strengths and areas for improvement. Ellis highlights three key benefits of video coaching: depersonalizing feedback, enhancing teacher buy-in and reflection, and facilitating efficient data collection.

Components of Effective Video Coaching

Ellis introduces the three components crucial to effective video coaching: clarity, consistency, and collaboration. These components work synergistically to establish a strong coaching model that supports growth and development.


To foster clarity, Ellis emphasizes the need for a common language in coaching. Defining specific data points and teaching frameworks enables teachers and coaches to discuss practice and student outcomes effectively. By connecting data with practice, teachers can identify the impact of their instructional strategies on student achievement. Ellis emphasizes the significance of data-driven conversations and the role they play in improving teaching practice.


Consistency in coaching involves establishing a regular schedule and following up on coaching sessions. Ellis encourages coaches to determine a realistic cadence for classroom observations, ensuring teachers receive consistent support. Keeping coaching notes, tracking action items, and maintaining accountability contribute to effective follow-up and follow-through, creating a continuous improvement process.


Collaboration is a vital aspect of video coaching. Ellis recommends designing reflective tasks for teachers to engage in self-reflection while watching their videos. By identifying specific areas for growth, teachers actively participate in the coaching process. Additionally, outlining next steps and measures of accountability in a collaborative manner promotes ownership and partnership between coaches and teachers. Mutual planning, resource sharing, and ongoing conversations enhance the collaborative nature of video coaching.

Rolling Out Video Coaching

Ellis acknowledges the importance of considering various factors when rolling out video coaching to teams. Building positive relationships and establishing trust are crucial prerequisites for successful video coaching. School culture around data, observation, and feedback also influences the implementation process. Assessing the instructional coaches’ capacity and defining goals and timelines further shape the rollout strategy. Ellis suggests starting with a small pilot group to refine the coaching structure, gather feedback, and build credibility before expanding to a larger scale.

In summary, video coaching offers a powerful method for enhancing teaching practice in K-12 education. By incorporating clarity, consistency, and collaboration, educators can effectively use video coaching to improve instruction. Taylor Ellis’s insights provide valuable guidance for educational leaders and coaches seeking to implement video coaching successfully. By building strong relationships, creating a structured coaching model, and piloting the approach, schools can embrace the benefits of video coaching and empower their teachers to reach new levels of excellence.

This full session is available, along with all of the other sessions from ReAction, our virtual conference on skill development. Watch now!