Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is Real Time Coaching?

Real Time Coahing, or RTC, is an innovative way to receive coaching around classroom management using the No-Nonsense Nurturer 4-Step Model and a two-way radio. In this four part process you will receive one-on-one coaching around your management and live coaching during class using the two-way radio. As a result, RTC is sometimes described by teachers as having "an additional set of eyes" to help make sure that everyone is learning during the lesson.


2. Who is Real Time Coaching for?

RTC is beneficial for any teacher. It can ben useful for teachers who are looking for intensive help with their classroom management, but it is also just as useful for teacher who are looking to go from good to great by improving classroom procedures and structures. RTC is ideal for teachers who are looking to improve through working on their classroom management. An ideal RTC candidate is someone who is striving to grow in the classroom, willing to try new things, implement feedback, and is proven to be a team player. RTC is an intensive process, but it is also proven to be one of the quickest and most effective. As a result, while RTC will have huge pay-offs it will require a good amount of time and dedication on your part.

3. So I think I’m interested, what does the four part process look like?
RTC coaching happens over 2-4 weeks and includes 4-8 cycles of coaching. This usually means coaching 2 cycles per week for 2-4 weeks (with at least a day between cycles.) Each “cycle” includes four parts that happen all within the same day. Between each cycle, you will receive 1-3 pieces of homework to work on for the next cycle.

The Four Parts of the Coaching Cycle

  • Part 1:Baseline Observation-This is where your coach will come in and see where your classroom is at and how you have improved to diagnose action steps to improve.
  •  Part 2: Pre-conference – The purpose of this is for us to work together to ensure we have a strong coaching session and to do follow up from the previous session. This is where we discuss our action plan and what we will be working on
  • Part3: Coaching – This is where I will sit in your classroom and you will have an ear piece and I will coach you in real time around the areas of your class we have decided to focus on
  • Part 3: Debrief – We will talk through how the coaching went, what went well, and talk through 1-2 next steps. This has to happen the same day as coaching.

 4. So  you be in the classroom while coaching? 
Yes, I will be sitting in the back of the classroom where I can see all of your students. 

5. Will you (the coach) be talking in my ear the whole time?
No, I will only coach in your classroom for 20 minutes. During the pre-conferences, we practice and develop shared cues, so that I am giving you cues on what to do (for example, narrate is a cue). If it is needed, or if you prefer, I will give you lines (For example, Chris is talking in a 6 inch voice with his partner). We will figure out what is best for you. I won’t talk when you are talking, I will try not to talk when you are listening to students. I will do my best to find pauses. If I see I throw off your thinking, I will give you a little bit of time to get back on track.

6. Will the students hear you? Or know that you are coaching on management?
I do my best to make sure they do not. I cover my mouth if I am close to them. There have been only a few times, when I had to sit with students given the space of the room, but I talked to them about it and they’ve all been ok with it. Once I did have a student ask if I could tell the teacher to give the class a point because everyone was following the directions :). Students don’t know that I am coaching on classroom management unless you tell them. Some students might figure it out given some of the changes they’ll see on your end, but if you are consistent when I leave, they won’t be able to tell.

7. What will my students think? 
Your students won’t mind, as long as you don’t try to hide the walkie-talkie. It will be obvious. What you will tell them is, “Just like a quarterback has a coach in his ear, I have a coach in mine. I am trying to be the best teacher for you. If you have questions you can ask me after class.” This normalizes the idea of having a coach in your ear. In doing so you also model for students how you want them to do what it takes to improve their own practice. I have never been in a classroom where the walkie has been more of a distraction than the students’ behavior in class. The only time where it did become an issue was when the teacher did not tell the students why I was there. 

8. What if I can’t concentrate on all the things I have to do with having someone in my ear?
As a teacher, there are a ton of decisions you have to make at any given time. Where do you stand, what do you say, which students are with you, etc. I am there to help you prioritize that thinking so that 100% of students are with you. 

9. Is this anything like Real Time Coaching at Institute/Cue Card Coaching at institute?
Unless you had a walkie-talkie in your ear, or a certified real time coach working you, then this is different. Some people at institute received cue-card coaching. This can be challenging because it’s not always clear communication and it can take away from your concentration if you aren’t looking at the back. While there are a lot of benefits to this cue-card coaching, Real Time Coach has been proven much more effective. 

10. Does this work for special education classrooms?
Yes, like all classrooms, you need to know your students. So you will need to know if they react to their name being called, what is in their IEP etc. Ultimately we hold our students to high expectations, if they have an IEP, that means we might need to give them different support to help them meet those expectations. Depending on your classroom and/or given your students’ needs, I might spend time in your classroom before I coach, in case the students need to know more about who I am. This is a case-by-case basis, but ultimately it’s about being the coach that YOU need, so you can be the best teacher for YOUR students. 

11. Alright, I think I want to do it. What do I need to do to sign-up?

First, talk to your MTLD and discuss it. After talking to your MTLD they will fill out a recommendation form here. Then, you will fill out the self-reflection form here. After that, you’ll get an email confirming you are in our system. Then, one of our coaches will reach out to you within 1-4 weeks to get you on the schedule (because coaching occurs in cycles we have to wait until the end of our last cycle to schedule you, so please know we want to help, but you may need to be patient).


12. Do you have a question that isn’t answered here?

Email us! If you are a general educator email our coach Mary Ashley at maryashley.federer@teachforamerica.org and if you are a special educator email our coach Jasmine at jasmine.banks@teachforamerica.org for more information.