Instructional Coaches Academy

Empower your instructional coaches

Instructional coaches are an invaluable resource in any learning system. Coaches have the power to influence teaching, student learning, and school culture. Effective coaches can ensure that 90% of staff learning transfers to the classroom.

Effective instructional coaches are master teachers with substantial instructional and content expertise. Coaches, however, often lack deep expertise in professional learning. Learning Forward’s Coaches Academy focuses on developing coaches’ skills in building relationships, leading professional learning, and individual and team coaching.

The curriculum and learning design of the Learning Forward Coaches Academy reflects best practices in adult learning theory, is grounded in the Standards for Professional Learning.

Using strategies from Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teachers and School-Based Coaches and Coaching Matters, Learning Forward’s Coaches Academy provides comprehensive learning and ongoing support for your system’s coaches and the leaders who support them.

We host Coaches Academies at your location and design each academy to meet your coaches’ most pressing needs.

For more information, contact us at the link below,


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What We Do

Coaches Academy helps coaches embrace their roles as learning leaders and better understand their relationships with teachers and principals. The academy also helps teachers develop skills in:

Building relationships

Presentation and facilitation

Leading professional learning

Providing effective feedback

Coaching individuals and teams

Selecting learning designs

Our Work

Coaching for Impact: Six Pillars to Create Coaching Roles That Achieve Their Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning

Despite decades of efforts to support teachers with coaching, most teachers still do not get the support they need in…

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Coaching Matters

Each chapter in this book describes an element of what research and the authors’ firsthand experiences know it takes to make coaching effective.

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Fill out our web form and let us know about your system and how you’d like to support your coaches.


We’ll connect you with one of our coaching consultants to talk about our coaching work and how we can support you.


We’ll work with your coaches on site and virtually to ensure they’re work gets results for teacher and students.

Coaches Academy Team

Cathy Berlinger-Gustafson

Chicago, Illinois

Cathy Berlinger-Gustafson is a senior consultant for Learning Forward. In her work with schools, districts, and state education agencies, Cathy…

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Heather Clifton

Denver, Colorado

Heather Clifton is a senior consultant for Learning Forward. As a professional learning consultant, she offers services to schools, districts,…

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Lea Arnau

Atlanta, Georgia

Lea M. Arnau has been a senior consultant for Learning Forward since 2007, primarily supporting instructional coaches and school leaders….

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Cindy Harrison

Morrison, Colorado

Cindy Harrison is an international education consultant in instructional coaching, leadership, organizational change, and professional learning. She consults with school…

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