Mary Harbolt - Instructional Coach

  • What is an Instructional Coach?

    An Instructional Coach is someone whose chief professional responsibility is to bring evidence-based practices into classrooms by working with teachers and other school leaders. Instructional Coaches work with teachers one-on-one and in small groups, known as Professional Learning Communities, to provide guidance, training, and other resources as needed.  Together, an instructional coach and teachers focus on data as well as practical strategies to engage students and improve learning.

    In addition to facilitating Professional Learning Communities, an Instructional Coach offers three services that often overlap: Collaboration, Mentoring, and Coaching. While I love all the elements of my job, my favorite part is to model lessons in classrooms or to sit and lesson plan fun and exciting ways to engage learners.  Teachers often schedule time for me to come in and observe their teaching, observe students’ learning, model classroom management strategies, or have me cover their class so they can watch another teacher demonstrate an innovative teaching strategy.


    What is a Professional Learning Community?

    A Professional Learning Community, also known as a PLC, is made up of an instructional coach and grade level teams.  Our PLC time is used to ensure students learn, create a culture of collaboration, and focuses on results.  In all things we use Portland Public School's Equity Lens to look at each child's need both in and out of the classroom.  Our goal is to close the Opportunity Gap by using the CCSS to guide our instruction that relies primarily on relevance and rigor.