Institute Coaching

Individualized, Relationship-Based Professional Development

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The Institute Coaches provide individualized, reflective coaching to Early Childhood professionals in order to meet their self-identified, competency-based professional development goals.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a relationship-based process designed to build capacity for specific professional dispositions, skills, and behaviors. The coach’s approach is collaborative and strengths based; the coach works with the coachee through a non-linear process of goal-setting, implementation, and reflection. Coaching is a unique form of professional development in that it is individualized, ongoing and actively supports the translation of newly gained knowledge into practice.

How is Institute Coaching different?

Institute Coaches adhere to the New York State Coaching Competencies. The competencies guide coaches to be deeply respectful and strengths-based in our interactions. We believe that the way we interact with coachees is a model for their interactions with colleagues and children. We value experimentation and reflection as primary learning strategies.

Early Childhood Professionals who participate in Institute coaching will:

  1. Identify their own professional development goals and become more self-directed in pursuing those goals.
  2. Increase the effectiveness of their practice with children and families.
  3. Develop dispositions that foster strong relationships with children and families.
  4. Be better able to articulate their practice and make intentional decisions.
  5. Develop reflective capacity.
  6. Sustain changes they have made in their practice.

Who can receive coaching?

The Institute Coaches provide coaching to Principals, Executive Directors, Educational Directors, Family Workers, Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Aides. We believe that individuals at every stage of their career benefit from coaching.

How long is the commitment to coaching?

Coaching is a relationship-based process and is effective as a result of the trust that is built between the coach and coachee over time. Therefore, a commitment of at least 12 weeks is necessary to begin and most coachees prefer an engagement of a year or more. The length of visits varies, however coachees must be able to meet individually with their coaches for a minimum of 30 minutes. Coaching is also available off-site or over the phone.

Can I receive professional development credit for coaching?

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services now grants professional development credit for coaching.

Who are the coaches?

The Institute Coaches are NYAEYC Credentialed Training and Technical Assistance Specialists with Coach Designations . They have deep professional experience as teachers and program leaders at exemplary programs.

Eva Kovacs
M.A. Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision
Areas of Expertise: Learning Environment, Child Development, Observation & Authentic Assessment, Emergent Curriculum, Culturally/linguistically Responsive Practices, Family Engagement, Reflective Supervision, Teacher Development
Steve Castar
M.Ed. Supervision and Administration
M.S. Elementary Education
Areas of Expertise: Program Administration and Management, Strengths-based Supervision, Professional Development Planning
Sarah Longwell-Stevens
M.S. Ed in Infant/Family Development and
Early Childhood Special Education
M.S.Ed. in Museum Education with
certification in Elementary Education
Areas of Expertise: Infants and Toddlers, Child Development, Child Observation, Emergent Curriculum, Attachment Theory
Andrea Bruno
M.A.Ed., Child Study/Psychology/Education
Areas of Expertise: Pretend Play, Creativity, Arts Education, Pyramid Model Practices, CLASS