Instructional Coaches Provide Guidance and Advice for New and Experienced Teachers

At Saint Columbkille, teachers and staff prioritize the learning of all students. The school ensures that students are taught with best practices and from a variety of perspectives. Through the use of instructional coaches, teachers are able to collaborate with peers and learn from one another. Michelle (Shelly) Janowski and Regina Capobianco are the school’s two instructional coaches, helping brainstorm and support teachers throughout the school. Both were previously teachers at Saint Cols and are able to provide experienced and sound advice and guidance.

Janowski has been working at Saint Cols for 14 years. This is her 8th year as an instructional coach and she previously taught Grade 4. Capobianco has been working for eight years at Saint Cols and previously taught Grade 5 and was the Remote Learning Specialist for Grades 6-8 last year. In terms of coaching teachers, Janowski focuses on Grades 2-5 and Capobianco is available to all teachers, though her teaching experience creates a great opportunity for Loyola Academy.

While this is Capobianco’s first year as an instructional coach, she is excited to be in the new role. To begin, she is working with eight teachers over the course of eight weeks to set goals, meet to discuss concerns, find resources, as well as weekly teacher observations.

“My vision for this role is to be an extra support and a useful resource to [teachers] as they navigate this school year,” says Ms. Capobianco. “Together we'll set goals and then work to achieve them over the course of a coaching cycle.”

Additionally, she is also a technology specialist for Loyola Academy, specializing in topics such as how to use Google Classroom, how to write an appropriate email to a teacher, and more. The skills she teaches in her technology classes will be used by students for years to come.

This year, Janowski has been focusing on the new ELA curriculum for the elementary school. She is working with teachers in Grades 2-5 to understand the new curriculum and collaborate to include it in their English/Language Arts teaching. Janowski also works with new teachers in the elementary school to train them in each curriculum. Teachers that move from an early childhood classroom to the elementary school, for example, utilize her help and resources to ensure a smooth transition. In addition to working directly with teachers, Janowski is also able to follow the students from grade to grade each year.

“I love this role because I get to interact with so many students,” says Mrs. Janowski. “I get to see them grow throughout the years and I have the advantage of seeing them in different grade levels and different classrooms.”

On a personal note, Ms. Capobianco moved back to Boston this summer after teaching remote last year. And Mrs. Janowski recently gave birth to her third child, a boy, in mid-October.