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Holbach begins first year as Instructional Coach

September 6, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

Those used to seeing Katey Holbach in the junior high wing for English courses will instead find her in a new position as North Tama's Pre-K-12 Instructional Coach this school year.

"I'm excited to be working with both elementary and older students this year," Holbach said.

In her position Holbach is working with teachers at all levels and curriculum, coaching teachers on how best to instruct the students at North Tama. Teachers are able to come to Holbach for quick help for classroom management, called Informal Cycle, or a Formal Cycle around a "standard" in the classroom and building units.

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Katey Holbach, a former junior high English teacher for North Tama, has moved up to Instructional Coach for the district this school year.

"I'm there to help with the legwork and assist them to meet the standard for their classroom" Holbach said.

Holbach was promoted to Instructional Coach after Susan Olson, the previous coach, was selected as the new Elementary Principal earlier this year. As a member of the Teacher Learning Committee, an Instructional Coach must have taught at least three years overall and one year teaching in their current district. No additional schooling is required, yet Holbach took classes through the Area Education Agency this summer to help "guide her" as she works in subjects and grade levels she hadn't before.

"I'm still learning what a day is going to look like, because it doesn't have the structure like a classroom does," Holbach sad. "I've been floating around to all the classrooms so far, to see what the elementary and high schools are doing. Once I get going, my days will be in the classrooms, co-planning and helping create assignments. Teachers are just getting started with their classes."

Unlike a Curriculum Director, an Instructional Coach will get involved in the classroom and sometimes co-teach based on Standards Referenced Grading. In her position, Holbach wants to work with teachers "across the board" and working with subjects like math. Before even starting, Holbach learned from Olson about how the position works.

"She's left me with all the hard copies of how things work, binders of the standards we need to be working with," Holbach said. "There's also forms to keep track of how I work with. She's left this all as a starting point for me."

The Instructional Coach office is located on the second level of the jr/sr high. In addition to her educational duties, Holbach is the head coach of the North Tama High School cross country and girls track programs.



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