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Rawlins' career in education started with a peer-coaching model project

Carrie Rawlins, an Executive School Leadership (ExSL) student, has been an educator for 20 years. She has taught elementary, worked as a counseling psychologist, and been a district instructional coach. Her master’s project began as she researched with Shannon Dulaney, a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations. They were looking at data from a school in Provo School District and found that one teacher had helped a higher percentage of her English Language Learning students become proficient in the language arts test than the other teachers at that grade level.

“My master’s project involved looking at data and then setting up a peer coaching model where teachers could identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses and be able to talk with other teachers about what they wanted to observe and learn,” Rawlins said. “They had a pre-conference followed by observation sessions and a final post-conference where they talked about what they observed and how they could change their own instructional practices for the better.”

Rawlins said the number one effect she has observed from this peer-coaching model is an increased trust between teachers and the effectiveness of PLCs. She said she has also seen students become more engaged in learning as well as an increase in positive response levels to grade-level interventions. She also believes the coaching model has helped improve the instructional practice community atmosphere in the school.

“I hope that the trust continues between all of the teachers in the school,” Rawlins said. “I hope as new teachers come on board in the school, they will feel there is a collaboration mentality and that teachers won’t be afraid to have people come in and observe or to go in and observe other classrooms. It will be a more open-door environment, so the teachers will be able to feel safe and free to share those things that have maybe been a little bit more guarded in the past.”

Rawlins is originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho. She loves sports, art and education as well as spending time with her six nieces and nephews who are also attending BYU.

April 3, 2013