Getting Organized for Literacy Coaching


Literacy coaching is full of contradictions.

You need to be flexible, but you also need clear goals and a vision. 

You want to be open to invitations from any teacher for visits and advice, but you also need a plan for touchpoints with all the teachers you’ll be supporting.

Your schedule at the start of the year is a blank canvas. And then it’s not. In the blink of an eye, it becomes cluttered and overstuffed. 

One of the best ways to wrestle with the contradictions of literacy coaching is to get organized.

This course will guide you through how to plan, schedule, and launch the year. Whether you are a new literacy coach or someone with many years of experience, we are confident we have some new ideas and strategies you’ll want to try.

Planning a schedule for classroom visits, study groups, and coaching cycles does more than fill a calendar. It helps you reflect on what matters most in your work, and how that is expressed in how you spend your time.

Deciding what supplies you need and resources to purchase sets a marker for your values. Clear plans and a full bag of books and tools enable you to start the year with calm resolve and confidence.

Creating protocols and norms for first meetings with teachers and study groups ensures everyone shares the same expectations for communication, community, and growth over time.

In this course, experienced literacy coaches unzip their bags and totes to share what they carry into classrooms. We open up our coaching notebooks to show you the pages and lessons we can’t live without. We share what hasn’t worked in the past, and how our schedules and plans have evolved over time. You’ll finish the course with sample calendars, templates, checklists, and insider tips for launching your coaching year with confidence and enthusiasm.

The advice we share with you is hard-won. We rearrange and tweak our schedules every year, struggling to find time for everything we want to do. We get overwhelmed just like you do with the ever-growing mountain of instructional resources and possibilities for using them. We deal with resistant teachers, miscommunication, and sore backs from hauling everything around. And yet, our default outlook is always cheerful optimism. Teachers are amazing, and helping them do their best work is the most wonderful job in the world.

What You’ll Learn

  • Different ways to organize coaching schedules
  • Developing a coaching calendar
  • Planning ahead for the right materials at the right time
  • First steps to establish a working relationship with teachers
  • Crafting a code of conduct for the unspoken rules of professionalism
  • Defining your role in a clear and succinct way
  • Considering how to nourish and build a variety of relationships

What You’ll Get

  • Four video keynote presentations
  • Access to 35+ articles and videos
  • Sample calendars
  • Four templates for planning and reflective practice
  • Lifetime access if purchased
  • Free access for Literacy Leader members


The course is led by Ruth Ayres, nationally known author of books that include Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers and Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop. Ruth has worked for many years as a literacy coach in the Wawasee (Indiana) Public Schools, and currently is head of the Lead Learners Consortium, a professional development network of over two dozen school districts and colleges in the Midwest.

Contributors of print features and/or video for the course include

Stephanie Affinito (author of Literacy Coaching),

Jennifer Allen (author of Becoming a Literacy Leader),

Jan Burkins (co-author of Who’s Doing the Work?),

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan (authors of Assessment in Perspective and It’s All About the Books),

Cathy Mere (author of More Than Guided Reading),

Dana Murphy (longtime contributor to Two Writing Teachers),

Brenda Power (co-author of The Art of Classroom Inquiry),

Heather Rader (author of Side By Side: Short Takes on Best Practices),

Jennifer Schwanke (author of You’re the Principal! Now What?)

Ruth Shagoury (co-author of Living the Questions),

Karen Szymusiak (co-author of Still Learning to Read),

Terry Thompson (author of The Construction Zone),

and many others.

More Details

Each section of the course begins with a brief (8–10-minute) keynote from Ruth with advice, tools, and stories from her experience as a coach. Follow-up articles and videos feature tips, stories of success, and tales of woe from contributing coaches and school leaders.

You’ll learn there is not one right way to get organized for coaching. But there are many good ways. And from the mosaic of possibilities in this course, we are confident you’ll find the best way for you.

So what are you waiting for? We’d love to have you join us. Sign up, grab a notebook, and start exploring today.

This course is included with Literacy Leadership and Literacy Team memberships.

Course Curriculum

A Schedule Is a Net for Catching Days
Those with Supplies Thrive
The Beginning Is Always Community: Making Connections and Explaining the Work to Others

Meet Your Instructor

Ruth Ayres

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$59.00 Purchase Access

Get access to all book guides and Choice Literacy courses with membership.

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