In the My Teaching Partner (MTP) program, coaches engage teachers in six to nine coaching cycles across a school year. Guided by the program’s theory, coaches help teachers reflect on the emotional, organizational, and instructional features of classrooms. MTP was originally developed for Pre-K and early elementary classrooms (MTP Pre-K), but the current paper focuses on the secondary school version of this program, MTP-Secondary (MTP-S), given the need for coaching models with middle and high school teachers. The paper presents the guiding theory of MTP-S and how it relates to key components of the coaching cycle. We then offer a brief synthesis of research demonstrating its effectiveness in raising achievement, promoting positive peer interactions, and reducing racial disparities in teachers’ discipline practices. We provide ideas for future research that would help advance theory on the essential components of effective coaching programs in secondary schools.
Objective—Social support is associated with better health. This association may be partly mediated through the social regulation of adrenomedullary activity related to poor cardiovascular health and glucocorticoid activity known to inhibit immune functioning. These physiological cascades originate in the hypothalamic areas that are involved in the neural response to threat. We investigated whether the down regulation, by social support, of hypothalamic responses to threat is associated with better subjective health.
Methods—A diverse community sample of seventy-five individuals, ages 23–26, were recruited from an ongoing longitudinal study. Participants completed the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) a well-validated self report measure used to assess subjective general health. They were scanned, using fMRI, during a threat of shock paradigm involving various levels of social support, which was manipulated using hand-holding from a close relational partner, a stranger, and an alone condition. We focused on a hypothalamic region of interest (ROI) derived from an independent sample to examine the association between hypothalamic activity and subjective general health.
Results—Results revealed a significant interaction between handholding condition and selfreported general health, F(2, 72) = 3.53, p = .032, partial η 2 = .05. Down regulation of the hypothalamic ROI during partner handholding corresponded with higher self-ratings of general health, ß □= −.31, p =.007.
Conclusion—Higher self-ratings of general health correspond with decreased hypothalamic activity during a task that blends threat with supportive handholding. These results suggest that associations between social support and health are partly mediated through the social regulation of hypothalamic sensitivity to threat.
Middle adolescents’ close friendship strength and the degree to which their broader peer group expressed a preference to afﬁliate with them were examined as predictors of relative change in depressive symptoms, self-worth, and social anxiety symptoms from ages 15 to 25 using multimethod, longitudinal data from 169 adolescents. Close friendship strength in midadolescence predicted relative increases in self-worth and decreases in anxiety and depressive symptoms by early adulthood. Afﬁliation preference by the broader peer group, in contrast, predicted higher social anxiety by early adulthood. Results are interpreted as suggesting that adolescents who prioritize forming close friendships are better situated to manage key social developmental tasks going forward than adolescents who prioritize attaining preference with many others in their peer milieu.
This chapter is structured around the tenet that the single best way to enact social change in the school context is to focus on the interactions students have with their teachers. These interactions are the core of the student experience from kindergarten classrooms to high school classrooms; however, they are not often given center stage in teacher training and professional development programs. This is a missed opportunity for the educational system because there is strong evidence that a focus on improving teacher–student relationships and interactions is a tangible target for interventions aimed at improving student outcomes.
Multilevel mediation analyses test whether students' mid-year reports of classroom experiences of autonomy, relatedness with peers, and competence mediate associations between early in the school year emotionally-supportive teacher-student interactions (independently observed) and student-reported academic year changes in mastery motivation and behavioral engagement. When teachers were observed to be more emotionally-supportive in the beginning of the school year, adolescents reported academic year increases in their behavioral engagement and mastery motivation. Mid-year student reports indicated that in emotionally-supportive classrooms, adolescents experienced more developmentally-appropriate opportunities to exercise autonomy in their day-to-day activities and had more positive relationships with their peers. Analyses of the indirect effects of teacher emotional support on students' engagement and motivation indicated significant mediating effects of autonomy and peer relatedness experiences, but not competence beliefs, in this sample of 960 students (ages 11–17) in the classrooms of 68 middle and high school teachers in 12 U.S. schools.
Black students are issued school discipline sanctions at rates higher than members of other racial and ethnic groups, underscoring the need for professional development that addresses this gap. In 86 secondary classrooms, a randomized controlled trial examined the effects of a 2-year teacher coaching program, My Teaching Partner Secondary (MTP-S). Results from the second year of coaching and the year after coaching was discontinued replicated previous findings from the first year of coaching—intervention teachers had no significant disparities in discipline referral between Black students and their classmates, compared to teachers in the control condition, for whom racial discipline gaps remained. Thus, MTP-S effects were replicated in the second year of coaching and maintained when coaching was withdrawn. Mediational analyses identified mechanisms for these effects; Black students had a low probability of receiving disciplinary referrals with teachers who increased skills to engage students in high-level analysis and inquiry