Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Pamela Beck


At the time of this study, research on instructional coaching suggests positive outcomes for teacher retention and student achievement. However, merely providing an instructional coach to support a teacher is not sufficient. Effective coaching programs are built around foundational, structural, and instructional coaching program standards as well as employ coaches who are capable and effective in a multitude of content, instructional, and behavioral situations. Research illustrates that coaches vary significantly in effectiveness. Therefore, coaching outcomes may produce inconsistent results among various coaching programs and even between individual schools within the same school district. In other words, not all coaches or coaching programs will yield the same results.

This qualitative study explores the perceptions and experiences of PreK-12 instructional coaches’ self-efficacy, resilience, and their ability to effectively coach teachers. Although this study focuses on instructional coaches, school leaders will find the implications of this work timely and relevant to the state of our current school structures. This dissertation attempts to answer the following questions: (a) What are PreK-12 instructional coaches’ perceptions and experiences of self-efficacy and their ability to effectively coach teachers?; (b) What are PreK-12 instructional coaches’ perceptions and experiences of resilience and their ability to effectively coach teachers?; and (c) How do the researcher’s perceptions and experiences about self-efficacy and resilience relate to instructional coaching and the implementation of effective coaching practices?

This topic of study is important because it offers an inner, personal lens to instructional coaching to better understand how coaches perceive and experience self-efficacy and resilience. Additionally, this study explores how these factors impact one’s coaching ability and how self-efficacy and resilience can be built or hindered throughout each day. This work may assist with informing stakeholder support structures to ensure instructional coaches continually develop and refine the skills they need to increase teacher effectiveness, develop teacher leaders, increase student growth, and support equitable outcomes for all learners.

The key findings of this work included: (a) how instructional coaches build self-efficacy and overcome barriers to building self-efficacy; (b) the importance and presence of resilience in order for coaches to be successful in the coaching role; and (c) how the absence of resilience impacts one’s ability to experience joy in his or her personal, professional, and family life.