5.1 Experience It

Experience It

Coaching as a Professional Development Strategy Clip 1

Dathan Rush, associate director, Family, Infant and Preschool Program in Morganton, NC, talks about the types and effect of coaching, as well as the research that supports it.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How have you used "coaching on the fly" in a group socialization? How could you use it to improve a supervisee's practice?
  2. How could you use "fidelity to practice" with one of your current supervisees?

Coaching as a Professional Development Strategy Clip 2

Nancy Seibel, consultant, Keys to Change, talks about the relationships involved in coaching, including reflecting in, on, and for action.

Reflection Questions

  1. Which coaching strategy would you like to enhance in your repertoire of skills?
  2. Discuss a strategy that may be useful for one of your supervisees to use with a family.

David Jones, Home Visiting Specialist in the Office of Head Start

How do you know if the home-based option is right for your program? In this video, David Jones, Home Visiting Specialist in the Office of Head Start, explains what you need to know.


  1. How do you know if the home-based option is right for your program?


    Various answers, such as:

    • Community needs assessment.

    • Self-assessment.

    • Policy council and governing board.

  2. Who is the home-based option appropriate for?


    Various answers, such as:

    • Isolated families in rural areas.

    • Families who don’t want or need the center-based option.

    • Families whose life circumstances might prevent them from participating in more structured settings;

    • Families such as those who suffer severe stressors (e.g., maternal depression, substance abuse).

    • Families who want to use their home as the child’s learning environment Families who need nontraditional hours.

  3. What are the benefits of the home-based option?


    Various answers, such as:

    • Allows home visitor to support learning opportunities in the family’s culture.

    • Encourages the family to use their home for the child’s learning environment.

    • Uses everyday experiences to enhance the child’s development.

    • Allows for highly individualized services to the family.

Elements of a Home Visit Video Clip

This video clip shows a home visitor with a mother and her infant experimenting with her interest in the toys from her home. The home visitor asks the mother to predict in what toys her infant might show interest.


  1. What do you observe?

    • Home visitor reviews plan for the week, “How do you know when she likes something?”

    • Mother and home visitor gather objects from living room for baby to play with.

    • Home visitor asks mother what she predicts child will like.

    • Mother or home visitor places toys in front of child.

    • Home visitor sits back from mother and child.

    • Child reaches for some toys, not for others.

    • Home visitor reviews “what the child is telling her” with the mother.

  2. What elements of the home-based option are demonstrated in this video clip?

    • Jointly planned home visit

    • Using materials from the home to support the home as the primary learning environment

    • Home visit includes participation of the parents

    • Home visitor helps parent improve her parenting skills by recognizing what the baby likes, asking questions:

      • Home visitor asks mother if she can see her face, says “She is just lighting up. Mommy knows!”
      • “What do you think?”
      • “What is she telling us?”
  3. What does the home visitor do that supports the mother in being the primary educator?

    • Plans the visit with the mother

    • Comments on the mother’s skills and knowledge of her baby

    • Sits back from the play

    • Pushes the toy toward the mother and child and away from herself.

  4. How can you apply these techniques in your own home visits and group socializations?


    Various answers

  5. What developmental domains do you observe the baby and her mother engaged in?


    Physical development and health

    • Reaching for the toys and her mother

    • Grasping the blocks

    • Sitting without support

    • Standing while being held

    Social and emotional development

    • The baby smiles when she is playing with the piano

    • Baby reaches for her mother

    • Indicates her lack of interest in the last toy by pushing it away

    Cognition and general knowledge:

    • Reaches for toy and grasps it, then releases

    • Uses eye-hand coordination to reach for toys

    • Tries to get toys out of reach

    • Uses problem-solving in gaining access to toys (whines when she can’t reach it)

    • Shows initiative in trying to reach toys.

    Approaches to learning

    • Focuses on toys

    • Persists in trying to play with the piano

    • Pays attention when mother shows her the toys

    Language and Literacy

    • Whines briefly

    • Vocalizes