Streamlining Teacher Coaching in South Texas

Great Hearts Forest Heights Charter School is a growing K-9 school in San Antonio, Texas. Check out how Great Hearts is leveraging Bullseye’s instructional support system to provide their teachers with high-quality support and coaching.

Play Video

“How do we identify instructional trends without having 12,000 papers everywhere?” was the pointed question Elementary Headmaster Jennifer Ramirez asked of her leadership team at the Great Hearts Forest Heights Charter School in San Antonio, Texas.

As a growing K-9 school (current enrollment of 720 and adding a grade level every year), she was focused on how to provide consistent support to all her teachers in their classrooms while at the same time understanding strengths and areas for improvement across the entire school.

Ramirez and her colleagues had already taken the time to adapt a number of academic frameworks to create the Great Hearts Teacher Playbook, an internal document capturing their approach to instructional coaching. But they were buried under a pile of papers that made it very difficult to track individual progress, and nearly impossible to see trends across the school.

“I just wanted something that was going to make what I was already doing much more organized and streamlined and faster.”

It was during a virtual session at the Texas Charter School Conference on Instructional Coaching (where Bullseye Education was a panelist) that Ramirez had her aha moment. “I saw this thing, and realized this was it,” referring to Bullseye’s Teacher Coaching Platform. “It gave us a framework for what we had created.”

Using Bullseye has helped the school leaders at Great Hearts Forest Heights to create a clear bridge from individual classroom to whole school support. Ramirez remarked, “honestly Bullseye has allowed us to very quickly identify where we need to target our coaching attention. In a couple of clicks I can see how the whole school is doing with directions. And if we have 15 minutes in the next staff meeting, we can do a mini-lesson on directions, and then we’ll do drop-ins the following week to see how it’s going. It’s allowed us to be very responsive to what we’re seeing.”

In addition to administrator-led support, there has also been an opportunity for teachers to identify their own goals. “We’ve incorporated some self-reflection aspects to the process,” Ramirez explains. “It’s allowed teachers to feel like they have a more active role in their professional development. So, teachers have the opportunity to review the rubric, and
answer “where do you see yourself on this rubric and where do you want to grow?” It’s helped us create a lot of buy-in among the teachers.”

With grade level expansion as well as adding more classrooms at the K-5 level, the needs of the leadership team have evolved over the last two years, and their use of Bullseye has evolved alongside them. With ongoing support from the customer support team, the school has made
changes to include more narrative-based observations and have even included tools to enable peer observations that contribute to a more holistic vision of teacher performance.

“There are not too many companies that you work with in education that have that very intentional, customized for-you feel to it. You can’t have better consumer service than what we’ve received [with Bullseye].”

Despite the recent challenges of the pandemic and the long-term difficulty of providing individualized support to educators, the school has managed to create a system where there is a clear plan and process for coaching that leads to instructional improvement. As Headmaster Ramirez describes it, “Bullseye came along and really helped drive the train smoothly. The way
they made this so particular to what we need, I feel that every school could have something that works specifically for them.”

By Dr. Trevor Soponis

Dr. Trevor Soponis is a life-long education professional with extensive experience in leading transformative education projects involving school, district, state, and university partners.

Find a time to see how Bullseye can be customized for your school or district!

Your teachers will be glad you did.

Scroll to Top