What Instructional Coordinators Do
Instructional coordinators oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They develop instructional material, coordinate its implementation with teachers and principals, and assess its effectiveness.
Instructional coordinators typically do the following:
- Develop and coordinate implementation of curriculum
- Plan, organize, and conduct teacher training conferences or workshops
- Observe and evaluate teachers’ instruction and analyze student test data
- Assess and discuss implementation of education standards with school staff
- Review and recommend textbooks and other educational materials
- Recommend teaching techniques and the use of different or new technologies
- Develop procedures for teachers to implement curriculum
- Train teachers and other instructional staff in new content or programs
- Mentor or coach teachers to improve their skills
Instructional coordinators assess the effectiveness of curriculum and teaching techniques established by school boards, states, or federal regulations. For example, they may observe teachers in the classroom, review student test data, and interview school staff and principals about curriculum. Based on their research, they may recommend changes in curricula to school boards. They also may recommend that teachers use different teaching techniques that can help students learn.
Some instructional coordinators plan and conduct training for teachers related to teaching methods or the use of computers or tablets. For example, when a school district introduces new learning standards, coordinators explain the new standards to teachers and demonstrate effective teaching methods to achieve them.
Instructional coordinators, also known as curriculum specialists, instructional coaches, or assistant superintendents of instruction, may specialize in particular grade levels, such as elementary or high school, or specific subjects, such as language arts or math. Instructional coordinators in elementary and secondary schools may also focus on special education, English as a second language, or gifted-and-talented programs. Some coordinators provide educational support services, such as textbook or standardized test assessment and development.
How to Become an Instructional Coordinator
Instructional coordinators need a master’s degree and related work experience. Coordinators in public schools may be required to be licensed teachers or licensed school administrators.
Most employers, particularly public schools, require instructional coordinators to have a master’s degree, typically in education or curriculum and instruction. Some instructional coordinators have a degree in the field they plan to specialize in, such as math or history.
Master’s degree programs in curriculum and instruction teach about curriculum design, instructional theory, and collecting and analyzing data. To enter these programs, candidates usually need a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Instructional coordinators in public schools may be required to have a license, such as a teaching license or an education administrator license. For information about teaching licenses, see the profile on high school teachers. For information about education administrator licenses, see the profile on elementary, middle, and high school principals.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Most instructional coordinators need several years of related work experience. Depending on the position, experience working as a teacher or as a principal may be helpful. For some positions, experience teaching a specific subject or grade level may be required.
Analytical skills. Instructional coordinators examine student test data and evaluate teaching strategies. They analyze the information to recommend improvements in curriculum and teaching.
Communication skills. Instructional coordinators need to explain changes in the curriculum and teaching standards to teachers, principals, and school staff.
Decision-making skills. Instructional coordinators must be able to make sound decisions when recommending changes to curricula, teaching methods, and textbooks.
Interpersonal skills. Working with teachers, principals, and other administrators is an important part of instructional coordinators’ jobs. They need to be able to establish and maintain positive working relationships with others.
Leadership skills. Instructional coordinators serve as mentors to teachers. They train teachers in developing useful and effective teaching techniques.
Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22
- Instructional coordinators
- Total, all occupations
- Other education, training, and library occupations
Employment of instructional coordinators is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment growth is expected as schools focus on evaluating and improving curriculums and teachers’ effectiveness.
Many school districts and states are focusing on the teachers’ role in improving students’ learning. Some schools also provide training for teachers in curriculum changes or teaching techniques. In addition, there is an increased emphasis on holding teachers accountable for students’ achievements. In fact, some states and school districts are using student attendance, test scores, and graduation rates to evaluate teachers.
With states and school districts using various accountability measures, coordinators will be needed to evaluate and improve curriculum and provide mentoring for teachers. As schools seek additional training for teachers, demand for instructional coordinators is expected to grow.
However, employment growth will depend on state and local government budgets.
Employment projections data for Instructional Coordinators, 2012-22 Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry Percent Numeric
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program
25-9031 147,700 166,200 13 18,500
|Occupation||Description||Entry-Level Education||2012 Median Pay|
|Elementary, middle, and high school principals||
Elementary, middle, and high school principals are responsible for managing all school operations. They manage daily school activities, coordinate curricula, and oversee teachers and other school staff to provide a safe and productive learning environment for students.'
|High school teachers||
High school teachers help prepare students for life after graduation. They teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.'
|Kindergarten and elementary school teachers||
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading.'
Librarians help people find information and conduct research for personal and professional use. Their job duties may change based on the type of library they work in, such as public, school, and medical libraries.'
|Middle school teachers||
Middle school teachers educate students, typically in sixth through eighth grades. Middle school teachers help students build on the fundamentals they learned in elementary school and prepare them for the more difficult curriculum they will face in high school.'
Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and vocational subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.'
|Varies with the subject taught and the type of educational institution||$0|
|Preschool teachers||Preschool teachers educate and care for children, usually ages 3 to 5, who have not yet entered kindergarten. They teach reading, writing, science, and other subjects in a way that young children can understand.'||Associate's degree||$27,130|
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Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. They adapt general education lessons and teach various subjects, such as reading, writing, and math, to students with mild and moderate disabilities. They also teach basic skills, such as literacy and communication techniques, to students with severe disabilities.'
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|Some college, no degree||$0|