You are here

The Impact Cycle

The Impact Cycle
What Instructional Coaches Should Do to Foster Powerful Improvements in Teaching

Additional resources:

August 2017 | 288 pages | Corwin

Identify . . . Learn . . . Improve

When it comes to improving practice, few professional texts can rival the impact felt by Jim Knight’s Instructional Coaching. For hundreds of thousands of educators, Jim bridged the long-standing divide between staff room and classroom offering up a much a more collaborative, respectful, and efficient PD model for achieving instructional excellence.

Now, one decade of research and hundreds of in-services later, Jim takes that work a significant step further with The Impact Cycle: an all-new instructional coaching cycle to help teachers and, in turn, their students improve in clear, measurable ways.

Quintessential Jim, The Impact Cycle comes loaded with every possible tool to help you reach your coaching goals, starting with a comprehensive video program, robust checklists, and a model Instructional Playbook. Quickly, you’ll learn how to 

  • Interact and dialogue with teachers as partners
  • Guide teachers to identify emotionally compelling, measurable, and student-focused goals
  • Set coaching goals, plan strategies, and monitor progress for optimal impact
  • Use documentary-style video and text-based case studies as models to promote maximum teacher clarity and proactive problem solving
  • Streamline teacher enrollment, data collection, and deep listening

Jim writes, “When we grow, improve, and learn, when we strive to become a better version of ourselves, we tap into something deep in ourselves that craves that kind of growth.” Read The Impact Cycle and soon you’ll discover how you can continually refine your practice to help teachers and students realize their fullest potential. 

About the Author
What Is Instructional Coaching?

Three Approaches to Coaching

Deep Learning, Deep Coaching

Getting a Clear Picture of Current Reality

Using Video to Get a Clear Picture of Reality

Learning From Students

Putting It All Together


Questions to Identify a PEERS Goal

The Identify Questions

Describing Teaching Strategies

Instructional Playbooks

Modeling Teaching Strategies

The Improve Stage of the Impact Cycle

Step 1: Confirm Direction

Step 2: Review Progress

Step 3: Invent Improvements

Step 4: Plan Next Actions

Strategies for Enrolling Teachers

Data-Gathering Tools

Instructional Playbook

Strategies for Assessing Student Attitude

Appendix: Lean-Design Research
Development of the Impact Cycle

Lean-Design Research




"Jim Knight is one of the wise men of coaching. His well is deep, and he draws from it the best tools from practitioners, the wisdom of experience, and research-based insights. And he never loses the bigger picture: the point of all this is to have more impact in this life we're lucky enough to live."

Michael Bungay Stanier
Author of The Coaching Habit

"I have had many opportunities to learn with and from Jim Knight. I’ve learned as a participant in his workshops, reading his books, and being on panels with him. Now, The Impact Cycle adds to my skills and insights. Jim’s vision of the coach as a partner who sets goals with the teacher, strategizes with and supports the teacher, and monitors changes with the teacher until the goal is met will assist many instructional coaches in targeting their efforts. Student- focused goals will be a game changer in many coaching initiatives and guarantee that coach and teacher investment in teacher learning is impacting student learning."

Dr. Stephen Barkley, Executive Vice President
PLS 3rd Learning

"Once again, Jim Knight has earned his reputation as the reigning expert in instructional coaching. With his trademark clarity and heart, Knight manages to capture both the simplicity and complexity of coaching in an accessible, detailed, and nuanced framework for instructional coaches. Packed with insight, concrete examples, and practical tools, The Impact Cycle is an indispensable guide for coaches who want to make the biggest possible difference for students."

Nancy Love, Director
Program Development at Research for Better Teaching in Action

"Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance. Jim Knight’s work has helped me understand the details of how effective coaching can and should be done."

Dr. Atul Gawande, surgeon, public health researcher, and author of The Checklist Manifesto
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

"Continuous improvement is fueled by a focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning. The Impact Cycle provides educators with the strategies and the tools necessary to make that improvement a reality. I have had the opportunity to see how Knight’s model works first-hand and can attest to its effectiveness. The emphasis on effective partnerships with shared responsibility and ownership combined with a goal-oriented coaching cycle results in lasting and meaningful changes for teachers and students. This book shares a clear vision for powerful instructional coaching along with the specific steps to make that vision a reality. Knight's The Impact Cycle is essential reading for educators who are committed to real and lasting change."

Dr. Jadi Miller, Director of Curriculum
Lincoln Public Schools

"The Impact Cycle is an essential read for instructional coaches. It is organized to take the reader through each stage of an impact cycle, providing a vision for how to coach for a deeper impact. It is filled with stories from the field, allowing the reader to walk in the shoes of other coaches. In the end, all coaching is about creating meaning and supporting teachers to reach their goals, this book supports coaches to do just that."

Diane Sweeney, Consultant
Diane Sweeney Consulting

"In this very helpful book, Jim Knight builds on knowledge gained from over two decades of assisting coaches to inspire and guide teachers to improve their instruction. Following his own advice to "stay curious", Jim continues to expand upon his coaching model to explicate new dimensions of the coaching relationship. Conversational and informative, this book will be a useful resource for any coach working in the field."

Dr. Megan Tschannen-Moran, Professor of Educational Leadership
College of William and Mary, School of Education

“There is no one more passionate about improving every student’s learning experience than Jim Knight and in The Impact Cycle Jim has done it again with another well researched and immensely practical book. There are some great features here - the visual maps that introduce each chapter, the numerous checklists and templates, links to the Companion Website, helpful chapter summaries and great recommended resources in the Going Deeper sections. This is a book which will be referred to often. Instructional coaches will be an even better resource for the teachers with whom they work as a result of reading and using this book.”

John Campbell, Executive Director
Growth Coaching International

The textbook has real applications that will aid you in providing students material for daily school leading.

Ray Barbosa
Educational Admin Dept, West Texas A&m University
September 27, 2018