Until recently, less attention has been paid to how coaches’ different perceptions of their roles may affect early childhood teachers’ coaching experiences. This article investigates how two coaches in two school districts interpret the critical elements of cognitive coaching during National Board Certification. With a comparative case study, the findings suggest that two coaches had seemingly different perceptions of coaching roles depending on the analysis of teachers’ urgent needs and perceived role as a coach. First, two coaches showed different degrees of applying cognitive coaching principles. Second, coaches had a different focus in providing either cognitive stimulation or emotional support. Finally, while one coach set up a distant and formal relationship with teachers, other teachers had accessible relationships with teachers. We discussed how different perceptions of coaching roles and teachers’ coaching experiences could inform both coaches and teachers concerning teachers’ professional development.
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