Guest Post: 9 Ways to Reignite Your Instructional Coaching

We’ve all been there: The school year begins with traditional excitement, time passes and excitement continues to build toward the mid-year holidays, then things start to get a bit cold and stale. Perhaps your work with teachers also starts to become monotonous and repetitive. So, what do you do?

We've only just begun . . . now what?

Try one of these nine ways to reignite your instructional coaching work with individual teachers or teams:

  • Shift your focus. If you usually focus on planning and instruction, spend some time developing reflection skills.
  • Shift your mode. If you usually model lessons, try co-teaching, or shift to providing feedback.
  • Ask for feedback from another coach, a teacher, or administrator.
  • Try a new strategy. Explore strategies collaboratively, select a small number to implement, and share lessons learned along the way.
  • Try a new framework.
    • Use an existing tool from your school, district, or an outside source.
    • Create your own. If you create your own, think in a similar mode to creating a rubric for student work.
  • Change your location. Go together with your teacher to visit another teacher’s classroom.
  • Introduce the use of video.
    • Start small and gently with teachers.
    • Offer to go first, whether while teaching a lesson or facilitating a meeting.
    • Allow any video to remain private.
    • Focus on sharing learning and reflection.
  • Observe another coach. Whether live or via video, watching another coach will certainly provide next steps and push your thinking.
  • Spend a day as a student. Don’t just sit through class—join in, do the work, and be an active participant.

Try one or a few of these strategies (certainly not all at once!), and as you do, sing along to the classic Carpenter’s tune . . .

Sharing horizons that are new to us

Watching the signs along the way

Talkin' it over, just the two of us

Workin' together day to day


About our guest blogger

Eric Sandberg is an instructional coach with Erie’s Public Schools in Pennsylvania, and the owner and author of His blog is wonderful, and we’re big fans of the way he uses song titles in his posts. Connect with Eric on twitter at @ecsandberg11.

Topics: Guest Blogger, Coaching

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