Just in time for the new school year! Here are 5 things you can do as a principal or coach as the new school year kicks off to start building a stronger partnership.
Collaborate on a shared vision for your coaching program
Steve Barkley advises: “For an instructional coaching program to successfully impact educator learning that drives increased student learning, it is critical that the principal and coach align their thinking, goals and plans."
Not only that but it's also "critical that the coach and principal function as a team and are seen by staff as being on the same page.”
Establish a mutual level of privacy
Simple guidelines up front can help all year. Grace Worrell doesn't share with her principal, Melissa Llano, the goals she's working on with her mentees unless they explicitly ask her. Likewise, Melissa doesn't share any evaluation information with Grace. This allows them both to successfully do their jobs without overstepping each others confidentiality agreements.
Create a partnership agreement to increase transparency
Partnership agreements are a fantastic way for principals and coaches to lay out their core responsibilities and create transparency in their work. Whether it's a sitdown conversation or formal agreement, be sure to find time to meet early on to set the tone for a positive partnership throughout the year.
Pasha Goodman recommends being explicit here: "the more explicit we are in our partnership agreement, the more likely we are to avoid misunderstandings and surprises throughout the school year."
Don't hide, let your partnership be seen!
Grace and Melissa also recount that their impact is "felt, seen, and heard by most" when they work together. By starting their journey together and staying visible as they collaborated, they say they "were quickly able to establish a positive working relationship and tackle school improvement goals, professional development plans, and more together."
Support each other continuously and check-in often
Ongoing support is absolutely critical, and often takes the form of simple check-ins, goal updates, high fives, or just listening.
As Jim Knight observes, "when principals support coaches, the coaches usually have a very significant impact on teaching and learning. When principals don't support coaches, the coaches usually struggle to have any impact at all."
Want to learn more?
Whether you're a principal or coach, find out more about how TeachBoost Coach can help you build relationships and start the school year right:
Banner illustration by Ouch.pics.