"Just like any relationship in life, the partnership between instructional coach and classroom teacher takes work. Deliberate and considerate attention to relationship building strengthens rapport between coaches and teachers, ultimately leading to a greater impact on student learning and achievement."
"Though you may be stepping into a new position, you have a wealth of experience to draw from. . . . You are still a teacher. The only thing that's changed is that now you are teaching teachers instead of students. The same strategies and approaches you used with students can be helpful when working with teachers. As with classroom teaching, it's important to try ideas, gather feedback, and adjust your approach as needed. It's a constant learning process!"
"Forming positive relationships with your teachers lies at the heart of great instructional coaching. Creating a plan for forming relationships is most important because they don't magically form from just being in the same room. Relationships require thoughtful steps to make them happen. Learning names and intentionally getting to know someone personally is key, but so is making sure you're visible and excited to interact with your colleagues daily"
"Many districts and schools do not define what they expect from instructional coaches. Coaches go into their jobs completely blind, and are often given roles and responsibilities that are not related to coaching. . . . The best way to combat this issue? Partnerships. The role of a coach starts by establishing trust, expectations, and boundaries—first with your principal, then with the rest of your coachees."
"Be insatiably, humbly curious. Learn to ask nonjudgmental questions that create expansion in someone else’s thinking and imagination. Learn to ask nonjudgmental questions about assumptions, biases, interpretation, and opinion. Know that you will learn a tremendous amount as an instructional coach about things you don’t yet know that you don’t know. Be curious."
"Goal setting is equally important in coaching. Sitting down with teachers and hearing what they want to accomplish helps frame the work that you do together. While you might have some goals in mind, make sure that you don’t lose sight of the goals that teachers have as well. This also goes back to that relationship that is so important and also building trust."
"Your principal (or possibly your district) has an idea of what your job is. If you have a different idea of what your job is, and you continue doing that job for any length of time, one of you will end up being pretty unhappy. When you apply for any instructional coaching position, it's necessary to ask the principal, 'What are the three most important things I need to spend my time on? Where will most of my time be spent?'"